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The Flower of Scotland

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FLOWER OF SCOTLAND
THE FLOWER OF SCOTLAND


Related threads:
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(origins) Origin: Flower of Scotland (Roy Williamson) (104)
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Flower of Scotland, official? (51)
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GUEST 24 Jun 21 - 06:50 PM
Allan Conn 24 Jun 21 - 05:51 PM
Tattie Bogle 24 Jun 21 - 05:25 PM
GUEST 24 Jun 21 - 01:21 PM
Tattie Bogle 24 Jun 21 - 09:25 AM
Vic Smith 23 Jun 21 - 03:13 PM
GUEST 23 Jun 21 - 02:33 PM
Allan Conn 23 Jun 21 - 08:14 AM
GUEST 23 Jun 21 - 02:52 AM
DonMeixner 22 Jun 21 - 08:35 PM
Tattie Bogle 22 Jun 21 - 07:07 PM
Vic Smith 21 Jun 21 - 08:47 AM
GUEST 21 Jun 21 - 05:10 AM
Howard Jones 21 Jun 21 - 04:28 AM
Johnny J 20 Jun 21 - 04:31 AM
Jack Campin 19 Jun 21 - 08:35 PM
Tattie Bogle 19 Jun 21 - 07:12 PM
Johnny J 19 Jun 21 - 07:14 AM
GUEST,ActiusAquila 14 Feb 19 - 08:00 PM
peteglasgow 14 Feb 19 - 07:30 PM
GUEST,Sol 14 Feb 19 - 05:57 PM
Tattie Bogle 14 Feb 19 - 05:07 PM
meself 14 Feb 19 - 01:39 PM
GUEST,Allan Conn 14 Feb 19 - 12:48 PM
GUEST,ActiusAquila 14 Feb 19 - 10:50 AM
GUEST,Observer 14 Feb 19 - 08:02 AM
Tattie Bogle 14 Feb 19 - 06:55 AM
GUEST,Dave D 14 Feb 19 - 06:17 AM
GUEST 14 Feb 19 - 05:09 AM
GUEST,Allan Conn 14 Feb 19 - 02:41 AM
GUEST,Miranda 13 Feb 19 - 09:05 PM
GUEST,Allan Conn 13 Feb 19 - 06:48 PM
Tattie Bogle 13 Feb 19 - 04:50 PM
Dave Hanson 13 Feb 19 - 02:37 PM
GUEST,DTM 13 Feb 19 - 02:09 PM
GUEST,Allan Conn 13 Feb 19 - 12:59 PM
GUEST,ActiusAquila 13 Feb 19 - 09:55 AM
GUEST,Allan Conn 13 Feb 19 - 09:53 AM
GUEST,Miranda 13 Feb 19 - 09:46 AM
Dave Hanson 12 Feb 19 - 02:54 PM
GUEST,kenny 12 Feb 19 - 12:03 PM
GUEST,Dave D 12 Feb 19 - 10:58 AM
GUEST 12 Feb 19 - 10:57 AM
GUEST,kenny 12 Feb 19 - 10:09 AM
Dave Hanson 12 Feb 19 - 09:57 AM
GUEST,Alan 12 Feb 19 - 07:51 AM
GUEST,Alan 12 Feb 19 - 07:49 AM
GUEST,kenny 12 Feb 19 - 06:36 AM
goatfell 12 Feb 19 - 05:22 AM
GUEST,ActiusAquila 11 Feb 19 - 07:32 PM
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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Jun 21 - 06:50 PM

Going back,' Flower of Scotland' was written during the period when there was a need for the radical movement, and the the use of past history was a propaganda tool to promote the nationalist movement.   We have moved past that, even if we don't have independence yet. We have the SNP in power.. and a devolved government We should stop using the past like the Bruce etc, stop singing and chanting about sending anyone home tae think again (England!!) and start promoting today's Scotland in modern common shared language. One of the reasons why Flower of Scotland has stood the test of time (even if I don't like it), and can be belted out by all, is that it does use ordinary common language which bypasses regional dialects. "Tae" is about the only use of Scots, and it is an easy word not much different to the word it replaces.


