By Seumas Mor Maceanruig (Hamish Henderson) to the tune: ‘Johnston’s Motor Car’.
The Seven Men of Knoydart was the name given, to a group of squatters who tried to appropriate land at Knoydart in 1948. The name evoked the memory of the Seven Men of Moidart, the seven Jacobites who accompanied the Young Pretender on his voyage to Scotland in 1745. Comprising seven ex-servicemen, their claim was to be the last land raid in Scotland – from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_Men_of_Knoydart
‘Twas down by the farm of Scottas,
Lord Brocket walked one day,
And he saw a sight that worried him
Far more than he could say,
For the “Seven Men of Knoydart”
Were doing what they’d planned–
They had staked their claims and were digging their drains,
On Brocket’s Private Land.
“You bloody Reds,” Lord Brocket yelled,
“Wot’s this you’re doing ‘ere?
It doesn’t pay as you’ll find today,
To insult an English peer.
You’re only Scottish half-wits,
But I’ll make you understand.
You Highland swine, these Hills are mine!
This is all Lord Brocket’s Land.
I’ll write to Arthur Woodburn, boys,
And they will let you know,
That the ‘Sacred Rights of Property’
Will never be laid low.
With your stakes and tapes, I’ll make you traipse
From Knoydart to the Rand;
You can dig for gold till you’re stiff and cold–
But not on this e’re Land.”
Then up spoke the Men of Knoydart;
“Away and shut your trap,
For threats from a Saxon brewer’s boy,
We just won’t give a rap.
O we are all ex-servicement,
We fought against the Hun.
We can tell our enemies by now,
And Brocket, you are one!”
When he heard these words that noble peer
Turned purple in the face.
He said, “These Scottish savages
Are Britain’s black disgrace.
It may be true that I’ve let some few
Thousand acres go to pot,
But each one I’d give to a London spiv,
Before any Goddam Scot!
“You’re a crowd of Tartan Bolshies!
But I’ll soon have you licked.
I’ll write to the Court of Session,
For an Interim Interdict.
I’ll write to my London lawyers,
And they will understand.”
“Och to Hell with your London lawyers,
We want our Highland Land.”
When Brocket heard these fightin’ words,
He fell down in a swoon,
But they splashed his jowl with uisge,
And he woke up mighty soon,
And he moaned, “These Dukes of Sutherland
Were right about the Scot.
If I had my way I’d start today,
And clear the whole dam lot!”
Then up spoke the men of Knoydart:
“You have no earthly right.
For this is the land of Scotland,
And not the Isle of Wight.
When Scotland’s proud Fianna,
With ten thousand lads is manned,
We will show the world that Highlanders
Have a right to Scottish Land.”
“You may scream and yell, Lord Brocket–
You may rave and stamp and shout,
But the lamp we’ve lit in Knoydart
Will never now go out.
For Scotland’s on the march, my boys–
We think it won’t be long.
Roll on the day when The Knoydart Way
Is Scotland’s battle song.”