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The Ghost of Glen Nees na Nochin ©

Sandy Cowan
Kirkcudbright, Scotland
some years ago

Far below Ben Nees na Nochin,
Where the Nochin river springs,
Where amongst the mist and heather,
Where on loft the lavrock sings.

There Donald McUsquebae stands,
Unlike when he was alive,
He hasnae touched a drop o’ whisky.
Not since seventeen forty five.

When bonnie Charlie led his army,
And stopped to drink the Nochin burn,
Drink the clear snow melted water,
From crystal glintin’ in the sun.

Donald could not drink the water,
Without a wee bit something in,
Then another, then another,
Till the light was growin’ thin.

Donald lay down in the heather,
And the snow fell all around,
Charlie went back where he came from,
And left the glen without a sound.


Then one Summer evening, campers,
Camping in Glen Nees na Nochin,
Drinking whisky by the river,
Brought old Donald round them stalkin’.

The campers left a glass unguarded,
Donald wouldn’t see it wasted,
But as a ghost he couldna’ grip it,
So the glass remained untasted.

Oh, how Donald was heartbroken,
heartbroken he could never swallow,
Instead of whisky on his lips there
Rolled a great big tear of sorrow.

Now Donald’s heart was in those tears,
His legs, his arms and body too,
Tears drippin’ gently in the whisky,
Till they both were mixed right through.

The campers lifted up their glasses,
And drunk the draft without a sound,
And in that Glen o’ Nees na Nochin,
There they drunk poor Donald down.


Now Donald lives inside the camper,
Though not as pretty as the glen,
The campers like a drappie something,
To keep them happy now and then.

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