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Fiendish Clearances

Composed by John Henderson on 15th May, 2006

By Scotland's mountains, moors and glens,
By torrents, lochs and streams,
Our forebears stayed despite harsh laws,
And poverty's extremes,
Till all were driven from their crofts,
Their cattle, fowl and meal,
To meet their masters' cravings,
For sheep to make their weal.

The measures used by eager lairds
Were merciless and dire.
All squats were met by hirelings
With sword or funeral pyre.
A way of life was soon destroyed.
Its victims scattered wide,
And many chose to emigrate,
And seek restore lost pride.

This selfish story casts a stain
Our history recalls
As the fiendish Highland Clearances
That left the world appalled.
For overseas Scots refugees
Could hardly fail to tell
That the causes for their fleeing
Had been, 'Leave ... or go to hell.'

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