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Mac Pherson's Farewell
Arrangement Copyright (C) 1999 The Robert Burns Club of Milwaukee
All Rights Reserved. See the full copyright
notice for complete terms and conditions for reproducing this material.
James Mac Pherson was the illegitimate son of a Scots loyalist who,
when he discovered his parentage, left the manor, fell in with the
Jacobite cause and became a freebooter. He was also an expert
fiddler. He was captured and sentenced to hang in Banff in November
of 1700. His sweetheart procured a pardon, but the village officials
had set the town clocks ahead and he was hanged before his time.
Legend has it that Mac Pherson asked for his fiddle before being hanged,
played the Rant, and then broke the fiddle across his knee and threw it
into the open grave that was awaiting him.