Erskine's Lament

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ERSKINE'S LAMENT. AKA - "Master Erskine's Lament, Killed at the Battle of Pinkie." Scottish. Williamson relates that a "lover's goodnight" called "Departe, Departe" was written to this tune, perhaps by Alexander Scott in the mid-16th century. The original title is given as the alternate. One Arthur Erskine was the Master of Mary Queen of Scots' household, but since the battle of Pinkie was fought when she was a little girl it is unlikely that this was the Erskine referred to. Williamson suggests it may have been his father who was killed. Henry VIII endeavoured to force a union between the young Mary and his son Edward in the so-called "Rough Wooing" in which his troops made a series of military expeditions into Scotland to "kill, burn, and spoil." After Henry died the warfare was contunued by Protector Somerset, as Henry's son Edward (VI) was too young; it was Somerset who defeated a Scottish force at the battle of Pinkie, near Musselburgh, in 1547.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources:

Recorded sources: Flying Fish, Robin Williamson - "Legacy of the Scottish Harpers, vol. 2" (1986).




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