Hazel Whyte
The Battle Of The Clans
Composed and sung by Hazel Whyte - Lyrics, Lewry
Scottish Songs and Celtic Ballads
Folk Music
The Battle Of The Clans

Whit started the fued, wha wid ken,
Lost in time and the affairs o' men
Was it MacKay or Mackintosh steel,
Cattle, sheep, land or meal.

This blood ran bad for mony a year
A hatred bathed the clans in fear,
Until King Robert, third of the name,
Said it should end in a bloody game.

Thirty men of each name he'd see
On the North Inch, by steel grey sea,
In battle there tae settle it all,
Honour tae them as didnae fall.

On the braeside stood king and court,
The Mackintosh were one man short,
When a saddler joined them, carrying his brand
For a half French dollar, placed into his hand

Clans stood back, the die was cast
From the kings herald, a single blast,
The fight was on, 'twas blow on blow,
Men bled and died, for his lordships' show.

McKays they fought, the MacKays they fell
A Mackintosh escort, to the Gates O' Hell
As their lordships ate, joked and bet
Green grass was red, bloodied and wet.

Whit started the fued, wha wid ken,
Lost in time and the affairs o' men
Was it MacKay or Mackintosh steel,
Cattle, sheep, land or meal.
The Battle Of The Clans


The Conflict of Clan Chattan and Clan Kay

King Robert III in the year 1396 sent Lindsay, Earl of Crawford, and
Dunbar, Earl of Murray, to supress a violent contest between the
Clans Chattan  (principally MacKintosh here) and Kay (MacKay),
who being numerous, bold, and barbarous, mutually plundered and
murdered each other. They, fearing lest they should not effect the
matter without much bloodshed, had recourse to policy, viz:--That
thirty on each side should enter themselves as champions for
their respective clans, and decide their differences by the sword,
without being allowed any other weapon. This proposal was agreed
to on both sides. The King and his nobility were to be spectators of
the combat. The conquered clans were to be pardoned for all their
former offences, and the conquerors honoured with Royal favour.

The North Inch of Perth, a level spot, so called from being partly
surrounded by water, was to be the scene of action; but upon the
mustering of the combatants, it was found that one of them,
belonging to the Clan Chatten, had absented himself through fear,
and could not be found. It was proposed to balance the difference
by withdrawing one of the Clan Kay; but none of them could be
prevailed upon to resign the honour and danger of the combat. After
various other expedients failing, one Henry Wynd, a smith, decided
to fight, though no way connected with either clan, upon his
receiving a French crown of gold (about the value of seven shillings
and sixpence [in 1764]) which was accordingly paid him.

The encounter was maintained on both sides with inconceivable
fury; but, at length, by the superior valour, strength, and skill of
Henry Wynd, victory declared herself for the clan Chattan. Of them
no more than ten, besides Wynd, were left alive, and all dangerously
wounded. The combatants of the Clan Kay were all cut off, excepting
one, who remained
unhurt, threw himself into the Tay (River), and escaped to the
opposite bank.

This occurred in the year 1396.