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: Allan Conn
Date: 24 Jun 21 - 05:51 PM

Certainly not a dead language. I myself would regard myself as having Border Scots as my first tongue. Over a million Scots speak Scots to some degree. Fair do there is then the current spoken dialects and there is then the more literary version which uses the odd archaic word not much used in normal day to day use.


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 24 Jun 21 - 05:25 PM

Well, I agree with some of what you say, Guest, in that a good anthem must have popular appeal and be understood by the broad masses of the said country. And yes, there is a fragmentation in this era of a massive explosion of TV channels, Netflix and the like.
Not so sure about the "esoteric relatively dead language" when so much effort is being put into to getting kids in school to understand and speak Scots, Doric, Gaelic, which have all been suppressed in the past.


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Jun 21 - 01:21 PM

This is the problem when it comes to anthems.. we need to drop the chip on our shoulder ancient historical crap of 'flower...'.   Drop the archaic language of Auld Scots, which nobody understands..or twee heather and haggis of Scotland the Brave, and have something that represents a modern and vibrant Scotland in its new multi-cultural form. We need to look forward (even if we are a bit rubbish at football). Kids need to be able to understand any anthem.. esoteric relatively dead language which appeals amongst a limited audience is not the answer, though folk singers may get it and need to preserve their end. It is really difficult to invent something to order.. and get it into consciousness.. the unified viral spread of songs among a mass audience that happened in the days when we all listened to radio, the same TV and theatre, when music itself crossed generations, is so difficult in this fragmented age.


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 24 Jun 21 - 09:25 AM

Well there’s another that has been proposed as a Scottish national anthem: written in broad Scots, so even tougher to learn than “Scotland the Brave”, even for they wha aye spik the leid. I have learned “Freedom Come All Ye” as have many of my folk friends,: it only took me about 5 years - but I would think it is little known outwith such circles. I believe Hamish Henderson himself said he intended it as an international anthem rather than a national one.


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: Vic Smith
Date: 23 Jun 21 - 03:13 PM

However badly I rate Flower of Scotland it cannot reach the drivelling doggerel heights of another anthem, especially the second verse which runs:-
O Lord our God arise,
Scatter our enemies,
And make them fall!
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks,
On Thee our hopes we fix,
God save us all!

In future when I watch any Scotland v. England international on the television and anthems are being sung at the start, I will just have to mute the volume and sing to myself: -
Roch the wind in the clear day’s dawin
Blaws the cloods heelster-gowdie ow’r the bay......


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Jun 21 - 02:33 PM

Through the prism of time.. some 1992 press pieces that illustrate the unsolvable FOS terrace anthem dilemma which still continues.   It is all a circular debate.

A FORMER BBC TV producer is mounting a solo campaign to get the rugby anthem Flower of Scotland banned from the terraces. Lifelong rugby fan Peter Whiteford (63), who thinks the song is racist and provocative, has taken up the issue in two national newspapers and may now extend his protest to the Scottish Rugby Union. Mr Whiteford, a Scot, said today; “That racist bar-room ballad responsible for an upsurge of nationalism and a decline in sportsmanship at Murrayfield.” SRU secretary Bill Hogg said: “We are delighted to play Flower of Scotland at Murrayfleld. Scotland is an individual country and as such, needs a separate tune.” Aberdeen Evening Express.

