Part of this song is old, and part by Burns, as it went through his hands for Johnson's Museum. In Cromek's Remains of Nithsdale and Galloway Song, some other verses are given as belonging to the old song, but they are interpolations by Allan Cunningham.
William Gordon, viscount Kenmure, when the rebellion broke out in the year 1715, left Kenmure, in Galloway, with about 200 horsemen, and joined the Chevalier's forces at Preston in Lancashire. Here he was attacked by General Carpenter and taken prisoner, along with many of his unfortunate followers, to London. The prisoners with their arms pinioned were led on horseback through the principal streets of the metropolis, and were obliged to submit to the hootings and indignities of a London mob. Kenmure was beheaded on Tower Hill on the 24th February, 1716. His fate was much lamented.
Success to Kenmure's band, Willie,
Success to Kenmure's band !
There's no a heart that fears a Whig,
That rides by Kenmure's hand.
Here's Kenmure's health in wine, Willie,
Here's Kenmure's health in wine!
There ne'er was a coward o' Kenmure's blude,
Nor yet o' Gordon's line.
O, Kenmure's lads are men, Willie,
O, Kenmure's lads are men!
Their hearts and swords are metal true;
And that their foes shall ken.
They'll live or die wi' fame, Willie,
They'll live or die wi' fame;
But sune wi' sound and victorie
May Kenmure's lord come hame!
Here's him that's far awa, Willie,
Here's him that's far awa!
And here's the flower that I lo'e best,
The rose that's like the snaw.