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Jamie Raeburn's Farewell

Traditional, arranged by the Tannahill Weavers


A song of enforced emigration, where poor Jamie must leave his native Glasgow, probably for Australia which was, at the time, a penal colony.  We are, unfortunately, left to imagine for ourselves the nature of his crime, there being no clue whatsoever in the song lyrics.  However, the times being what they were, it could have been anything from murder to the theft of the smallest coin of the realm.  Perhaps he was a Scottish pervert - that's a man who prefers women to whisky.


My name is Jamie Raeburn, in Glasgow I was born
My place and habitation I'm forced to leave with scorn
Frae my place and habitation, it's I must gang awa'
Far from the bonnie hills and dales of Caledonia

It was early on one morning, just by the break of day
The turnkey he came to us and unto us did say
Arise you hapless convicts, arise you one and a'
This is the day you are to stray from Caledonia

We all arose, put on our clothes, our hearts were full of grief
Our friends who stood around the coach could grant us no relief
Our parents, wives and sweethearts too, their hears were broke in twa
To see us leave the hills and dales of Caledonia

Farewell my dearest mother, I'm vexed for what I've done
I hope none shall cast up to you the race that I have run
I hope God will protect you when I am far awa'
Far from the bonnie hills and dales of Caledonia

Farewell, my honest father, you were the best of men
And likewise my own sweetheart, it's Catherine is her name
No more we'll walk by Clyde's clear stream or by the Broomielaw
For I must leave the hills and dales of Caledonia



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