Sunday, August 12, 2012

Flowers, Scotland, Song

I've been working on client research and book research this week to the exclusion of almost all else. Consequently, I'm was feeling a little uninspired for blogging today. But inspiration hit in the form a Facebook post by History Scotland.  They post about events in Scottish history just about daily and it seems that on this date, 12 August, in 1990, Roy Williamson of the Corries and author of Flower of Scotland died at the age of 54.

Flower of Scotland is the official anthem of two Scottish sporting teams and was selected to represent Scotland during the opening ceremonies of the London 2012 Olympics. Along with Scotland the Brave it has become one of Scotland's unofficial national anthems.

Since Flower of Scotland did not appear, as far as I know, on any of the Andy Stewart albums my family had, I didn't became aware of  it until I lived in Glasgow. I got the impression, from those around me, that it was about William Wallace. It's actually about Robert the Bruce's defeat of Edward II at the Battle of Bannockburn. In a post-Braveheart world, it's easy to see how Wallace, Bruce, and Bannockburn could get all mixed up.

Lyrics in English, Scots, and Gaelic plus a bit of history are here at Wikipedia; analysis of Flower of Scotland as a nationalist hymn at the Modern History Sourcebook is here along with lyrics of that and other national Scottish tunes, a podcast from In Our Time on the Battle of Bannockburn is here (scroll down, the original air date was 2 February 2011), and finally, the official Flower of Scotland tartan is here,

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