The Honours

from From The Skein by Jenny Sturgeon

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The Honours of Scotland are said to have been smuggled out of Dunnottar Castle in 1650s by two brave women - Christian Grainger and her serving maid (whose name is unknown). They disguised the Honours - crown, sceptre and sword - and outwitted Overton’s army. It is said that Overton himself helped the women on to their horses.


They set oot fae Kinneff Kirk
Bridgin' the Fiddle Heid
Armed wi skirts and flax and wool
To keep the honours three

Grainger’s wife and serving maid
The Black Hill looming o’er their heids

Overton stood fierce and strong
Blocking all besieging men

But I am just the reverend’s wife
Tae see a friend through times of strife

So he gave in and let them pass
And they gaed doon the narrow path

The sceptre tae her distaff wrapped
Wi’ carded wool around the shaft

The sword inside a skein of flax
Tied up right around the hilt

The crown in tae a basket laid
Covered o’er wi’ fine brocade

And back across the narrow path
Their hearts weighed wi’ their burden low

A line of men stood thick and fast
But they walked on with poise and grace

Overton he stopped them there
Tae help a lady on her mare

With honours three they made their flight
Smuggled oot in broad daylight


from From The Skein, released June 10, 2016
Written by Jenny Sturgeon and featuring Jonny Hardie on fiddle, Davy Cattanach on percussion, Fraser Fifield on whistle. Jenny also plays shruti-box.


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Jenny Sturgeon Scotland, UK

Jenny Sturgeon is a singer-songwriter "who brings together the old and new with a rare skill" (R2 Magazine). Jenny's music is rich with imagery and her songs are bound together by common threads of folklore, nature and the connection people have with the wild. ... more

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