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Seann Triubhas, pronounced ‘Shawn Trews’, is Gaelic for ‘Old Trousers’. It is a dance developed after the 1745 Jacobite rising, when Charles Edward Stuart (more affectionately known as Bonnie Prince Charlie) came to Scotland (from France) to win back the crown.

Initially the uprising was a staggering success; the Jacobite army rapidly broke out of the Highlands, captured Edinburgh, and advanced as far south as Derby in England. Unfortunately, the army lacked the necessary French support, and so retreated back to their stronghold in the Highlands, where it was finally defeated at Culloden Moor near Inverness in 1746.

Afterwards, the government decided to end once and for all the Jacobite military threat. Jacobites were rounded up, imprisoned or executed. Estates were snatched, the clan system dismantled, and their kilt and plaids, pipes, and weaponry outlawed (kilts, along with bagpipes, were considered by the British as instruments of war).

The specific act was 19 George II, Chap. 39, Sec. 17, 1746 for the "Abolition and Proscription of the Highland Dress" which stated:

That from and after the first day of August, One thousand, seven hundred and forty-six, no man or boy within that part of Britain called Scotland, other than such as shall be employed as Officers and Soldiers in His Majesty’s Forces, shall, on any pretext whatever, wear or put on the clothes commonly called Highland clothes (that is to say) the Plaid, Philabeg, or little Kilt, Trowse, Shoulder-belts, or any part whatever of what peculiarly belongs to the Highland Garb; and that no tartan or party-coloured plaid of stuff shall be used for Great Coats or upper coats, and if any such person shall presume after the said first day of August, to wear or put on the aforesaid garment or any part of them, every such person so offending ... For the first offence, shall be liable to be imprisoned for 6 months, and on the second offence, to be transported to any of His Majesty’s plantations beyond the seas, there to remain for the space of seven years.

This law was terribly galling, especially to those clans who had not gone out for the Stuarts, and even more so among those who had fought for the House of Hanover, afflicted with a gratuitous and unfair punishment. Without their kilts, they had to turn to wearing trousers and without their pipes (*) to sing puirt-à-beul (mouth music which originated as memory aids in learning tunes when music was not written on scores) as a means of remembering tunes and dancing with the rhythm of the words instead of pipe music.

(*) The pipes were not part of the Proscriptions and were never formally banned. In fact, there is not a word about them in the Disarming or Clothing Acts. However, there may have been some pipers killed by the British who patrolled the Highlands following the 1745 Rising. Also, there was the case of an unfortunate piper in the Jacobite army, James Reid, who had pleaded not guilty by reason of the fact that he wasn’t technically "under arms" as he was a piper. However, the judge responded that “no Highland regiment ever marched without a piper and therefore his bagpipe, in the eyes of the law, was an instrument of warfare.” James suffered death at York, on November 6th 1746. This incident may have given rise to the idea that the pipes were banned, when in fact it was the weapons and tartan and Highland. In reality, the loss of Clan Chief power and their patronage as well as the clearances and emigration had more to do with the decline than anything else. The MacCrimmon’s piping school for example closed down in the 1770’s in a dispute over rent with the Chief of the Macleod’s, not helped by falling numbers as the Chiefs economically weakened struggled to afford to send pipers for the years it took to train. Not a very romantic end...

The disarming of the Highlands was both necessary and desirable, but the abolition of the Highland dress was an action of peculiar cruelty, being unjust in its incidence and deeply wounding to the pride of the whole country, besides dealing the home industry of cloth-making a blow from which it took long to recover. The application of the disclothing act made it often necessary for the Highlanders to adopt the most ludicrous garments (clothing themselves in “saddle-cloths”) in order to comply with its provisions, as in the remote parts of the country Lowland dress was of course quite unobtainable.

This humiliation was enforced for almost 36 years.

After some years had passed, the Highlanders had demonstrated their loyalty to the new regime by forming regiments in the British service (such as Fraser’s Highlanders in the Seven Years War), and many of the formerly disgraced lords and clans had redeemed themselves in the eyes of the Crown.

So the laws were repealed (in reality, motivations were also economic to allow spinning mills to produce more in answering the tartan fashion craze in London) and the Highlanders were allowed to return to their original dress.

