The Haughs O’ Cromdale


As I cam in by Auchendoun
Just a wee bit fae the toon
Tae the Hielands I was bound
Tae view the Haughs o’ Cromdale
I met a man in tartan trews
Speired at him what was the news
Quo’ he, “The Hieland army rues
That e’er we cam to Cromdale”

We were in bed sir every man
When the Engligh host upon us cam
A bloody battle then began
Upon the Haughs o’ Cromdale
The English horse they were sae rude
They bathed their hooves in Hielan’ blood
But oor brave clans they boldly stood
Upon the Haughs o’ Cromdale

But alas we could no longer stay
And o’er the hills we cam’ away
Sair we did lament that day
That e’er we cam’ tae Cromdale
Thus the great Montrose did say
Hielan’ Man show me the way
I will over the hills this day
To view the Haughs o’ Cromdale

They were at dinner every man
When great Montrose upon them cam’
A second battle then began
Upon the Haughs o’ Cromdale
The Grant, Mackenzie and MacKay
As Montrose they did espy
Then they fought most valiantly
Upon the Haughs o’ Cromdale

The MacDonalds they returned again
The Camerons did their standards join
MacIntosh played a bloody game
Upon the Haughs o’ Cromdale
The Gordons boldly did advance
The Frasers fought with sword and lance
The Grahams they made the heids tae dance
Upon the Haughs o’ Cromdale

Then the loyal Stewarts wi’ Montrose
So boldly set upon their foes
Laid them low wi’ Hieland blows
Played them all on Cromdale
Of twenty thousand Cromwell’s men
A thousand fled tae Aberdeen
The rest o’ them lie on the plain
There on the Haughs o’ Cromdale

From The Scottish Minstrel, and Hogg’s Jacobite Reliques. Brander says: The ballad of ‘The Haughs o’ Cromdale’ is taken from Hogg’s Jacobite Reliques. It was originally produced to describe this battle and as it has a catchy tune was soon being sung all over the Highlands. This seems to have been too much for some unknown bard and, in an effort to redeem the description of this defeat of the clans in 1690, he added on a somewhat highflown description of Montrose’s victory at Auldearn over the Covenanter army in 1645. Thus the two battles, forty-five years and a considerable number of miles apart, were unceremoniously joined together. The gallant Montrose, who had been dead for over forty years, was brought to life in verse to win another battle. The result is a horribly muddled ballad, but one which has been immensely popular. To the strains of the pipes playing this tune the Highlanders have charged and won battles all round the world.