DESCRIPTION: "I've spent my time in rioting, Debauch'd my health and strength... But now, alas! at length, I'm brought to punishment direct." MacPherson laments that he is to be hanged, blames the Laird of Grant and Peter Brown, and tells people to live well
EARLIEST DATE: 1829 (Chambers)
KEYWORDS: punishment execution betrayal outlaw
Nov 16, 1700 - Execution of James MacPherson
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland)
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Ord, pp. 444-445, "M'Pherson's Farewell" (1 text)
BBI, ZN1339, "I spent my time in rioting, debauch'd my health and stength" (?)
ADDITIONAL: Robert Chambers, The Scottish Songs (Edinburgh, 1829), Vol I, pp. 85-87, "MacPherson's Rant"
cf. "MacPherson's Lament" (subject)
NOTES: Often treated (e.g. by Roud) as a variant of the now-better-known "MacPherson's Lament," the two have so little in common that it seems certain that the two are separate. There is, at the very least, a great deal of editing (by Burns?) separating the two.
This piece, which can be told from the other by the first line in the description, is much poorer poetry; nonetheless, it is generally held to be older. I doubt it's traditional by origin; it reads like a moralizing broadside. - RBW
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