I Murder Hate

robert_burns1Happy 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.

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  1. I didn’t include this one.. how could I forget…

    “The fear o’ hell’s the hangman’s whip
    To laud the wretch in order;
    But where ye feel your honor grip,
    Let that aye be your border. “

  2. joe90 kane says:

    Hiya CB
    Kevin Williamson over on ‘The Scottish Patient’ recommended your good blog.

    I hope you don’t mind my commenting

    On topical note but still related to Burns,
    a wee while ago I slightly re-worded Burn’s great battle hymn to freedom for the benefit of some of my internet Palestinian chums.

    If you can be bothered here’s my effort –

    We, wha hae wi’ Martyr’s bled,
    We, wham Truth 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 Israel’s power-
    Chains and Slaverie!

    …yadda…yadda…yadda…

    Wha, for Palestine and Law,
    Freedom’s sword will strongly draw,
    Free-man stand, or Free-man fa’,
    Let him on wi’ me!

    …yadda…yadda…yadda…

    all the best!

    ps
    Substituting Scotland’s King for Palestine is the only iffy bit in the ryhme scheme I reckon.

    pps
    Flower of Scotland is funeral dirge indeed –
    – wasn’t it popularised by the The Daily Retard in the late 1970s for Scotland fans to sing at England Scotland matches (I seem to remember)?

    When you think of how famous Scotland is in the world of music for its melodies, right across the genres from classical to contemporary, and this muiscal equivalent of a suicide note is used to represent us!

    1. john ferguson says:

      I seem to recall that Scots wha hae was our national anthem at least when I was going to school in the 1940s.

  3. James Grebmops says:

    Such a great blog – but please please put the full content on RSS!

  4. joe90 kane says:

    What’s the point of having an internet connection and an accommodating blog-host, if pedantry isn’t allowed to flourish?

    Just to point out a typo –

    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!

    Should read –
    Let him follow me!

    all the best BC!

  5. bellacaledonia says:

    Clearly I don’t know my rss from my elbow James, will do.

  6. Rob Browne says:

    “Wha, for Scotland’s King and Law”

    “fresh thinking for a new republic.”

    Mcdiarmid’s syzygy strikes again.

    1. bellacaledonia says:

      Apparently Rob, though the poem – and the King – and the Bard have become to be known for celebrating autonomy, not for their regal status. 1314’s a little early for republics, even for an advanced people (!). Admittedly, 2010’s a little late in the European scheme of things.

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