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Updated 04/25/2013


Bonnie Dundee

Bonnie Dundee, better known as John Graham, Viscount Dundee, who died fighting for the Jacobite cause at the Battle of Killiecrankie is immortalized in this song. John Graham of Claverhouse, 1st Viscount Dundee (c.1648 - July 27, 1689) was a Scottish soldier and nobleman. Claverhouse is remembered by history in two distinct characters. Unfavorable records of his supposed persecution of the Covenanters, when he was responsible for policing south-west Scotland during and after the religious unrest and rebellion of the 1670s and 80s, led to Presbyterian historians dubbing him "Bluidy Clavers".  Later, as a general in the Scottish army, Claverhouse remained loyal to King James VII after the so-called Glorious Revolution of 1688. He rallied the loyal Highland clans and, although he lost his life in the battle, led them to victory at Killiecrankie. This first Jacobite rising was unsuccessful, but Claverhouse became a Jacobite hero, acquiring his second soubriquet "Bonnie Dundee".

The song is based on a poem by Sir Walter Scott about the Battle of Killicrankie.  The Battle of Killiecrankie was fought on July 27, 1689 chiefly between highland Scottish clans supporting James II and VII and government troops supporting William of Orange during the Glorious Revolution. About one-third of the highlander force was killed.  Dundee was fatally wounded at the very beginning of the battle.  Although it was a stunning victory for the Jacobites, it had little overall effect on the outcome of the war and with their leader dead, their forces were scattered at the Battle of Dunkeld the next month.


To the Lords o' Convention 'twas Claverhouse spoke
E'er the King's crown go down there are crowns to be broke
So each cavalier who loves honor and me
Let him follow the bonnets o' Bonnie Dundee

Come fill up my cup, come fill up my can
Come saddle my horses and call out my men
Unhook the West Port and let us gae free
For it's up with the bonnets o' Bonnie Dundee

Dundee he is mounted and rides up the street
The bells they ring backward, the drums they are beat
But the provost douce man says just let it be
For the toon is well rid o' that devil Dundee


There are hills beyond Pentland and lands beyond Forth
Be there lords in the south, there are chiefs in the north
There are brave downie wassles three thousand times three
Cry hey for the bonnets o' Bonnie Dundee


And awa tae the hills, tae the lee and the rocks
Ere I own a userper I'll couch with the fox
So tremble false whigs in the mid'st o' yer glee
For ye've no seen the last o' my bonnets and me


During the American Civil War traditional English, Irish, and Scottish songs were often sung or modified. The Confederates did this very often. The song Riding a Raid takes place during the 1862 Antietam Campaign. J.E.B. Stuart's Confederate cavalry set off on a screening movement on the flank of Robert E. Lee's army in order to give Lee time to prepare his army to meet the Union army after Northern general George McClellan had gained information on Lee's location and plans. The Campaign would culminate in the battle of Antietam, or Sharpsburg as the Confederates called it. This would be the bloodiest day in American history and while the battle was indecisive, Lee was forced to abandon any hope of continuing the campaign.


'Tis old Stonewall the Rebel that leans on his sword,
And while we are mounting prays low to the Lord:
"Now each cavalier that loves honor and right,
Let him follow the feather of Stuart tonight."

Come tighten your girth and slacken your rein;
Come buckle your blanket and holster again;
Try the click of your trigger and balance your blade,
For he must ride sure that goes riding a raid.

Now gallop, now gallop to swim or to ford!
Old Stonewall, still watching, prays low to the Lord:
"Goodbye, dear old Rebel! The river's not wide,
And Maryland's lights in her window to guide."


There's a man in the White House with blood on his mouth!
If there's knaves in the North, there are braves in the South.
We are three thousand horses, and not one afraid;
We are three thousand sabres and not a dull blade.


Then gallop, then gallop by ravines and rocks!
Who would bar us the way take his toll in hard knocks;
For with these points of steel, on the line of the Penn
We have made some fine strokes -- and we'll make 'em again