Donald MacGillavry

James Hogg (1770 – 21 November 1835) was a Scottish poet, novelist and essayist who wrote in both Scots and English.

James Hogg

As a young man he worked as a shepherd and farmhand, and was largely self-educated through reading. He was a friend of many of the great writers of his day, including Sir Walter Scott, of whom he later wrote an unauthorized biography. He became widely known as the "Ettrick Shepherd", a nickname under which some of his works were published, and the character name he was given in the widely read series Noctes Ambrosianae, published in Blackwood's Magazine. He is best known today for his novel The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner. His other works include the long poem The Queen's Wake (1813), his collection of songs Jacobite Reliques (1819), and his two novels The Three Perils of Man (1822), and The Three Perils of Woman (1823).

It seems that Donald Macgillavry is not an actual traditional Jacobite song, but was written by James Hogg and included in his 1819 work 'Jacobite Relics of Scotland', without initial acknowledgement of its inauthenticity!

Donald MacGillavry

(James Hogg [1770-1835] novelist, essayist, poet, biographer from Ettrick, Scotland, UK)

Donald's gane up the hill hard and hungry
Donald comes down the hill wild and angry
Donald will clear the gouk's nest cleverly
Here's tae the king and Donald Macgillavry
Come like a weigh-bauk, Donald Macgillavry
Come like a weigh-bauk, Donald Macgillavry
Balance them fair, and balance them cleverly
Off wi' the counterfeit, Donald Macgillavry

 

Donald's run o'er the hill but his tether, man
As he were wud, or stang'd wi' an ether, man
When he comes back, there's some will look merrily
Here's tae King James and Donald Macgillavry
Come like a weaver, Donald Macgillavry
Come like a weaver, Donald Macgillavry
Pack on your back, an elwand sae cleverly
Gie them full measure, my Donald Macgillavry

 

Donald has foughten wi' reif and roguery
Donald has dinner'd wi' banes and beggery
Better it were for Whigs and Whiggery
Meeting the devil than Donald Macgillavry
Come like a tailor, Donald Macgillavry
Come like a tailor, Donald Macgillavry
Push about, in and out, thimble them cleverly
Here's tae King James and Donald Macgillavry

 

Donald's the callan that brooks nae tangleness
Whigging, and prigging, and a' newfangleness
They maun be gane; he winna be baukit, man
He maun hae justice, or faith he'll tak it, man
Come like a cobler, Donald Macgillavry
Come like a cobler, Donald Macgillavry
Beat them, and bore them, and lingel them cleverly
Up wi' King James and Donald Macgillavry

 

Donald was mumpit wi' mirds and mockery
Donald was blindid wi' blads o' property
Arles ran high, but makings war naething, man
Lord, how Donald is flyting and fretting, man
Come like the devil, Donald Macgillavry
Come like the devil, Donald Macgillavry
Skelp them an' scaud them that prov'd sae unbritherly
Up wi' King James and Donald Macgillavry

 

Definitions excerpted from The Online Scots Dictionary as well as postings made at the Scotland Discussion Forum of Scotland.com:
  • Gane - gone
  • Gouk - gowk; the cuckoo; a fool
  • Weigh-Bauk - balance beam; set of scales
  • But - without; off
  • Tether - restrain; halter; marry
  • Wud - mad; insane
  • Stang'd - stung
  • Ether - adder
  • Elwand - ell-wand; a measuring rod one ell long (here used as a metaphor for sword)
  • Sae - so
  • Rief - plunder
  • Banes - bones
  • Thimble - finger-protector worn when sewing
  • Callan - lad; youth; boy
  • Brooks - allows
  • Tangleness - indecision
  • Whigging - dissenting
  • Prigging - haggling
  • Newfangleness - innovation
  • Maun - must
  • Winna - won't
  • Baukit - held back
  • Lingel - bind or sew with a cobbler's waxed thread; fasten; fetter
  • Mumpit - lulled
  • Mirds - flattery
  • Blads - large portions
  • Arles - thrashing
  • Flyting - scolding
  • Skelp - strike or hit with the palm of the hand; slap; smack
  • Scaud - chastise; scald or scorch with hot liquid or steam
  • Unbritherly - unbrotherly.

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