The singer meets a man near Auchindoun and asks for news [of the battle at the Haughs o Cromdale]. The man replies, "The Hielan army rues / That e'er it focht at Cromdale." Montrose [James Graham, Marquess of Montrose] rides into battle, turning the tide in his favour. Various Jacobite clans are listed among the victors.
4 verses of 4 lines. Recited fragments.
This song refers to the Battle of Cromdale (1690), in reality a significant Jacobite defeat, but described in this traditional song as a resounding victory.
This song was first printed in James Hogg's 'Jacobite Relics', appearing as a rewrite of an earlier traditional song, supposedly composed as propaganda by the losing Jacobites sometime after 1690. Bizarrely, the song refers to James Graham, Marquess of Montrose, who died some forty years before the events mentioned in the song. There is some speculation that the song mixes the events of the Battle of Cromdale, with those of the Battle of Auldearn (1645), in which Montrose did take part.
See: Greig-Duncan vol. 1, pp. 314-316 '101 Scottish Songs' (N. Buchan, 1962) pp. 91-92 'The Jacobite Relics of Scotland' (J. Hogg, 1819) pp. 3-5 'Ballads of Scotland' vol. 2 (W. E. Aytoun, 1858) pp. 269-273 'Scotish [sic] Songs' vol. 2 (J. Ritson, 1794, 1869) pp. 382-385 'The Scots Musical Museum' vol. 5 (J. Johnson & R. Burns, 1853 edition) pp. 502-503, no. 488