Accordingly, an act repealing the Proscription was passed, and on 1 July 1782, Royal Assent was given to the "Repeal of the Act Prescribing the Wearing of Highland Dress" (22 George III, Cap. 63, 1782) and a proclamation issued in Gaelic and English announced:

"Listen Men. This is bringing before all the Sons of the Gael, the King and Parliament of Britain have forever abolished the act against the Highland Dress; which came down to the Clans from the beginning of the world to the year 1746. This must bring great joy to every Highland Heart. You are no longer bound down to the unmanly dress of the Lowlander. This is declaring to every Man, young and old, simple and gentle, that they may after this put on and wear the Truis, the Little Kilt, the Coat, and the Striped Hose, as also the Belted Plaid, without fear of the Law of the Realm or the spite of the enemies."

Of course, by this time, the old habit of wearing the Highland dress as daily garb and the clan system itself were effectively gone. A few older men went back to it, and some gentry who had read Scott’s romances and fancied themselves old Highland Chiefs, but it was largely irrelevant by 1782.

The tune

The tune "Whistle o’er the lave o’t" (Scottish Strathspey) is so intimately associated with the dance that it is now commonly known as "Seann Triubhas". It appears to be an early 18th century set of "De’il Stick the Minister," and has often been attributed to John Bruce of Dumfries (c. 1720-1785). A colorful character, Bruce was a Jacobite, born in Braemar, who was imprisoned in Edinburgh Castle after the rising of 1745 and the defeat of Bonnie Prince Charlie. Reportedly his skill as a fiddler helped free him and he went to Dumfries where he became acquainted with Robert Burns (who called him "an honest man, though a red wud Highlander"). Flood (1906) says the tune was originally an Irish air dating back to the 17th century called "Maggie Pickens", which the Scots appropriated. The tune was a favorite march of the Irish Volunteers (1774-1784).

The tune "Devil Stick the Minister." known throughout Scotland and the Shetlands, although in different versions, is a very old melody from the days when covenenting ministers tried to stop fiddling as a "disruputable practice" (’fiddling’ has long been a double-entendre and ’whistling’ a way of avoiding the overexplicit). A story goes that in one district the minister broke up all the fiddles except for one which a man, who could not bear to see his instrument destroyed, had hidden under a haystack. It was this unknown fiddler who supposedly composed the tune in protest of the destruction. The melody appears in the Bodleian Manuscript, inscribed "A Collection of the Newest Country Dances Performed in Scotland" written at Edinburgh by D.A. Young, 1740.

The ’true" tune "Seann Triubhas" (known as "Seann Triubhas Willichan" [Willie’s auld trousers]), set of "the devil stick the minister", has a similar melodic theme with "Gin ye kiss my wife, I’ll tell the minister" (the original pastoral air) and with "This is no my ain Hoose" (Bonnie Prince Charlie danced to this tune at the house of Lude, near Blair, before his victory at Prestonpans, 1745).

The dance

The Seann Triubhas dance originated as a result of the genocidal Acts of Proscription and Disarming following the failure of the 1745 rising. It is a dance of celebration. It was thus composed to symbolize the casting off of the hated English trousers (*) and the re-donning of the kilt, with its grace and freedom of movement, symbolized by the kicking and other movements of the legs in the dance. In the first part of the dance (slow time part) the movements depict the legs defiantly shaking and shedding the hated trousers. Then, near to the end, the dancer will clap (to give her a boost and to tell the bagpiper to speed up the music). This last part (quick time part) looks similar to the Highland Fling, and symbolize the Highlander’s joy at regaining the freedom of his native kilt.

The dance can be traced back to at least 1745 (when it was not regarded as a Highland dance but as a country dance and performed in hard shoes and tartan trousers rather than plaid kilts). The many changes to the dance have now altered it beyond recognition. The Seann Triubhas originated as Sean Triubhas Willichan (Willie’s Auld Trousers) was danced to the tune of the same name. It was one of Scotland’s humorous, old 'dramatic' dances and known to have been regularly danced at the St.Michael’s Day Ball on South Uist, although the dance is considered to have originated in Perthshire.

