Happy 250th Birthday Robert Burns…Michael G (More Whisky Please)argues convincingly that our National Holiday should be Burns Day/Night and not the abstract and insipid St Andrews Day – which combines notions of corporate sanctioned Christianity with dodgy history. He’s completely right – not least because Rabbie is still alive today, and wrote, amongst so many other others I Murder Hate (surely a Smiths single title?), Such a Parcel of Rogues, Afton Water and this…
Scots, wha hae wi’ Wallace bled,
Scots, wham Bruce has aften led,
Welcome to your gory bed,
Or to Victorie!
Now’s the day, and now’s the hour;
See the front o’ battle lour;
See approach proud Edward’s power-
Chains and Slaverie!
Wha will be a traitor knave?
Wha can fill a coward’s grave?
Wha sae base as be a Slave?
Let him turn and flee!
Wha, for Scotland’s King and Law,
Freedom’s sword will strongly draw,
Free-man stand, or Free-man fa’,
Let him on wi’ me!
By Oppression’s woes and pains!
By your Sons in servile chains!
We will drain our dearest veins,
But they shall be free!
Lay the proud Usurpers low!
Tyrants fall in every foe!
Liberty’s in every blow!-
Let us Do or Die!
Makes you think though, not just that Burns Day should be the National Holiday, but that Robert Bruce’s March to Bannockburn should be the National Anthem. Much better than that apologetic baleful dirge Flower of Scotland.
What else is going on to celebrate the Bard?Kenny is in Nova Scotia, arguing, “It’s a tough job but someone has to do it”. Tommy H has launched a fantastic new Burns site offering (amongst others, King Creosote’s take on The Bard, Gus is featuring Paulo Nutini doing A Man’s A Man, Robert Crawford has set the record straight, Alan is promising something new…and Andrew O dedicates I Murder Hate to Gordon Gentle.