Lyrics

Cope sent a challenge fae Dunbar
Sayin' "Charlie meet hin ye daur
I'll learn ye the airt o' war
If ye meet me in the mornin'"
Charlie looked the letter upon
He drew his sword its scabbard from
"Follow me my merry men
And we'll meet Johnny Cope in the mornin'"

Hey Johnny Cope are ye wauken yet?
Or are your drums a-beatin' yet?
If ye were wauken I wad wait
Tae gang tae the cauls in the mornin'

"Come now Johnny be as good as your word
And let us try baith fire and sword
Dinnae flee like a frichted bird
That's chased fae it's nest in the mornin'"
Johnny Cope he heard o' this
He said tae himself "Noo it wouldna' be amiss
Gin I saddle my horse in readiness
Tae flee awa' in the mornin'"

Hey Johnny Cope are ye wauken yet?
Or are your drums a-beatin' yet?
If ye were wauken I wad wait
Tae gang tae the cauls in the mornin'

"Fie now Johnny get up and rin'
The Highland bagpipes mak' a din
'Tis better tae sleep in a hale skin
It'll be a bloody mornin'"

Hey Johnny Cope are ye wauken yet?
Or are your drums a-beatin' yet?
If ye were wauken I wad wait
Tae gang tae the cauls in the mornin'

Johnny Cope tae Dunbar came
They spiered at him "Whaur's a' yer men?"
"The de'il confound me, gin ah ken,
For I left them a' in the mornin'"

Hey Johnny Cope are ye wauken yet?
Or are your drums a-beatin' yet?
If ye were wauken I wad wait
Tae gang tae the cauls in the mornin'

"Troth now Johnny ye wernae blate
Tae come wi' the news of your ain defeat
An' leave your men in sic' a strait
Sae early in the mornin'"
"Faith, quo Johnny, I got sic' flegs
Wi' their claymores and philabegs
Gin I face them again de'il brak my legs
So I wish you a' good mornin'"

Hey Johnny Cope are ye wauken yet?
Or are your drums a-beatin' yet?
If ye were wauken I wad wait
Tae gang tae the cauls in the mornin'

Hanoverian General John Cope landed at Dunbar on September 17, 1745, and along with approximately 2.500 troops marched toward Edinburgh. With forces similar in number to the Jacobites, Cope decided to make a stand at Prestonpans and issue a challenge for Prince Charles Edward Stuart to meet him in battle. The Hanoverian defensive position was thought to be ideal, with two stone walls on their right (west), a bog on their left, the sea behind and a deep moat-like ditch in front.

Prince Charles inevitably rose to the challenge. His plans to attack from the west were revised when a local gentleman told of a hidden path through the unguarded bog, which would lead the Highlanders to the enemy camp.

At three AM on September 21, the Jacobites silently mobilized their army, weaving single file through the bog, and formed their ranks in the darkness just 200 paces from the Hanoverians, who discovering their enemy's tactic had hastily swung their forces around and formed their ranks. The attack began just after daybreak.

Incredibly, the action lasted only about fifteen minutes, ending in a total overthrow and almost entire destruction of Cope's army. General Cope lead the few Redcoats that escaped to Berwick, where he was reviled for being the only General who had ever brought first news of his own defeat.

While the attack was in progress, a detachment of sixty Camerons, under Clanranald, was sent to quietly seize the enemy baggage train at Cockenzie. The Camerons easily overcame two companies of the Black Watch and forty additional infantrymen. The baggage would later prove to be of great value to the Jacobites, supplying them with 4.000 English pounds, ample weapons, supplies and most of General Cope's personal effects.

See also this slightly different version of Johnny Cope.

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