After the 1745 Jacobite uprising, the Gaelic poet Duncan Ban MacIntyre (great bard of the Duke of Argyll) wrote the song Seann Triubhas, subtitled Oran do ‘n Bhriogais [‘Song to the Breeches’], to the fiddle tune ‘Devil Stick the Minister’. The tune dates back at least to 1690 and had ribald words insulting to ministers. The dance may have been composed to this tune originally. Duncan was a Highlander who fought for the Government at Falkirk (apparently much against his will as he expressed his feelings in several poems in which he swore that never again would he be seen in the camp of King George, and praised the Jacobite clans). The song protested the law banning Highland dress, as it did not distinguish rebel Highlanders from loyalists such as Duncan himself.
The dance was associated with the bard's song and inherited of its name ("Seann Triubhas" instead of "Seann Triubhas Uillichan") with a new choreography to match with the Highland dress proscription song theme. However, it was always accompanied by the violin to the tune of "The devil sticks the minister" that eventually, too, being amalgamated with the name of the so popular dance.
For the competitions (by 1853, the Braemar Games had included Seann Triubhas in the solo dance competition), the tune was changed to one more accommodating to the pipes: "Whistle o’er the Lave o’t". This new air did not escape the fate of previous and also inherited the name "Seann triubhas" as he became the indispensable support of the dance of the same name. The change of tune and instrument may have altered the style and tempo of the dance. The association of the dance with the tune to the Gaelic song Seann Triubhas may have given rise to the interpretation of the kicking movements in the dance as kicking off trousers in celebration of the end of the act of proscription against Highland dress. However, the step most identified with this manoeuvre was composed by D. G. MacLennan with no such intention in mind. He was a prominent Highland dancer in the early twentieth century and a leading teacher in Edinburgh. His older brother William MacLennan was a piper and celebrated dancer who studied ballet and introduced balletic features into the competition Highland dances. His innovations for the Seann Triubhas included high cutting, side cutting, double beats back and front, and entrechat. The elegance in the modern form of the dance has largely suppressed the comic undertones that came out in earlier times when it was danced with much more acting.

The Seann Truibhas calls for elevation and upward grace of line. The Dancer’s bearing must demonstrate the strain and anger of wearing trews, the anticipation of kicking them off, then the joy of the kilt’s freedom. Many consider this Highland dance to be the proof of a dancer’s ability because it calls for athletic strength, yet balletic ease.

(*) not to be confused with the tartan triubhas worn by the gentry (which were tight garments more like leotards) part of the Highland wardrobe for chieftains and gentlemen whilst on horseback from the early 17th century onward. It is more likely that the 'Triubhas' in the dance represent English-style plain trousers (breeches).



Breeches are an item of clothing covering the body from the waist down, with separate coverings for each leg, usually stopping just below the knee (which required a slit at the knee to permit passage of the foot), though in some cases reaching to the ankles. The breeches were normally closed and fastened about the leg, along its open seams at varied lengths, and to the knee, by either buttons (that might be hidden or on view, something presumably influenced by a garment’s quality) or by a draw-string, or by one or more straps and buckle or brooches. Waist adjustment was via a laced slit in the small of the back. More expensive breeches might have pockets, with the higher quality versions perhaps having a watch pocket to the front of the waistband. Formerly a standard item of Western men’s clothing, they had fallen out of use by the early 19th century in favor of pantaloons and then trousers.


They were always made of tartan and great ingenuity was used in their manufature. They were cut on the bias - on the cross - so that they had a certain amount of elasticity and clung to the legs. The sett of the tartan was usually smaller than seen on the kilt and the hose was carefully crafted to match on the seams which ran up the back of the leg on the outside. Having no pockets, the wearer would often wear a sporran - usually hanging from the belt rather than on the front - and a plaid would also be worn. In 1637 it was reported that "In the sharp winter weather, the Highlandmen wear close trowzes which cover the thighs, legs and feet. To fence their feet they put on tan leather shoes." The practicality of the trews became very evident when it came to riding a pony - not something that a kiltwearer would volunteer to do in a hurry - and since ponies and horses were usually the privilege of rank, trews came to be regarded as the domain of the rich.

