Mudcat Café message #2399912 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #113060   Message #2399912
Posted By: McGrath of Harlow
28-Jul-08 - 07:38 PM
Thread Name: Ye Jacobites By Name -Meaning of a verse
Subject: RE: Ye Jacobites By Name -Meaning of a verse
I think a key to understanding this song is to appreciate that Burns was rewriting a previously existing song of the same name, also in the DT.

Read the two together and you'll see that Burns has significantly changed the song, and turned it from a sectarian-Hanoverian rant to something much more ambiguous. Essentially he seems to be saying saying that it's mad for Scots to fight among themselves. Yes, the Jacobite cause is done for - but there's no sense that he has any affection for the winners. And the lines "Adore the rising sun
And leave a man undone (or alone) To his fate"
seem to carry a payload of scornful irony.