This song is referring to the Siege of Lucknow (1857), which was one of a series of sieges and battles collectively known as the Indian Mutiny of 1857-8. Disillusioned with British rule in India, large numbers of Indian soldiers, or 'sepoys', rose up in protest. Almost ninety days into the siege at the British Residency in Lucknow, Sir Henry Havelock and the forces under his command managed to break through the revolt and enter. Despite their efforts, the siege continued for a futher two months until the arrival of a Highland Regiment led by Sir Colin Campbell. It is claimed their arrival was heralded by the sound of bagpipes playing 'Auld Lang Syne'. Jessie Brown is purported to have been the wife of a British soldier stationed at Lucknow.