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Published on May 11, 2011
The poet Robert Burns lived not long after the Jacobite Uprising of 1745/46. Following the conflict, many songs were written, usually in support of the Jacobite cause. But a few were written putting the government/Hanoverian point of view. When Burns was putting together a collection of songs he had found while going round Scotland, he found one of these and wrote his own version. While Burns had expressed sympathy for the French Revolution, he clearly had no liking for the Jacobites.
Ye Jacobites by name, now give an ear, give an ear, Ye Jacobites by name, give an ear; Ye Jacobites by name, Your fautes I will proclaim, Your docrines I maun blame - you shall hear!
What is Right, and what is Wrang, by the law, by the law? What is Right, and what is Wrang, by the law, What is Right, and what is Wrang, A short sword and a lang, A weak arm and a strang, for to draw!
What makes heroic strife, famed afar, famed afar? What makes heroic strife, famed afar? What makes heroic strife? To whet th' assassin's knife, Or hunt a Parent's life, wi' bluidy war!
Then let your schemes alone, in the State, in the State! Then let your schemes alone, in the State! Then let your schemes alone, Adore the rising sun, And leave a man undone, to his fate.