‘Brave’ choice SIR, Rugby Union gives us Flower of Scotland before matches, while football fans give us Scotland the Brave. Flower of Scotland is a dirge, appearing almost to be sorry for being a Scot, while Scotland the Brave is a delightful song, depicting people happy to be alive. Without a doubt, Scotland the Brave is easily the better of the two national songs and is more tuneful. The image of the dour, unhappy Scot is not a good one: the cheerful Scot is far more companionable. Is it not more beneficial for Scots to be seen as a cheerful people like our football supporters? Although an occasional moan is helpful, it is better if we were not to be seen as a nation always moaning about our lot. Peter G. Mitchell, 52 Fife Street, Keith. Aberdeen P & J

"Tartan Army fine tuned -THE Tartan Army has no excuse for not being word perfect when Scotland’s “national anthem’’ is played before the World Cup tie In Switzerland tonight. For copies of the Scotland The; Brave lyrics have been flown out specially to the official Scotland travel club’s 4,000 members. No longer can they hum and haw when the band strikes up prior to Scotland’s World Cup opening tune in Berne. Martin Row, secretary of the Scottish Federation of Supporters Clubs, said yesterday: “We thought it was about time our lads on the terracing knew the words, even if It’s difficult keeping up with the tune. Most of them would actually prefer ‘Flower of Scotland’.’’ Aberdeen P & J


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: Allan Conn
Date: 23 Jun 21 - 08:14 AM

The lyric to me is not talking about 'rising' as in an actual 'rebellion' as it states the days of conflict are in the past and must remain in the past. Surely it is just talking about becoming an independent nation again? About standing alongside the other nations on your own right.

I get it that some people don't like it but facts are it was the people's choice. It had become the anthem of both the football and rugby terraces before GSTQ was dropped. So it isn't a song foisted on folks from above. I agree sometimes during the anthem itself it doesn't always work - but actually the crowd just started singing it half way through the second half last night and it sounded great like that. Corries did a more uptempo version too - see link below.

As to its quality well that is down to personal taste. It isn't something we do regularly at our pub session - but when we do it is usually because a tourist has requested it. It seems to be incredibly popular among French, Germans etc. So it must have something going for it when these folks have no axe to grind. I know some folk really like it because they believe in independence but equally it seems at least some are put off it because of their own unionist prejudices. One of these songs though that, yes when we do sing it, just about the whole place joins in.

It obviously has its political message but I think it is pretty clear vast amounts of folks sing it while not sharing the same ideals as the composer. Murrayfield is hardly a bastion of ardent nationalists

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vyx1xeZo_tk


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Jun 21 - 02:52 AM

Re- the simplicity of the lyric and ease of singing - that is the problem with the like of 'Scotland the Brave'. It has a stirring tune - great on pipes and brass - but when fitted with words impossible for the public to assimilate and reproduce with vocals no matter what words are fitted. Flower has that simplicity for any drunk to chant and raucously belt out - even if it is dated turgid, slightly anti-English historical drivel. In reality no-one can rise up about very much these days as we live in a woke, police state, with governments of all persuasions who don't take kindly to that kind of thing. Plus there is really no such thing as a single nation, we are always divided into factions and always have been. It is always an irony to me that the words state that 'those days are past now and in the past they must remain' - then it contradicts itself by talking about rising etc.- whether that be metaphorical or real is left to the singer/listener. Certainly in football terms we really do need hope to rise again!


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: DonMeixner
Date: 22 Jun 21 - 08:35 PM

I find that I sing the song not as a "song for or against anyone kind of song" but a song wondering where all the people with guts have gone. In the US I am as anti-war as is possible to be. But I understand a call to duty that is felt so strong that a person will stand against a foe they have no hope of defeating. That how I hear Roy's song. Not a bar room full of brass rail athletes singing in various keys.

Is it a good anthem? I don't know what makes a good anthem. Ours is poem which was set to a drinking hymn and it is too hard to sing by most folks. I have heard several others I would prefer to ours.   At least Flower has the benefit of being easy to sing and with relative simplicity of lyric.

Don


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 22 Jun 21 - 07:07 PM

Yes, we all love “Hermless” in Scotland, but Michael Marra’s suggestion of it for an anthem for Scotland was hugely tongue in cheek! Can you seriously imagine it being sung at big state occasions, sporting fixtures and the like? Not in a million years, but still very happy to sing it in every pub session (whatever happened to them?) - a Scottish pub anthem but never a national anthem!
Re Flower of Scotland and that thing about the pipe scale; we just get used to it! Not a big deal!