The Little Kilt - The feileadh-beag (pr: feela beg)

A letter published in the Edinburgh Magazine in March 1785 by one Ivan Baillie argued that the garment people would today recognize as a kilt was invented around the 1720s by Thomas Rawlinson, a Quaker from Lancashire. Rawlinson was claimed to have designed it for the Highlanders who worked in his new charcoal production facility in the woods of northern Scotland (after the Jacobite campaign of 1715 the government was "opening" the Highlands to outside exploitation and Rawlinson was one of the businessmen who took advantage of the situation). He thought that the traditional "belted plaid" which consisted of a large cloak, was inconvenient for tree cutters. He supposedly brought the Highland garment to a tailor, intent on making it more practical. The tailor responded by cutting it in two. Rawlinson took this back and then introduced the new kilt. Rawlinson liked the new creation so much that he began to wear it (because more convenient as it was possible to remove the top half when it became soaking wet with rain, without having to take the bottom part off as well). The Chief of Glengarry - Iain MacDonell - saw this, thought it a great idea and copied it. He was soon imitated by his Scottish colleagues, the Clan MacDonnell of Glengarry.

The beginings of the small kilt - the one which is worn in modern times - has caused lots of arguments over the years. There are many people who like to think that something so Scottish has to be really ancient and Scottish. More recent evidence has shown this theory to be out of date as several illustrations have been found of Highlanders wearing only the bottom part of the belted plaid that date long before Rawlinson ever set foot in Scotland. There is some suggestion of its use in the 1690s, and it was definitely being worn by the early 18th century. It most likely came about as a natural evolution of the belted plaid and Rawlinson probably observed it and quickly deduced its usefulness in his situation and insisted on introducing it among his workers. The truth of the matter probably is that the small kilt developed in various places over a period of years but no-one thought to document its evolution - apart from in the case of Thomas Rawlinson. So while it may well be the case that Rawlinson promoted the philabeg, he is no longer credited with inventing it.
The first instance we have of the pleats being sewn in to the philabeg, creating a true tailored kilt, comes in 1792. It is the first garment that can truly be called a 'modern' kilt as we know it today. Up until this point, the kilt was folded, rather than pleated. This development served to speed the donning of the kilt and was brought into use by the Scottish regiments serving in the British Army.

The Belted Plaid (Feileadh-mhor (pr: feela more) or breacan-an-feileadh (pr: bre-kan an Feelay) or great kilt

The Belted Plaid appears to have been the characteristic dress of the Highlander from the late sixteenth century onwards and had probably been worn for quite some time before that over the saffron tunic. It was a loose garment made up of around 18 feet/5 metres of double tartan - Highland looms could only weave a maximum width of 25 to 30 inches (65 - 75 cms) so two lengths had to be sewn together down their long edge to make the plaid (from 'pladjer' - the Gaelic for blanket).
The belted plaid had many advantages in the Highland climate and terrain. It allowed freedom of movement, it was warm, the upper half could provide a voluminous cloak against the weather, it dried out quickly and with much less discomfort than trousers and if required it could, by the mere undoing of the belt, provide a very adequate overnight blanketing. The tightly woven wool proved almost completely waterproof, something the lose woven wool of today -- is not. When complete freedom of action was required in battle it was easily discarded.

Historians have foisted onto us the idea that the Highlander, to put it on, spread out the full length of the tartan on the ground. Then he methodically plaited it in the middle, (to suit the plaid to his size, leaving on both sides an arm’s length unpleated). Then he folded the unpleated sides in a bit to slide his belt under. Then lying down, he folded these ends - overlapping each other (the right unpleated end first, then the left). The plaid, being thus prepared, was firmly bound round the loins with the leather belt, in such a manner that the lower side fell down to the middle of the knee joint.

He would then stand up and arrange the unpleated top portion around his upper body in any number of ways, depending on the climate and his activity level. It is suggested that the front two corners be pulled around behind the back and tucked in to the belt at the base of the spine. This will create large pockets to carry and allow easy access to the sporran. The remainder behind him can be pulled up over his head or shoulders in the cold or rain, or left trailing behind in heat. Also, it can be drawn from the back onto the left shoulder and part drawn up under the left arm across the front and pinned together with a large brooch which allows easy access to the sword. The functions of this garment were many and varied, but the primary concerns were to be comfortable and covered.

