Finella

April X.J. Pressley

This was my land and in my time
I hunted here on a horse so fine
My hawk on my hand, the world our prey
My hound to the deer at break of day

I little guessed the time would come
T’ would be my turn for to fly and run
High o’er the nests  where my falcon flew
I ran from the ones whose lord I slew

And there’s many a soul has willing told how
He saw Finella fall and die
But late at night the king’s brave soldiers
Swear they saw me jump and fly

His name was Kenneth they called him king
But I never cried him anything
He was fair jealous of my fine young son
I swear that is why he had him hung

The power of law he loved to wield
But he never saw the battlefield
The hangman's rope was how he killed
And how Kenneth kept his coffers filled

And here’s many a soul has willing told how
He saw Finella fall and die
But late at night the king’s brave soldiers
Swear they saw me jump and fly 

Proud Kenneth's boast was every day
One more Scottish thief was done away
Who stole the most from Scotland's shore
It’s still my belief that king stole more

Of my dear son’s life a debt he made
I swore in full  he would be repaid
My final tithe I gladly gave
To lead Kenneth to his royal grave

And here’s many a soul has willing told how
He saw Finella fall and die
But late at night the king’s brave soldiers
Swear they saw me jump and fly

In Fordoun town at Palladius’s shrine
I laid my trap and the king was mine
His eyes cast down he knelt to pray
And that's when I stole his soul away

The king’s men came too slow too late
To save Kenneth from his rightful fate
They knew my name from battles past
So no devil tried  to run too fast

And there’s many a soul has willing told how
He saw Finella fall and die
But late at night the king’s brave soldiers
Swear they saw me jump and fly

 

A song about a very local heroine (or villain) Finella, who killed King Kenneth in the 10th Century and then either fell to her death or leapt through the tree-tops and escaped.- she was a pivotal figure at the point when the crown went from a vote of 50 notables to direct succession, (for the first time from the father not the mother) a crossing-point between the Picts and the Scots- and Kenneth killed her son so his son (Malcolm) would succeed. She was a sorceress, daughter of a Sea-King, and thus I found her very inspiring.