Ye Jacobites by Name
"Ye Jacobites by Name" (Roud # 5517) is a traditional Scottish folk song which goes back to the Jacobite Risings in Scotland (1688–1746). While the original version simply attacked the Jacobites from a contemporaneous Whig point of view, Robert Burns rewrote it in around 1791 to give a version with a more general, humanist anti-war outlook. This is the version that most people know today.
The song (no. 371) was published in 1793 in volume 4 of James Johnson's Scots Musical Museum and in James Hogg's Jacobite Reliques of 1817 (no. 34). It also appears in a collection of Scottish songs entitled Personal Choice by Ewan MacColl. The tune is taken from "My Love's in Germany" by Hector Macneill.
Robert Burns's version
This is the version in Johnson's, Hogg's and MacColl's collections:
Ye Jacobites by name, give an ear, give an ear,
Ye Jacobites by name, give an ear,
Ye Jacobites by name,
Your fautes I will proclaim,
Your doctrines I maun blame, you shall hear, you shall hear
Your doctrines I maun blame, you shall hear.
What is Right, and What is Wrang, by the law, by the law?
What is Right and what is Wrang by the law?
What is Right, and what is Wrang?
A weak arm and a strang,
A short sword, and a lang, for to draw, for to draw
A short sword, and a lang, for to draw.
What makes heroic strife, famed afar, famed afar?
What makes heroic strife famed afar?
What makes heroic strife?
To whet th' assassin's knife,
Or haunt a Parent's life, wi' bluidy war?
Then let your schemes alone, in the state, in the state,
Then let your schemes alone in the state.
So let your schemes alone,
Adore the rising sun,
And leave a man undone, to his fate, to his fate.
And leave a man undone, to his fate.
You Jacobites by Name, now give Ear, now give Ear,
To London as they went, on the Way, on the Way,
Many musicians, including many international bands, have recorded Ye Jacobites, including:
- The Johnstons, on The Barley Corn (1969)
- The Corries, on Live at the Royal Lyceum (1971)
- Tri Yann, on their debut album (1972)
- Tempest, on Surfing To Mecca (1994) as "You Jacobites By Name"
- Seven Nations (then known as Clan Na Gael), on Old Ground (1995)
- Billy Bragg rewrote the lyrics to refer to "Thatcherites" on the EP Bloke on Bloke (1996)
- Fiddler's Green, a German "Independent Irish Speed-Folk" band, on On and On (1997) as "Jacobites"
- Connemara Stone Company, on For One Irland (1998)
- Beth Patterson played a version of it using the Irish bouzouki on Hybrid Vigor (1999)
- Eddi Reader, on The Songs Of Robert Burns (2003)
- Shannon, a Polish Celtic music group, on Green Hypnosis (2003), as guitar ballad,
- Quilty, a band from Sweden, on I'm Here Because I'm Here (2005)
- Beltaine, a Polish Celtic music group, on KoncenTrad (2007)
- Clachán, on Clachán (2008)
- Sherwood, on Sweet Joan (2010)
- chivalry.com, Ye Jacobites By Name
- Johnson, James (1793). Scots Musical Museum: volume 4. Edinburgh: James Johnson. p. 383.
- Hogg, James (1819). The Jacobite relics: volume 1. Edinburgh: William Blackwood. p. 264.
- Ewan MacColl: 1915-1989 A Political Journey on the Internet Archive
- The Contemplator's version with midi file
- [From: The Battle of Falkirk Garland 'printed in the year 1746'] An Excellent new Song on the Jacobites, and the Opression of the Rebels. To the Tune of, Captain Kid. http://mudcat.org/olson/viewpage.cfm?theurl=SONGTXT1.html#YEJACOB
- Digitised copy of volumes 1 and 2 of The Relics of Jacobite Scotland by James Hogg, printed between 1819 and 1821, from National Library of Scotland. JPEG, PDF, XML versions.
- Digitised copy of Scots Musical Museum by James Johnson printed between 1787 and 1803, from National Library of Scotland. JPEG, PDF, XML versions.