Whilst this is a very entertaining performance for modern observers which produce a quite spectacular result, one wonders just how many of us - in our modern homes - have an unencumbered 18 by 5 feet (5.4m x 1.5m) space in any of our rooms to lay out our plaid? The procedure may well have been normal in the larger homes of the 'upper classes' of the times, but hardly the norm for the average Highlander living in a tiny blackhouse, often shared with his cattle. Performing the procedure outdoors on lumpy heather, muddy yard or wet grass with half a gale blowing, must hammer the last coffin nail into the idea!
The practical truth, based on common sense and a reasonable amount of documented evidence, tells us that on the inside of the plaid there was a series of loops at intervals corresponding with the width of pleating (about 4 to 6 inches). A cord is passed through the loops, drawn tight to form the pleats. Dressing in it only required the Highlander to tie it tightly around his waist, buckle his broad leather belt around the outside and arrange the surplus around his upper body.

It was reported that in very bad weather - high winds, frost or snow -the Highlander would dip his plaid in water and then lie down in it. We're told that wetting it like that made the wool swell so that the plaid would give better protection against the wind and cold air.

In sub-zero temperatures, it's said that the dipping would result in a thin glaze of ice on the outside surface which would further insulate the occupant. Wrapped up like this with his head under the blanket, the Highlander's breath would then create a warm and moist atmosphere around him which would keep him cosy during the night!

As you can imagine, if the poorer Highlanders worked and slept in their plaids they must have been pretty smelly as reported in 1726 in a letter from Captain Burt, an English engineer. " …the plaid serves the ordinary people for a cloak by day and bedding at night… it imbibes so much perspiration that no-one can free it from the filthy smell…"


“Whistle o’er the Lave o’t ,” which is Scottish for “Whistle over the rest of it.” is a comic and musical poem of Robert Burns about disappointment in marriage. The speaker in the poem says that when he was courting Maggie. She seemed wonderfully sweet. But now she’s so awful, he wishes she were dead. Here, it is generally believed Robert Burns was ruefully referring to what one chap called "the deadlock of wedlock."

First when Maggie was my care,
Heav’n, I thought, was in her air;
Now we’re married—spier nae mair—
But—whistle o’er the lave o ’t!
Meg was meek, and Meg was mild,
Sweet and harmless as a child:
Wiser men than me’s beguil’d—
Whistle o’er the lave o ’t!
How we live, my Meg and me,
How we love, and how we gree,
I care na by how few may see-
Whistle o’er the lave o’t!
Wha I wish were maggots’ meat,
Dish’d up in her winding-sheet,
I could write—but Meg wad see ’t—
Whistle o’er the lave o ’t!

  Lorsque Maggie était l’objet de toutes mes attentions,
  Je croyais être au paradis avec elle ;
  Maintenant nous sommes mariés – ne m’en parlez plus -
  Mais, sifflotez sur ce qu’il en reste !
  Maggie était docile et tendre,
  Douce et inoffensive comme une enfant :
  Hommes plus avisés que moi auraient aussi été charmés
  Je sifflote au-dessus de ce qu’il en reste !
  Tel que nous vivons, ma Maggie et moi,
  Tel que nous nous aimons et avons mûri,
  Je ne me soucie plus du regard des autres
  Je sifflote au-dessus de ce qu’il en reste !
  Je souhaiterais que les asticots dévorent ses restes,
  Offerts dans son linceul,
  Je pourrais l’écrire - mais Maggie risquerait de le lire
  Je sifflote au-dessus de ce qu’il en reste !


Song of the Gaelic poet Duncan Ban MacIntyre where he protested the law banning Highland dress.


And since the light-grey breeches
This year make us so sorrowful,
Such things were never seen on us;
Nor do we care to keep them on;
And had we all been faithful
To the King who asked for aid from us,
We would not be for e’er beheld
A-yielding to this sort of garb.

