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)
December 03, 2007
MP3 3.3 MB, bitrate 128 kbps.
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.