The King's Taxes
The piobaireachd The King's taxes is attributed to Ranald Ban MacDougall, circa the early 1700.
Long ago, when the Gaelic culture ruled in the Highlands, clansmen paid for use of the land mainly through social, civic or military service to the Chieftain. When the King began to regularly and forcefully collect tax money the anguish, whether expressed by cottar or chieftain, as one may imagine would have been extreme.
An excerpt from a poem reflects the sentiment of the time and, of course, exalts a pristine past that never existed:
When the birds in Gaelic sang,
Milk lay like dew upon the lea,
he heather into honey sprang,
And everything was good and free.
No tax or tribute used to fall
On honest men or any rent,
To hunt and fish was free to all,
And timber without price or stent.
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