The Earl of Errol

Lyric as sung by Dick Gaughan

Lord Errol's place is a bonnie place
It stauns on yonder plain
But whit's the use o Errol's place
Whan he's no like ither men?

Wi the rantin o't, an the dantin o't
Accordin as ye ken
The thing thae cry the dauntin o't
Lady Errol lies her lane

"As shair's yer name's Kitty Carnegie
An mine is Gibbie Hay
I'll gar yer faither sell his launs
Yer tocher for tae pay"

"Tae gar my faither sell his launs
Nou that wad be a sin
Tae gie it tae an auchtless laird
That cannae get a son"

Sae she is on tae Edinburgh
For tae try the law
An Errol's followed efter her
His manhood for tae shaw

Then up an spak her sister
Wha's name was Lady Jane
"Had I been Lady Errol
I'd ne'er shamed my ain guidman"

But Errol got it in his will
Tae choose a maid himsel
An he has taen a kintra lass
Cam in her milk tae sell

He's taen her by the white-milk haun
An led her up the stair
"A'll gie tae ye 3 hunnert pouns
Gin ye'll bear tae me an heir"

Thae were laid intae ae bed
An aa the lairds looked on
An aa the 15 vowed an swore
"Lord Errol's proved a man!"

An thair was three thairbutt, thairbutt
An thair was three thairben
An three looked ower the windae heich
Cryin, "Errol's proved a man!"

He's locked his Peggy in a room
Three-quarters o a year
An whan three-quarters thae were done
A braw young son she bare

"Tak back your dochter, Carnegie,
An set her in a glen
For Errol cannae please her -
Nor ony o his men!"

Song Notes

As I said in my notes in the discography, this is really about a bit of aristocratic in-fighting over money. There does appear to be some basis in fact. The Earl in question seems to have been Gilbert Hay, 10th Earl of Errol, who married Catherine Carnegie, second daughter of James, 2nd Earl of Southesk, on the 7th January, 1658. There is actually a record of a court case being brought but the details appear to be lost.

The Errols are direct descendants of Gilbert Hay, Constable of Scotland, one of the signatories of the 1320 Declaration of Arbroath

celtic knotwork

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