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: Vic Smith
Date: 21 Jun 21 - 08:47 AM

I am also Scot-born and like the previous poster, I loathe Flower of Scotland finding it facile and without merit in melody or lyric. How can such dirge like words be regarded as having an appeal to the better parts of Scottish people when the only person mentioned in it is a foreign enemy?
The appeal is to an outdated and outmoded bellicosity which has no place in an integrated and mutually dependant modern world. I knew that great songwriter, Michael Marra quite well and we shared out mutual disdain of the song. Not long after one of our conversations about it, Micheal sent me a copy of his recently completed song Hermless which he suggested as a suitable alternative candidate for a national anthem. In this live version, he says something about the song before singing it.

https://youtu.be/QtB65M_ejbA


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Jun 21 - 05:10 AM

I am Scottish and loathe "flower..." It is a horrible dirge but has a suitably repetitive and memorable hook- that can be sung by drunks and cranks everywhere. Like Covid it is impossible to eradicate, as it went viral.   It is now a true folk song in entering consciousness with the little chanted word that people add. No matter if you come up with something else, it simply can't fall out of favour as its self-perpetuating down generations. It is also currently a copyright work, but full copyright in folk terms can never be controlled with football music.   It embodies the retro nastiness of Bruce, Wallace (yawn) and all the centuries chip on our shoulder trash that Scotland won't let go of. All nationalist anthems have a superiority complex.. and this unofficial one certainly does - which is why it remains popular.    The camp 'yes sir I can boogie' disco one is interesting as it breaks the mould, with no real connection to anything, but it is the viral football chant gone rogue!


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: Howard Jones
Date: 21 Jun 21 - 04:28 AM

As an Englishman I have no problem with the lyrics of 'Flower of Scotland' (although when I attended an England-Scotland match at Marrayfield I found the pre-match whipped-up agressive atmosphere disturbing). The problem with it as an anthem is that the tune with its distinctive flattened 7th doesn't fit into the scale of the bagpipes. Modifying the tune to fit the bagpipe scale greatly reduces its power (which is perhaps why the crowd keeps singing after the band stops). If it were to be officially adopted perhaps a key could be added to the GHP chanter to play the missing note?


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: Johnny J
Date: 20 Jun 21 - 04:31 AM

Trish, I read about the bouzouki in the local Evening News. So, some of us read it after all. ;-)
I'd like to see it for myself when possible.

I'm surprised that the young footballers remember that song which came out in 1977 but they must still have played it in Spanish night clubs and the like.


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 Jun 21 - 08:35 PM

Surely our new national anthem is "Yes Sir, I Can Boogie"?


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 19 Jun 21 - 07:12 PM

I agree with much of what you say there, Johnny J: it has been a subject of much heated debate, not just on music forums but in Scottish newspapers and there have even been song-writing competitions to write a new anthem for Scotland. It doesn't sound its best when bellowed by a raucous melee of legless supporters after a football/rugby match!
Incidentally, that video you posted shows Roy Williamson's original bouzouki, which sort of disappeared off the planet for many years, and has just recently been saved for the nation by a fundraising appeal: it is to be housed in future in Scotland's excellent museum collection of historic instruments at St Cecilia's Hall, just off the Cowgate in Edinburgh - well worth a visit if you are allowed into Scotland at present (and probably need to book an appointment! (Note St Cecilia is patron saint of music!)
See:
Roy Williamsons' Bouzouki


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: Johnny J
Date: 19 Jun 21 - 07:14 AM

Just thought I'd revisit this thread after last night's glorious draw.
;-)

I've read the comments with interest and, personally, I don't believe the song was intended to be anti English. At least, not towards the English people of today.

While Roy was undoubtably a supporter of Independence, he wasn't advocating going to war with England or wishing them any ill will.
While he wanted Scotland to rise, be strong, and a nation once again, I'm fairly sure he didn't mean that it should be at the expense or detriment or any other country.
In fact, the lyrics actually state "These days are passed now and in the past they *must* remain"..

