Ballads on Mr. Heron’s Election, 1795 Song

Scotland's Favourite Son Ballads on Mr. Heron's Election, 1795 Song Robert Burns

Ballad First

Whom will you send to London town,
To Parliament and a’ that?
Or wha in a’ the country round
The best deserves to fa’ that?
For a’ that, and a’ that,
Thro’ Galloway and a’ that,
Where is the Laird or belted Knight
The best deserves to fa’ that?

Wha sees Kerroughtree’s open yett,
(And wha is’t never saw that?)
Wha ever wi’ Kerroughtree met,
And has a doubt of a’ that?
For a’ that, and a’ that,
Here’s Heron yet for a’ that!
The independent patriot,
The honest man, and a’ that.

Tho’ wit and worth, in either sex,
Saint Mary’s Isle can shaw that,
Wi’ Dukes and Lords let Selkirk mix,
And weel does Selkirk fa’ that.
For a’ that, and a’ that,
Here’s Heron yet for a’ that!
The independent commoner
Shall be the man for a’ that.

But why should we to Nobles jouk,
And is’t against the law, that?
For why, a Lord may be a gowk,
Wi’ ribband, star and a’ that,
For a’ that, and a’ that,
Here’s Heron yet for a’ that!
A Lord may be a lousy loun,
Wi’ ribband, star and a’ that.

A beardless boy comes o’er the hills,
Wi’ uncle’s purse and a’ that;
But we’ll hae ane frae mang oursels,
A man we ken, and a’ that.
For a’ that, and a’ that,
Here’s Heron yet for a’ that!
For we’re not to be bought and sold,
Like naigs, and nowt, and a’ that.

Then let us drink—The Stewartry,
Kerroughtree’s laird, and a’ that,
Our representative to be,
For weel he’s worthy a’ that.
For a’ that, and a’ that,
Here’s Heron yet for a’ that!
A House of Commons such as he,
They wad be blest that saw that.

Ballad Second—Election Day

Tune— Fy, let us a’ to the Bridal.

Fy, let us a’ to Kirkcudbright,
For there will be bickerin’ there;
For Murray’s light horse are to muster,
And O how the heroes will swear!
And there will be Murray, Commander,
And Gordon, the battle to win;
Like brothers they’ll stand by each other,
Sae knit in alliance and kin.

And there will be black-nebbit Johnie,
The tongue o’ the trump to them a’;
An he get na Hell for his haddin’,
The Deil gets na justice ava.

And there will be Kempleton’s birkie,
A boy no sae black at the bane;
But as to his fine Nabob fortune,
We’ll e’en let the subject alane.

And there will be Wigton’s new Sheriff;
Dame Justice fu’ brawly has sped,
She’s gotten the heart of a Bushby,
But, Lord! what’s become o’ the head?
And there will be Cardoness, Esquire,
Sae mighty in Cardoness’ eyes;
A wight that will weather damnation,
The Devil the prey will despise.

And there will be Douglasses doughty,
New christening towns far and near;
Abjuring their democrat doings,
By kissin’ the-o’ a Peer:
And there will be folk frae Saint Mary’s
A house o’ great merit and note;
The deil ane but honours them highly—
The deil ane will gie them his vote!

And there will be Kenmure sae gen’rous,
Whose honour is proof to the storm,
To save them from stark reprobation,
He lent them his name in the Firm.
And there will be lads o’ the gospel,
Muirhead wha’s as gude as he’s true;
And there will be Buittle’s Apostle,
Wha’s mair o’ the black than the blue.

And there will be Logan M’Dowall,
Sculdudd’ry an’ he will be there,
And also the Wild Scot o’ Galloway,
Sogering, gunpowder Blair.
But we winna mention Redcastle,
The body, e’en let him escape!
He’d venture the gallows for siller,
An ’twere na the cost o’ the rape.

But where is the Doggerbank hero,
That made Hogan Mogan to skulk?
Poor Keith’s gane to hell to be fuel,
The auld rotten wreck of a Hulk.
And where is our King’s Lord Lieutenant,
Sae fam’d for his gratefu’ return?
The birkie is gettin’ his Questions
To say in Saint Stephen’s the morn.

