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A Song to Donald Ban Son of Donald Dubh, Laird of Lochiel
(alternate title: Oran Do Loch Iall / A Song to Lochiel)
by Alexander Cameron of Dochanassie
January 1746

VERSION "A" (ENGLISH)

Here’s health to my hero
Tis right full to fill it
And to keep it in practice
As truly a fashion;
Every man who dislikes it
I shall leave him a-thirsting
To drink it were pleasant
In wine or in brandy
So pleasant, so pleasant.

Young Donald from Lochaber
Thy health may I see drunk around me,
The youth faithful, commanding
And in danger unflinching;
Little wonder that pride shines
So high in thy visage
While so much blood royal
Does run by thy shoulders
So much blood, so much blood.

It was shown at Gladsmuir
Thou excelledst in valour
Thy spirit tookst from thy grandsire
Who of hosts was commander;
And my hope’s in the Trinity
If this thing came to triumph
I’ll see thee win a Dukedom
When that crown has been gained
As a duke, as a duke.

Nor did that coward rabble
Take to fleeing in safety
For many a red-coat
Lay on the field headless
And arms from their shoulders
And crowns off were stricken
By the keen, mighty heroes
Haughty, and fearless
By the strength of men,
By the strength of men.

VERSION "A" (GAELIC)

0 deoch-slainte mo ghaisgich,
'S coir a faicinn 'ga lionadh,
Us a cumail an cleachdadh
Mar fasan da rireadh;
H-uile fear leis nach ait i
F'agam esan an iotadh;
Bhith 'ga h-ol gur h-e b'annsa
Ma's branndaidh no fion i
gur e b'annsa, gur e b'annsa.

'S a Dhomhnuill oig Abraich,
Do shlainte gum faic mi mun'n cuairt i;
An t-og firinneach smachdail
Nach robh tais an am cruadail;
'S beag iongnadh an t-ardan
Bhith gu h-ard ann ad ghruaidhean,
'S a liuthad fuil rioghail
Tha sioladh mu d'ghuillibh.
‘s a liuthad fuil, 's a liuthad fuil

'S dearbhadh air sin Sliabh a' Chlamhain
Gun d'fhuair sibh barrachd an cruadal,
Thug thu an duthchas o d'sheanair,
B'ard-cheannard air sluagh e;
Tha mo dhuil anns an Trianaid,
Ma's ni thig gu buaidh e,
Gum faic mi thu ad Dhiuca
An deidh an crun ud a bhuannachd.
'is ‘nad Dhiuc', 'is ‘nad Dhiuc’

Cha b'e siubhal na slainte
Bh'aig a' ghraisg us a'teicheadh,
'S iomadh cota ruadh maduir
Bh'anns an araich gun leithcheann,
Agus slinnein o'n ghualainn
Agus cnuac chaidh a leagail
Le luths nam fear laidir
Ghabh an t-ardan gun eagal.
le luths nam fear, le luths nam fear
le luths nam fear, le luths nam fear

VERSION "B" (ENGLISH)

Here's a health to my hero,
'Tis right full to fill it,
And to keep it in practice
As truly a fashion;
Every man who dislikes it
I shall leave him a-thirsting,
To drink it were pleasant
In wine or in brandy

If it's good fiery brandy,
Bring it down now to see it,
I would hold up a quaich full
In front of my forehead;
Ill becomes it to comrades
Not to love one another,
To all who it pleases -
Here's a health to the Rebels!

Young Donald from Lochaber
Thy health may I see drunk around me,
The youth faithful, commanding
And in danger unflinching;
Little wonder that pride shines
So high in thy visage,
While so much blood royal
Does run by thy shoulders.

For indeed much blood fruitful
Does course 'neath thy clothing,
From Manus Mac Cairbre's
Race, well-armed and valiant;
With their spotted double targets
And their strong coats of armour,
When they charged in the onset,
Retreat did they never.

And thy kinsmen are many
To be seen here in Scotland,
To Sleat thou'rt related
And the young heir of Dreòllainn,
To Mac Shim of the banners
In need's hour not faint-hearted,
And young Ewen of Cluny
And his folk would rise with thee.

The Marquis of Enzie
And Perth's Duke would rise with thee,
And likewise Clan Chattan
With their blue, keen-edged weapons,
Mac Mhic Ranald of Keppoch
With his clean-limbed, brave clansmen,
And Mac Iain Stewart of Appin
A chieftain unyielding.

Of thy clansmen thou'rt certain
Wherever thou goest,
Pity whom meets their anger,
In need's hour they're not timid;
Well-armed, equipped, loyal,
Unaccustomed to yielding,
And the sound of their firing
Would leave their foes prostrate.

It was shown at Gladsmuir
Thou excelledst in valour,
Thy spirit tookst from thy grandsire
Who of hosts was commander;
And my hope's in the Trinity,
If this thing come to triumph,
I'll see thee win a Dukedom
When that crown has been gainèd.

At Falkirk, 'gainst Hawley,
Thou didst excel all his army,
When the enemy turned
In six ranks on the hillside;
Thou flinchedst not from the danger
With thy ancestor's courage,
When thy clan drew together
The beasts took to fleeing.

Nor did that coward rabble
Take to fleeing in safety,
For many a red-coat
Lay on the field headless,
And arms from their shoulders
And crown off were stricken,
By the keen, mighty heroes
Haughty, and fearless.

Woe betide him who would thwart them
Aflame for the battle,
With my loved one a-leading,
A champion in the fighting;
Whene'er thy banner was raisèd
By the fine fearless heroes,
Their strong arms a-striking
Would leave Englishmen lifeless.

Editor's Notes:  With references to the battles of Gladsmuir (Prestonpans - September 21, 1745) and Falkirk (January 17, 1746) but no mention of the battle of Culloden (April 16, 1746) the author must have written this work sometime within a three month "window."  Due to the positive tone at this composition's end, it is highly doubtful that he wrote this on or after February 1st, since the retreat to the Highlands began that day and many soldiers were disillusioned and "struck with amazement."  Many even left their regiments at this time and headed to their homes.  Therefore, we date this work to late January, 1746, during the two weeks that followed the battle, when the men of Lochiel had secured the town of Falkirk and were encamped with their fellow Jacobites awaiting their next commands.