If you listen to the original recording, you'll hear that it is actually a very reflective and thoughtful performance.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiyLuv3GSs4

While it's not my favourite song, I feel that it has been much maligned by some but also hijacked by others who have misinterpreted its original concept. For that reason, I'm not sure it is best suited as a Scottish anthem but it seems to be the "de facto" choice.


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: GUEST,ActiusAquila
Date: 14 Feb 19 - 08:00 PM

OK, Allan, I apologize, you know what you're talking about more than I do here. But yes, people will find every way to be offended if they want to be offended. That's kinda part of what I wanted to say, hence my reading too much into it.

I agree with Tattie 100%. It's amazing when the piper stops piping and the crowd sings without the pipe or a singer leading them on, because they don't need either of them. At that point FoS is just beautiful, though I sort of wish Ronnie would sing it again (he just sings as one of the crowd now, apparently), and it's so sad that Roy never got to lead the crowd in singing the song he wrote himself. At least he got to see them singing it in 1990, he was supposedly smiling all the way through!


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: peteglasgow
Date: 14 Feb 19 - 07:30 PM

yes, i've heard that. the insult 'sassenach' actually referred to lowland scots fighting with - or for- the english. fulfilling the same role as unionists today in their sad battle against independent scotland.


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: GUEST,Sol
Date: 14 Feb 19 - 05:57 PM

At Culloden in 1746(Jacobites v Duke of Cumberland's British Army), there were apparently more Scots (probably lowlanders)fighting with Cumberland than with Chairlie. If that was the case, it is misleading to describe the battle as a "Scotland v England" encounter.
AFAIK, the '45 Rising was an attempt to reinstate a Catholic monarch on the throne of Scotland.


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 14 Feb 19 - 05:07 PM

Ronnie has not sung Flower of Scotland at Murrayfield for a long time! He said he found it too emotional the last time he did (thinking of Roy): what I find emotional now is that for several seasons we've had pipes leading the first verse, but then they stop playing and the crowd does the last verse a capella: we don't need any opera singers to lead it! (Oh, and I'm sure the Princess Royal who goes to the matches as patron, has been caught on camera joining in the singing - far from being offended!)


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: meself
Date: 14 Feb 19 - 01:39 PM

I would have thought that the singing of most of these Jacobite songs are understood today to be harmless excursions into the glories and drama of some misty romantic past that never quite was. Of course, I'm in North America - but if the singing of, say, Sound the Pibroch were to lead some old greybeard in his cups to start denouncing the English and weeping over the Stuarts, everyone would be laughing over it for days ....


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 14 Feb 19 - 12:48 PM

You certainly are reading far too much into it - perhaps from not fully knowing what the Jacobite Wars were actually about. They were not England v Scotland. They were Jacobite v Hanovarian. Hence in the Skye Boat Song it is absurd to say that the word "foe" is anti-English. The song lyric was written by an Englishman and 'foe' here means the enemies of the Jacobites. There is no mention of the English!! It is about somone escaping from his enemies over the sea. The use of the word 'foe' hardly makes it a hate mongering lyric even if it was specifically about one nationality. It is simply stating he is fleeing from his enemies.

Likewise with "Sound The Pibroch" - no it is not a call to arms against the English. It is a call to arms against the Hanovarians. Though it doesn't actually really mention the enemy at all. Clearly absurd to suggest either of these songs are anti-English. but if you really want to be offended by songs then you will find a way to be offended - that is clear.

Yes there are some songs about 'crushing' the English but my point was they are the exception. There simply is not that many of them. For every "Black Douglas" or "Stirling Brig" there are a hundred songs which have nothing to do with crushing the English.


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: GUEST,ActiusAquila
Date: 14 Feb 19 - 10:50 AM

I used "Killiecrankie" as an example of how catchy Jacobite songs usually are. It wasn't meant to be an example of anti-Englishness. I guess I wasn't clear enough, and in that case, I apologize.

