Written by Jim McLean and published by Duart Music, 1963, "Massacre Of Glencoe", "The Massacre Of Glencoe" or simply "Glencoe" is not the first song to be written about this infamous, shameful and senseless act of what would today be called ethnic cleansing in the Scottish Highlands. On February 13, 1692, thirty-eight members of the Macdonald clan were massacred by troops at the behest of the Lord Advocate of Scotland - the senior legal officer. Many more perished in its aftermath, including women and children.
There was a complex political background to this atrocity which in part explains it, but nothing can ever excuse or mitigate such wanton savagery, especially when it is perpertated by essentially members of the same family against their ethnic kin.
The following is an extract from the official orders (with the original spelling): "You are hereby ordered to fall upon the rebels, the M'Donalds, of Glencoe and putt all to the sword under seventy. You are to have special care that the old fox and his sons doe upon no account escape your hands. You are to secure all the avenues, that no man may escape.... This is by the King's special command, for the good of the country, that these miscreants be cutt off root and branch. See that this be putt in execution without feud or favour, else you may expect to be treated as not true to the king's government, nor a man fitt to carry a commission in the king's service. Expecting you will not faill in the fulfilling hereof as you love yourself, I subscribe these with my hand. Master of the Stair (John Dalyrmple)."
Suggestion credit: Alexander Baron - London, England