Poetry Corner: Cam Ye O’er By France

Patrick Gordon was born on 31st of March 1635 in Auchleuchries, Aberdeenshire.

Patrick Gordon

Leaving Scotland at the age of 16 (due to the  religious persecution of Catholics) for Europe he served in both the Swedish and Polish armies. Many Scots already served in the Tsar’s forces and Gordon joined them. His distinguished service only ended with the Tsars when he died after falling ill in 1694 at the age of 64.

Patrick Gordon's grave

The great Russian historian, S.М. Soloviev, regarded Patrick Gordon as “one of the most remarkable men” ever employed by the tsars. You can read more about him here: General Patrick Gordon

Cam Ye O’ER Frae France

Cam ye o’er frae France? Cam ye down by Lunnon?
Saw ye Geordie Whelps and his bonny woman?
Were ye at the place ca’d the Kittle Housie?
Saw ye Geordie’s grace riding on a goosie?

Geordie, he’s a man there is little doubt o’t;
He’s done a’ he can, wha can do without it?
Down there came a blade linkin’ like my lordie;
He wad drive a trade at the loom o’ Geordie.

Though the claith were bad, blythly may we niffer;
Gin we get a wab, it makes little differ.
We hae tint our plaid, bannet, belt and swordie,
Ha’s and mailins braid—but we hae a Geordie!

Jocky’s gane to France and Montgomery’s lady;
There they’ll learn to dance: Madam, are ye ready?
They’ll be back belyve belted, brisk and lordly;
Brawly may they thrive to dance a jig wi’ Geordie!

Hey for Sandy Don! Hey for Cockolorum!
Hey for Bobbing John and his Highland Quorum!
Mony a sword and lance swings at Highland hurdie;
How they’ll skip and dance o’er the bum o’ Geordie!


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