Still, though lots of Jacobite songs are not directly anti-English, indirectly, in my honest opinion (you may disagree), they are. Allan mentioned "Sound the Pibroch", which if you think about it is a call to arms- against the English. It's evocative and a beautiful song, of course, but you do start to see ways in which songs may be anti-English when you apply some thought. Allan also mentioned the "The Skye Boat Song" and (the original version) has the line "baffled our foes"- if you ask me "foes" isn't very neutral a term at all. It's not downright offensive, sure, but it'd probably rankle a few people.

I'm sure quite a few more songs are like that too (feel free to disagree and say I'm reading between the lines too much). The thing about Jacobite songs is that several of them are rooted in Scots vs English battles. Whenever that sort of thing comes up, though the song may not mention it, you sort of understand (if you know a tad bit of history) that part of the song's underlying themes are about a) Scots fighting the English, which I think doesn't have very positive connotations, b) Crushing the English (Haughs of Cromdale, Johnny Cope, Flower of Scotland, to a certain extent), or c) Scottish calls to arms against the English. It's the historical context that tends to bring about the Anti-Englishness in Jacobite songs (once again- my opinion), and not the lyrics. You don't have to explicitly say "the English" to get anti-Englishness in something.

But Jacobite songs aside, I think FoS as Roy sang it wasn't problematic. I agree with Tattie, it just sounds gentle and reflective when Roy does it. When Ronnie and the crowd sing it of course it's going to sound martial (and to be honest, there IS a match to play, there's a pipe playing, and Ronnie is usually very... vocally agressive when it comes to getting the crowd to sing louder). The anti-Englishness of FoS really depends on how you sing it.


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 14 Feb 19 - 08:02 AM

Both "Lammas Tide" and "Lock the Door Lariston" are border ballads about Border raids in which neither the politics or national agendas of the Monarchs and Courts of either kingdom (Scotland or England) featured.

The thread and ethics of loyalty along the Anglo-Scottish border between 1289 and 1653 ran family first, friends and allies second, King and Country came way, way down the pecking order, if it ever featured at all.


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 14 Feb 19 - 06:55 AM

To answer Miranda in short and gloss over reams of history, before 1707, England and Scotland were separate countries: and there are plenty of people hoping that they will be again!


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: GUEST,Dave D
Date: 14 Feb 19 - 06:17 AM

Always loved the gallows humour of Killiecrankie:

         I fought at land, I fought at sea
         At hame I fought my auntie-o


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Feb 19 - 05:09 AM

"And I have yet to understand why Killiecrankie was used as an example by the other poster".
In a word, ignorance.


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 14 Feb 19 - 02:41 AM

Well my point was that it of course wouldn't offend them. Not only are they descended from Bruce through James VI who became King of England too but as you say they are British rulers so why would singing about one of the national heroes of one part of Britain offend them. Re the Edward II yes of course there is a connection there too. I wasn't suggesting otherwise. The point was my better half only considered the connection between the present royal family and the English royal line. She didn't even know at the time that the Queen was dsecended from Bruce through the Scottish royal line. A very anglo-centric view on things which 30 odd years of living with me has mostly eradicated :-)

I had another friend at our local club who said something the same as Actius Aquila. Basically that Scottish folk songs are mostly about hating the English etc etc etc. Fine saying that but when I asked him to list such songs it then becomes much harder. I produced the wee book 100 Great Scottish Songs produced by Soodlum with many of the better known Scottish folk songs and from that only two songs could be described as being about specifically conflict with the English. One is 'Scots Wha Hae' basically the Burns poem which is supposedly Bruce addressing his troops before Bannockburn. So it is about fighting the invader but the idea that you can't have a song about one of the defining moments of Scottish history is plainly absurd. The other is the song "Haughs of Cromdale" which introduces "the English" into something they weren't actually directly involved in. So yes that is one song which could be described as putting the English in as adversaries when they weren't historically - but that is one song out of 100 in total.

