The white Hare of Culloden

Le lièvre blanc de Culloden

Anonymous, from Peter Buchan's MS. Collection

A Whig song on Culloden Day

Tune - Mélodie
"Johnnie Cope" (See Johnnie Cope)
Sequenced by Christian Souchon


To the tune:

The tune used to sing the dazzling Jacobite victory at Prestonpans was certainly not chosen at random for this ironic Whig song on Culloden Day and the curious harbinger of doom perceding it.
A propos de la mélodie:

L'air qui ser à chanter l'éclatante victoire Jacobite de Prestonpans n'a certainement pas été choisi au hasard pour accompagner cet ironique chant Whig sur Culloden et le funeste présage de la catastrophe.


THE WHITE HARE OF CULLODEN.
A Whig Song to the "Johnnie Cope" tune

1. Charlie Stuart and his men they stood in a row,
The hare she ran thro' them and awa' she did go,
They all fired at her, but the hare she said no,
As she ran for her life in the morning. (twice)

But the hare she lay down and fell o'er on her back,
When the Prince he saw it his visage turn'd black,
He said to his men, we may a' turn back,
For we'll a' lose our lives in the morning. (twice)

2. " And oh ! " said his nobles, " but where can we flee,
For we are surrounded by land and by sea ?
It's oh ! Charlie Stuart, had we never seen thee,
For we'll a' lose our lives in the morning.
And oh! " said his nobles, " our portion's but sma',
Our houses and lands they are forfeited a',
Our wives and our children they're a' forc'd awa',
And we'll a' lose our lives in the morning."

3. " I wat, Charlie Stuart, you've dane's a mischance,
As to bring ony men over frae France ;
But lead us poor Highlandmen sic a mad dance,
For we're a' sure to die in the morning."
Then in the next morning when daylight came on,
On the field of Culloden the fight did begin,
And wae's me our Highland lads forc'd were to rin,
Or bide an' be shot in the morning.

Source: "Jacobite Songs and Ballads" collected by Gilbert S. McQuoid, published in London in 1888, n° 105, p.252.
LE LIEVRE BLANC DE CULLODEN
Chant Whig sur l'air de "Johnnie Cope"

1. Charles et les siens étaient alignés
Quand un lièvre blanc soudain leurs rangs a traversé
Ils tirent, mais le lièvre est pressé
Et leur file sous le nez à l'aurore. (bis)

Mais le lièvre alors s'est couché sur le dos
Voyant cela, le Prince, penaud,
A dit à ses gens: "Retournons vite chez nous, il le faut,
Sinon, nous périrons tous à l'aurore!" (bis)

2. "Mais, disent ses nobles, où fuirons-nous?
Sur terre et sur mer, on nous encercle de partout.
Fallait-il, Charles, venir chez nous,
Nous allons perdre la vie dès l'aurore.
Mais disent ses nobles, nous avions quelques biens
Et l'on va nous les confisquer c'est certain
Nos femmes, nos enfants de vront se mettre en chemin.
Quant à nous, nous périrons dès l'aurore."

3. "Charles, vous jouez de malchance, je sais,
Lorsque vous avez escompté l'aide des Français.
Mais pourquoi nous avoir entraînés,
Pauvres Highlanders, dans cette galère?"
Le matin suivant lorsque le jour se leva,
La plaine de Culloden vit le combat
Commencer, ne laissant aux Highlanders d'autre choix
Que de fuir ou de périr à l'aurore."

(Trad. Christian Souchon (c) 2010)
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