Ill is our fate, that the young Prince
Has met with many a misfortune,
And that King George his dwelling makes
Where Charles should now be sojourning;
The folk who know are telling us
That he to London has no right,
That his own home’s in Hanover,
That he’s a stranger over us.

And it’s the King who’s not our own
Who sorely has insulted us,
Before he tame us utterly
’Twere time to go and fight with him;
For all the rudeness he has shown,
Offensiveness, contentiousness,
Taking our clothes in spite of us
By treating us with violence.

And since we put the trousers on
That clothing does not please us well,
Pinching us around our houghs
Uncomfortable ’tis to wear;
And erstwhile we were spirited,
With our plaids on beneath our belts,
Though now indeed we’re commonly
Clothing ourselves in saddle-cloths.

Methinks this is a poor reward
To men who proved their hardihood,
To take away their ancient garb
Though William conquered with their aid;
We cannot now live happily
Since changèd has our clothing been,
Each other we’ll not recognise
On market days or gatherings.

At one time in my earthly life
I never thought that I should have
Trousers as my covering,
Which fit a man unhandsomely;
And though I’m making use of them,
I ne’er have taken happily
To the garb that comes unnaturally
To the people to whom I belong;

Unlucky this new dress of ours,
Uglily it does sit on us,
So tightly does it cling to us,
We’d sooner see no more of it ;
There’s buttons all around our knees
And buckles closely fastening,
And now the breeks are doubled close
Round the backside of every man.

We’ll get hats of dark-grey hue
To cover up our heads for us,
And coats so smooth and shiny too
As if a mill had polished them ;
Though that may keep the cold from us,
It leaves us not so proud and gay
That it will please our gentlemen,
Our commoners, or our yeomanry.

And ne’er will we be pleased with it
A-walking in the lonely glens.
Or when we go a-shieling-wards
Or anywhere that lassies are
King George it is who’s wrongèd us,
And I am much in wrath for it,
Since he did take the kilt away
And each dress that belonged to us.

And every one in Parliament
Was wrong, with all their learning,
When on the Campbells they did put
The tightness of the trousers;
Though they it was who aided them
The year that the rebellion came,
Each man of them enlisting in
The Militia which they did raise.

And they were brave and active too,
As long as there was fighting on,
But few of them will e’er again
Go into camp along with him;
Since he did take our dress away
And left us all in misery,
He’s done to us each thing he could
Thinking to bring woe on us.

And now ’tis we who surely know
The mercy that Duke William’s shown,
Since he’s left us like prisoners
Without our dirks, without our guns,
Without our belts, without our swords,
We may not even pistols have,
For England has command of us
Since she did wholly conquer us.

There’s anger too and misery
In many a man now at this time,
Who was in William’s camp before
Who’s now no better that he’s won;
And if Prince Charles to us returned
We would arise and follow him,
The scarlet plaids once more be worn
And all the guns be out again.



  C’est donc le port de la culotte
  Qu’on nous impose désormais,
  Cette horreur qu’ici nul ne porte
  Et ne voudra jamais porter !
  Voilà comment on récompense
  Notre fidélité au roi :
  Il lui faut pour sa pénitence
  Passer cet accoutrement-là !

  Pourquoi fallait-il que la guigne
  S’acharnât ainsi sur Charlie,
  Que Georges qui n’en est point digne
  Occupât son royal logis ?
  Ceux qui s’y connaissent nous disent
  Que sur Londres il n’a point de droits,
  Qu’il règne à Hanovre, à sa guise,
  Qu’il est un étranger pour nous !

  Et c’est ce roi de contrebande
  Qui nous avilit à ce point
  Pour nous mâter. De nous défendre
  Il serait grand temps, je crois bien,
  Et de châtier son arrogance,
  Sa haineuse agressivité,
  Quand il prétend par la violence
  Nous déguiser comme il lui plait.

  Quiconque essaya ce costume
  Sait combien il ne nous sied pas,
  Combien son port nous importune,
  Et comme il serre les tibias.
  Jadis, nous portions avec zèle,
  Nos plaids fixés aux ceinturons,
  Mais ce sont des tapis de selle
  Que désormais nous arborons.

