Annie Dunn
About a commonly unsung heroine, a casualty of war that is not usually mentioned in polite company. Annie has two men, both defectors from the military. social commentary, historical
Peak: #510   (150,318 songs currently in Acoustic)
Peak in sub-genre: #45   (13,363 songs currently in Folk)
Upload date
December 03, 2007
Meta data
MP3 3.3 MB, bitrate 128 kbps.
3:33 minutes
Tom Neilson © Tom Neilson 2007
Story behind the song
Annie Dunn's story is one I heard in the Highlands of Scotland.
Twas in the year 18 & 5, a highland lass was she. Her daddy was a farmer growin rye & raisin sheep. Twas early in the mornin when the soldiers come for ‘im & took im off to fight against the French Napoleon. She cut the wood, & pitched the roof, the rain was comin doon When Willie showed upon her step, & not a day too soon He turned the soil & sheered the sheep, she spun it on a loom. He kissed the sweat upon her brow & she showed him to her room. Now Willie was an army man desertin from the war The taste of steel, the smell of shot not wantin anymore & oh how he loved her & worker hard was he The field stone that he cleared could’ve built a church or three. Their 2 year old in her embrace & Annie in his arms. Snuggled on a frosty morn, when Dugger barked alarm. Riders in their coats of red, recruiters for the crown Tore her Willie from her side & took ‘im off to town. Her daddy long ‘d disappeared and Willie 2 years gone When at her door twas I appeared, my face all sunk & drawn. I worked the fields like Willie & father’d to her John & she took me to her room at night when the day was done. Like Willie, I was on the run, leaving war behind. The killing & the slaughter wasn’t for my kind. Four years hence, our Nellie, to the house come runnin Sayin that a stranger from the loch side was a comin. Twas if she’d never lost him and to his arms she flew. But now she had 2 men she loved & both of ‘em were true. With me she had a daughter – with Willie bore a son, And both of us before her were in love with Annie Dunn. Well some folk maybe tell you that we’re livin deep in sin. But greater sin to fight a war that takes away the men & leaves the families behind, survivin as they can. We’ll make it clear to all who hear- We’ll not fight your war again.