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The Lass From Killiecrankie

[ Roud 5680 ; G/D 4:736 ; Ballad Index GrD4736 ; trad.]

Mary and Nigel Hudleston: Songs of the Ridings

The first two lines of the song are very similar to the first verse of Join the British Army which has the same Roud number 5680.

Len Graham sang The Lass From Killiecrankie and diddled Monymusk in 1984 on his Claddagh album with Fintan McManus Ye Lovers All. He noted:

These two highland schottisches I learned from Joe Holmes. Joe could only recall the words to one verse of The Lass of Killiecrankie. I have used Joe’s words as verse one and the other two verses were learned from John Moulden of Portrush, County Antrim, who in turn had them from Willie Davis of Belfast. I sing the song to Joe’s air.

Killiecrankie and Monymusk are in Perthshire. Daniel Dow (1732-1783), born in Kirkmichael, Perthshire, composed Sir Archibald Grant of Monemusk which later became simply abbreviated to Monymusk.


Len Graham sings The Lass From Killiecrankie

When I was young I used to be as fine a lad as you could see,
The Prince of Wales invited me to come and join the army.
Now I ’m old and getting frail, like a dog without a tail,
All for the sake of Jane McNeill, the lass from Killiecrankie.

One day at the door I sat and as she passed I raised my hat,
And ’cause her little nose was wet I offered her my hankie.
“Jane,” says I, “you’re looking smart, oh, wouldn’t you take a chance at that?”
She smiled and nearly broke my heart, the lass from Killiecrankie.

I was jolted to my knees. “John McFee,’ she says to me,
“Will you sit down two hours or three upon your darling’s hankie?”
Very soon I changed my tune for on a thistle I sat down,
I nearly jumped o’er the moon on the braes o’ Killiecrankie.

Tor a lor a lor a loo, she’s as sweet as honey dew,
Tor a lor a lor a loo, the lass from Killiecrankie.