  C’est donc là le sort lamentable
  Qu’on réserve à des gens de cœur :
  On leur prend leurs antiques hardes.
  Qui, sans eux, eût été vainqueur ?
  Finie la vie joyeuse et bonne,
  Depuis qu’on nous a travestis.
  Nous ne reconnaissons personne
  Lorsque nous sommes réunis.

  Jamais je n’eus en ce bas monde
  Imaginé qu’il me faudrait
  Revêtir la culotte immonde
  Qui vous fait un homme si laid.
  Et quand à présent il m’arrive
  D’en passer, c’est à contrecœur
  Avec à l’âme une plaie vive :
  C’est contre l’usage et l’honneur.

  Fi donc de ces nouvelles fripes
  Bien faites pour d’autres que nous !
  à nos jambes, elles s’agrippent
  Et notre patience est à bout.
  Fi donc des boucles que l’on serre,
  De ces boutons sur les genoux,
  Et de cette double barrière
  Qui emprisonne nos dessous !

  Pour recouvrir nos pauvres têtes
  Nous aurons des chapeaux tout gris
  Des manteaux luisants que peut-être
  Quelque machine aura polis.
  S’ils protègent de la froidure
  Nous n’en sommes ni fiers ni gais,
  Comme les Lords et les Communes
  Et les tenanciers le voudraient.

  Qui de nous peut se satisfaire
  Ainsi vêtu, de s’en aller
  à la rencontre des bergères
  Des burons en haut des vallées ?
  Voilà donc l’œuvre du roi Georges ;
  Et ce qui me met en courroux !
  Il a vidé nos garde-robes
  Que nous aimions par-dessus tout.

  Ces Messieurs les Parlementaires,
  Se sont grossièrement trompés
  Quant, aux Campbell, ils imposèrent
  Cet incommode accoutrement.
  Et pourtant ils eurent leur aide
  Quand éclata la rébellion.
  Pas un seul homme ne refusa
  De rejoindre leurs bataillons.

  Et c’est avec zèle et courage
  Qu’ils furent de tous les combats.
  Quant à retourner à l’ouvrage,
  La plupart ne le voudront pas.
  On nous a pris notre costume
  Notre honneur ne compte pour rien.
  On a tout fait, on le présume,
  Pour provoquer notre chagrin.

  Oui, c’est à notre tour d’apprendre
  Comment Cumberland a pitié
  Sans fusils, sans dagues qui pendent,
  Il fit de nous des prisonniers.
  Sans nos ceinturons, sans nos sabres,
  Privés même de pistolets,
  L’Anglais fait de nous ses esclaves.
  Il tient le pays tout entier.

  Plus d’un, réduit à la misère,
  Sent monter la colère en lui.
  Soldat de Cumberland naguère
  Il n’en tire point de profit.
  Que le Prince Charles revienne,
  Tous, aussitôt, nous le suivrons,
  Revêtant nos beaux plaids de laine,
  Pistolets à nos ceinturons !



  ’S o tha a’bhriogais liath-ghlas
  Am bliadhna cur mulaid oirnn,
  ’S è’n rud nach fhacas riamh oirnn
  ’S nach miann leinn a chumail oirnn;
  ’S nam biomaid uile dîleas
  Do’n Righ bha toirt cuiridh dhuinn,
  Cha n-fhaicte sinn gu dilinn
  A’striochdadh do’n chulaidh so.

  Is olc an seôl duinn, am Prionns’ ôg
  A bhith fo mhôran duilichinn
  Us Righ Deôrsa a bhith chomhnuidh
  Far ’m bu chôir dhà tuineachas;
  Tha’luchd-eôlais a’ toirt sgeôil duinn
  Nach robh côir air Lunnainn aig’,
  ’S è Hanôbhar an robh ’sheôrsa,
  Is coigreach oirnn an duine sin.

  ’S è’n Righ sin nach buineadh dhuinn,
  Rinn dîmeas na dunach oirnn,
  Mu’n ceannsaich e buileach sinn,
  B’è ’n t-am dol a chumasg ris;
  Na rinn e oirnn a dh’an-tlachd,
  A mhi-thlachd,’s a dh’aimhreit,
  Ar n-eudach thoirt gun taing dhinn,
  Le h-ainneart a chumail ruinn.