But mark ye! there’s trusty Kerroughtree,
Whose honor was ever his law;
If the Virtues were pack’d in a parcel,
His worth might be sample for a’;
And strang an’ respectfu’s his backing,
The maist o’ the lairds wi’ him stand;
Nae gipsy-like nominal barons,
Wha’s property’s paper—not land.

And there, frae the Niddisdale borders,
The Maxwells will gather in droves,
Teugh Jockie, staunch Geordie, an’ Wellwood,
That griens for the fishes and loaves;
And there will be Heron, the Major,
Wha’ll ne’er be forgot in the Greys;
Our flatt’ry we’ll keep for some other,
Him, only it’s justice to praise.

And there will be maiden Kilkerran,
And also Barskimming’s gude Knight,
And there will be roarin Birtwhistle,
Yet luckily roars i’ the right.
And there’ll be Stamp Office Johnie,
(Tak tent how ye purchase a dram!)
And there will be gay Cassencarry,
And there’ll be gleg Colonel Tam.

And there’ll be wealthy young Richard,
Dame Fortune should hing by the neck,
For prodigal, thriftless bestowing—
His merit had won him respect.

And there will be rich brother nabobs,
(Tho’ Nabobs, yet men not the worst,)
And there will be Collieston’s whiskers,
And Quintin—a lad o’ the first.

Then hey! the chaste Interest o’ Broughton
And hey! for the blessin’s ’twill bring;
It may send Balmaghie to the Commons,
In Sodom ‘twould make him a king;
And hey! for the sanctified Murray,
Our land wha wi’ chapels has stor’d;
He founder’d his horse among harlots,
But gied the auld naig to the Lord.

Ballad Third

John Bushby’s Lamentation.

Tune— Babes in the Wood.

‘Twas in the seventeen hunder year
O’ grace, and ninety-five,
That year I was the wae’est man
Of ony man alive.

In March the three-an’-twentieth morn,
The sun raise clear an’ bright;
But oh! I was a waefu’ man,
Ere to-fa’ o’ the night.

Yerl Galloway lang did rule this land,
Wi’ equal right and fame,
And thereto was his kinsmen join’d,
The Murray’s noble name.

Yerl Galloway’s man o’ men was I,
And chief o’ Broughton’s host;
So twa blind beggars, on a string,
The faithfu’ tyke will trust.

But now Yerl Galloway’s sceptre’s broke,
And Broughton’s wi’ the slain,
And I my ancient craft may try,
Sin’ honesty is gane.

‘Twas by the banks o’ bonie Dee,
Beside Kirkcudbright’s towers,
The Stewart and the Murray there,
Did muster a’ their powers.

Then Murray on the auld grey yaud,
Wi’ winged spurs did ride,
That auld grey yaud a’ Nidsdale rade,
He staw upon Nidside.

And there had na been the Yerl himsel,
O there had been nae play;
But Garlies was to London gane,
And sae the kye might stray.

And there was Balmaghie, I ween,
In front rank he wad shine;
But Balmaghie had better been
Drinkin’ Madeira wine.

And frae Glenkens cam to our aid
A chief o’ doughty deed;
In case that worth should wanted be,
O’ Kenmure we had need.

And by our banners march’d Muirhead,
And Buittle was na slack;
Whase haly priesthood nane could stain,
For wha could dye the black?

And there was grave squire Cardoness,
Look’d on till a’ was done;
Sae in the tower o’ Cardoness
A howlet sits at noon.

And there led I the Bushby clan,
My gamesome billie, Will,
And my son Maitland, wise as brave,
My footsteps follow’d still.

The Douglas and the Heron’s name,
We set nought to their score;
The Douglas and the Heron’s name,
Had felt our weight before.

But Douglasses o’ weight had we,
The pair o’ lusty lairds,
For building cot-houses sae fam’d,
And christenin’ kail-yards.

And there Redcastle drew his sword,
That ne’er was stain’d wi’ gore,
Save on a wand’rer lame and blind,
To drive him frae his door.

And last cam creepin’ Collieston,
Was mair in fear than wrath;
Ae knave was constant in his mind—
To keep that knave frae scaith.