Bonie Laddie, Highland Laddie


I Hae been at Crookieden, My bonie laddie, Highland laddie, Viewing Willie and his men, My bonie laddie, Highland laddie. There our faes that brunt and slew, My bonie laddie, Highland laddie, There, at last, they get their due, My bonie laddie, Highland laddie. Satan sits in his black neuk, My bonie laddie, Highland laddie, Breaking sticks to roast the Duke, My bonie laddie, Highland laddie, The bloody monster gae a yell, My bonie laddie, Highland laddie. And loud the laugh gaed round a' hell My bonie laddie, Highland laddie.

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Annette Crosbie

About this work

This is a song by Robert Burns. It was written in 1791 and is read here by Annette Crosbie.

More about this song

The song 'Bonie Laddie, Highland Laddie' appeared in James Johnson's Scots Musical Museum in 1792. Based upon a traditional song, both the title and subject matter are common in Scottish folk song.

The reference 'Willie and his men' is to Prince William Duke of Cumberland (1721-1765), who led the British army to victory at the battle of Culloden, thus ending the Jacobite uprising of 1745. Here it is imagined that Cumberland, a 'fae' who 'brunt and slew' the Jacobites, is eagerly anticipated in hell where he will meet the same violent end.

Pauline Mackay

Themes for this song

jacobitism war

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