  ’S o’n a chuir sinn suas a’ bhriogais
  Gur neo-mhiosail leinn a’chulaidh ud,
  ’Gan teannadh mu na h-iosgannan,
  Gur trioblaideach leinn umainn iad;
  Us bha sinn roimhe misneachail,
  ’S na breacain fo na criosan oirnn,
  Ged thà sinn ann am bitheantas
  A nis a’ cur nan sumag oirnn;

  ’S ar leam gur h-olc an duais è
  Do na daoine chaidh ’sa chruadal,
  An aodaichean thoirt uapa
  Ge do bhuannaich Diùc Uilleam leo.
  Cha n-fhaod sinn bhith sùlasach
  O’n chaochail ar culaidh sinn,
  Cha n-aithnich sinu a chéile
  Là féille no cruinneachaidh.

  Us bha uair-éigin’san t-saoghal
  Nach saoilinn gun cuirinn orm
  Briogais air son aodaich,
  ’S neo-aoibheil air duine i;
  ’S ged thà mi deanamh iris dith
  Cha d’rinn mi bonn sùlais
  Ris an deise nach robh dàimheil
  Do’n phàirtidh dh’am buinninn-sa.

  ’S neo-sheannsar a’chulaidh i,
  Gur grànda leinn umainn i,
  Cho teann air a cumaclh dhuinn
  ’S nach b’fheairrde leinn tuilleadh i ;
  Bidh putain anns na glùitrean,
  Us bucalan ’gan dùnadh,
  ’S a’bhriogais air a dùbladh
  Mu chùlaibh a h-uile fir.

  Gheibh sinn adan ciar-dhubh
  Chur dion air ar mullaichean,
  Ifs casagan cho sliogta
  ’S a mhinicheadh muileann iad;
  Ged chumadh sin am fuachd dhinn
  Cha n-fhàg e sinn cho uallach,
  ’S gun toilich e ar n-uaislean,
  Ar tuath, no ar cumanta I,

  Cha taitinn e gu bràth ruinn
  A choiseachd nan gleann-fàsaich,
  ’N uair rachamaid a dh’àirigh,
  No dh’àit’am biodh cruinneagan
  ’S è Deàrsa rinn an eucoir,
  ’S ro-dhiombach tha mi féin deth,
  Oon thug e dhinn an éileadh,
  ’S gach eudach a bhuileadh dhuinn.

  ’S bha h-uile h-aon de’n Phàrlamaid
  Fallsail le’m fiosrachadh,
  ’N uair chuir iad air na Caimbeulaich
  Teanndachd nam briogaisean ;
  ’S gur h-iad a rinn am feum dhaibh
  A’ bhliadhna thàin’ an streupag,
  A h-uile h-aon diubh’g éirigh
  Gu léir am milîsi dhaibh;

  ’S bu cheannsalach, duineil iad
  ’San am an robh an cumasg ann,
  Ach’s gann daibh gun cluinnear iad
  A champachadh tuilleadh leis;
  O’n thug e dhinn an t-aodach,
  ’S a dh’fhàg e sinn cho faontrach,
  ’S ann rinn e oirnn na dh’fhaodadh e,
  Shaoileadh e chur mulaid oirnn.

  Is ann a nis tha fios againn
  An t-iochd a rinn Diuc Uilleam ruinn,
  ’N uair dh’fhàg e sinn mar phriosanaich
  Gun bhiodagan, gun ghunnachan,
  Gun chlaidheamh, gun chrios tarsuinn oirnn,
  Cha n-fhaigh sinn pris nan dagachan,
  Tha comannnd aig Sasunn oirnn
  O smachdaich iad gu buileach sinn;

  Tha angar agus duilichinn
  ’San am so air iomadh fear
  Bha’n campa Dhiùc Uilleam,
  Us nach fheairrd’ iad gun bhuidhinn e;
  Nan tigeadh oirnne Teàrlach
  ’S gun éireamaid’na champa,
  Gheibhte breacain chàrnaid,
  ’S bhiodh aird air na gunnachan.


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