I am not saying there are no other songs about fighting the English or in some way having a go at the English but the truth is that they are more conspicuous by their absence rather than their presence in the overall number of songs. And it would take someone of heightened paranoia to imagine every song dealing with historical conflict with the English is an anti-English song. For instance the Lammas-Tide is basically just the first few verses of the Battle Of Otterburn. Yes it deals with the subject of Scots fighting the English but it doesn't actually slag off or diss the English. It is simply a narrative of events as told according to the ballad. That isn't anti anything - it is only telling a story.

And I have yet to understand why Killiecrankie was used as an example by the other poster. There is absolutely nothing anti-English about it and doesn't even mention the English or anything about England. Killiecrankie was a battle between Scottish Jacobites and the Scottish gvt army. The narrator in the song is a Scottish gvt soldier who has just been at the battle. He meets another soldier who wasn't at the battle and he tells him about the battle and how awful it was. It honestly takes a bit of a twisted turn of logic to suggest that is anti-English in any way!


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: GUEST,Miranda
Date: 13 Feb 19 - 09:05 PM

If Scotland is a part of the UK, and the Queen is ruler of the UK, then how would it offend them exactly? Is there a larger preference towards England?

Also I'm quite sure Edward II (Proud Edward) is related to Elizabeth as well.


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 13 Feb 19 - 06:48 PM

My better half, who hails from south of the border, once said to me that it shouldn't be sung at the rugby etc because it would offend the Queen and Princess Anne etc. It hadn't ever struck her that they are descended from Robert the Bruce who is celebrated in the song ??


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 13 Feb 19 - 04:50 PM

It didn't sound anti-English in its original form IMHO: more gentle and reflective, I thought.
It has become more martial-sounding in its later reincarnations at big sporting events, perhaps, although you can still sit side by side with the other side's supporters at England v Scotland rugby internationals without anyone getting pugilistic over it.


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 13 Feb 19 - 02:37 PM

No one, it's a recently written song.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: GUEST,DTM
Date: 13 Feb 19 - 02:09 PM

Re. FoS being anti English.
Just for the record, who was invading who?
;-)


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 13 Feb 19 - 12:59 PM

I wouldn't say that Jacobite songs are almost always anti-English! Anti Hanovarian yes but that is a different thing.

The example you give "Killiecrankie" isn't even not anti-English - it isn't even pro-Jacobite. It is purely descriptive.

Lots of other Jacobite songs or supposed Jacobite songs or Jacobite period songs don't or hardly mention "the English" for instance Bonnie Dundee, Sound The Pibroch, Skye Boat Song, Highland Widow's Lament, Ye Jacobites By Name, Cam ye o'er Frae France, etc etc

Yes there are some old Scottish songs that refer to conflict with England but that is because that is our history. You can't white wash it. Likewise even FOS is clear the conflict is in the past and should remain in the past.


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: GUEST,ActiusAquila
Date: 13 Feb 19 - 09:55 AM

I recall reading that it was Roy's personal composition and that he hadn't actually wanted to perform it until Ronnie asked him to, but I've forgotten where that was from.

Anyway, the Corries were always pro-independence, and they obviously did a lot of the '45 songs- those are almost always anti English (but they are very, very catchy, just look at "Killiecrankie"). Ronnie was in an interview saying that Roy had been trying to antiquate the Flower of Scotland melody to make it sound more like their usual Jacobite repertoire, so if the lyrics were also very Jacobite-ish- aka anti-English- it's not actually surprising. Perhaps Roy half-accidentally-intended to make it anti English? He wanted the song to sound folkish, after all.


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 13 Feb 19 - 09:53 AM

Miranda it is Scotland's anthem for most things. It is played before both football and rugby matches. The Commonwealth Games uses Scotland The Brave but that is more the exception.


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: GUEST,Miranda
Date: 13 Feb 19 - 09:46 AM

Yeah I love Flower of Scotland too; it's the kind of song that makes your hair stand on end.

As an anthem it's supposed to be a "this is Scotland, hear us roar" kind of song and it's great at doing that, especially when Ronnie Browne belts it out, but some people don't want it to be and I'm still not to sure why. So is it a lament? Is it a hymn? Is it anti-English?

