“Flora's Lament for her Charlie”


Flora and Charlie go "out for to gaze, On the bonny, bonny banks of Benlomond." Both are leaving and they will never meet again. She describes him. "My true love was taken by the arrows of death, And now Flora does lament for her Charlie"


Broadside NLScotland RB.m.168(178) is the basis for the description.

The first two verses are very close to "Loch Lomond," as described in the notes to that song.

The commentary to broadside NLScotland, RB.m.168(178) notes that, after her involvement in Charles's escape, Flora "was tracked and was imprisoned by the Hanoverians and she spent a year in the tower of London. She was eventually released in 1747 and died in 1790." Charlie is Charles Edward (1720-1788), grandson of James II. - BS

There are several of these "Flora's Lament" type songs, some of which may in fact be the same. (This looks rather like "Flora MacDonald's Lament with a "Loch Lomond" preface tacked on.) This one gets one thing mostly right: Charles Stuart and Flora MacDonald never did meet again. But it was hardly along-sundered love; Flora married as early as 1750. For details, see "Flora MacDonald's Lament,"- RBW

Cross references


  • Murray, Mu23-y3:013, "Flora's Lament For Her Charlie," R. McIntosh (Glasgow), 19C.
  • NLScotland, RB.m.168(178), "Flora's Lament for her Charlie," R. McIntosh (Glasgow), c.1849


Author: unknown
Earliest date: c.1849 (broadside, NLScotland RB.m.168(178))
Found in: Ireland