Anyhow, bringing this up because it's still not Scotland's anthem and I have no idea why not. Maybe it could be like Sweden where they agree that "Du Gamla Du Fria" shouldn't be an anthem by law and it's better if it were an anthem by tradition but why not just make Flower of Scotland the anthem already?

(I'm sorry if this is a bit of a strange question, I'm not from the UK.)


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 02:54 PM

Don't get wrong I still think it's a great song.


Dave H


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: GUEST,kenny
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 12:03 PM

Nothing you've written there that I'd disagree with, Dave.


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: GUEST,Dave D
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 10:58 AM

Oops that last post was me


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 10:57 AM

I am sure Roy did not intend it to be anti-English. Nevertheless, it celebrates and sentimentalises (“wee bit hill and glen”) a long-ago military victory against England. Many of us pro-Indy Scots are very uncomfortable with that focus, and would rather seek songs that celebrate Scotland in its own right and its traditions of internationalism.   It’s quite right to say that The Freedom Come-All-Ye was a response to Macmillan’s Winds of Change speech, but it is also thoroughly - on every line - about Scotland and about Scotland coming to terms with its past and finding a new place in a post-imperial world.


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: GUEST,kenny
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 10:09 AM

That's Dick Gaughan's opinion, not worth any more than Bob's as far as I'm concerned. As far as I know, Roy Williamson never intended it to be anti-English.


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 09:57 AM

Bob Knight, it is anti English, Dick Gaughan mentioned this many years ago when Flower Of Scotland was mooted as a possible Scottish National Anthem, he said it was wouldn't be a good choice because of it's anti English and negative sentiments.

It is a fine song nonetheless.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: GUEST,Alan
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 07:51 AM

Sorry, about the gibberish. Reading back, my words don't quite make sense.. but you'll get the gist


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: GUEST,Alan
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 07:49 AM

I can now see this information on McCormick several sites. Like Chinese whispers a viral piece with no source and no explanation of what the alleged earlier work is based on. If it is a derivation all fine, at least name they should name the source and alleged tune.
Otherwise I find it extraordinary that people keep having to come up with earlier derivations of works, and can't accept that songwriters come up with an original popular tune and lyrics, or sometimes both separately, without it being directly taken from an earlier source.   Someone has to have written a tune in the first place. If someone can name the alleged work fine, but otherwise these sites stating this about McCormick, are guilty of slurring the memory of a writer (though I don't actually like the words of 'Flower of Scotland', but you can't fault it for being an 'earworm' melody!)


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: GUEST,kenny
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 06:36 AM

I have an original copy of the commercially sold sheet music for "Flower Of Scotland" / "The Roses Of Prince Charlie" - I'm looking at it right now.
"The Flower Of Scotland" Words AND MUSIC* : Roy Williamson.
                         * [ my emphasis ]
"The Roses Of Prince Charlie" : Author : R.G. Browne -
                                  Composer : R.G. Browne

Th Corries certainly did compose music. I think possibly what Ronnie meant was that they maybe did not "write" music using staff notation - "the dots".


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: goatfell
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 05:22 AM

Freedom come all ye is about a reply to the Harold McMillian speech about South Africa and the winds of change and has nothing to with Scotland


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: GUEST,ActiusAquila
Date: 11 Feb 19 - 07:32 PM

There's several websites out there that seem to say that while Roy wrote the lyrics to "Flower of Scotland", someone named Peter Dodds McCormick was the song's composer, and that the melody actually existed since 1879 or so.

I however can't find a single song that McCormick wrote that sounds like Flower of Scotland and it's often said that Roy wrote AND composed the song. But McCormick WAS a Scot and he did compose Australia's national anthem- not that it sounds like Flower of Scotland, though. Also, he apparently wrote a few Scottish folk songs and if Roy knew about his music I wouldn't be surprised.

Can any mudcatters verify/ deny that Roy composed Flower of Scotland? Also, if he didn't write the music (the Corries apparently did not write music, according to Ronnie), what did McCormick call the melody? I can't find anything on the internet and I like to believe that Roy did the composing.


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