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Tartan Day 6th April 2002

This is a Real Audio Production for Tartan Day 2002
Celebrated in the USA and Canada on 6th April each year
[As you read through this production each section has its own Real Audio recording so you can both read and listen to the words and songs]

Peter D. Wright, Chairman of the Scots IndependentIntroduction by Peter D. Wright, Chairman of the Scots Independent.

Click here to listen to The Introduction in Real Audio

The Scots Independent is delighted to once again make a web contribution to Tartan Day and to join our American and Canadian cousins in making 6 April 2002 a day to remember. The decision by US President George W Bush and 'English' Prime Minister Tony Blair not to accept this years William Wallace Award should not prevent us from enjoying Tartan day to the full.
Tartan day should belong to the people whether in America, Canada or Scotland. It does not belong to any Government, even though the Labour controlled Scottish Executive has hijacked web access to Tartan Day for their own advantage. Last year, one First Scotland Minister ago, the Scottish Parliament's contribution for Tartan Day was at least even-handed between the various political parties operating in Scotland. But not this year as the Executive, alone, taking centre-stage have turned it into a Labour Party plug at Public expense. Unlike the Scottish Executive we have no hidden agenda nor access to Public funds. The Scots Independent newspaper, founded in 1926, has stood openly for 'real' Scottish Independence. We believe in National Freedom and make no secret of the fact that we desire to see the day that Scotland is Independent in Europe, as in the days of Robert I, The Bruce, and the Declaration of Arbroath.
In Scotland it is a double celebration as 6 April is also the day in 1320 when the Scottish nobles, in the presence of Robert I, King of Scots, attached their seals to the famous letter to Pope John XXII calling for his recognition of Scottish Freedom. The letter has become known as the Declaration of Arbroath. The Arbroath Declaration marked the emergence of Scotland as the first Nation State in Europe in the modern sense. Almost seven hundred years on, we are hopefully on the road back to that state of Freedom.
The Scottish letter of 6 April 1320 helped to inspire the American Declaration of Independence in 1776 and is  an appropriate date to celebrate for all those who believe in Freedom.
To all Americans in the wake of the atrocities of 11 September 2001, we share your sorrow and sense of loss and would hope that you will find strength in our joint determination that terrorists will not win. Terrorist activity cannot be allowed to quench our sense and belief in Democracy and Freedom.
Our nation's Flags - be it The Stars and Stripes, The Maple Leaf or The Saltire - must continue to fly  where Democracy and Freedom flourish.
To all American and Canadian visitors to The Flag we hope that you enjoy the many Scottish events on, and around, 6 April. This year, as in 2001, we are pleased to join the celebration of Tartan Day in word, poetry, music and song.

Musical Selection

Click here to listen to the Cape Breton Waltz / Sarah Menzies of Carnbo, by Garberlunzie

Extract from Sir Walter Scott
The Lay of the Last Minstrel

Click here to listen to this in Real Audio read by Jim Lynch

Breathe there the man, with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
    This is my own, my native land !
Whose heart hath ne'er within him burn'd,
As home his footsteps he hath turn'd,
    From wandering on a foreign strand !
If such there breathe, go, mark him well ;
For him no Minstrel raptures swell ;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim ;
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust, from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonour'd, and unsung.

O Caledonia ! stern and wild,
Meet nurse for a poetic child !
Land of brown heath and shaggy wood,
Land of the mountain and the flood,
Land of my sires ! what mortal hand
Can e'er untie the filial band,
That knits me to thy rugged strand !

Extracts from the Declaration of Arbroath

Listen to the extract read by Marilyn Wright

Remember the Alamo
Jane Bowers

(words as sung by Gaberlunzie)

Click here to listen to the song

                                    A hundred and eighty were challenged by Travis to die.
                                    By a line that he drew with his sword as the battle drew nigh.
                                    "The man who will fight to the death will cross over
                                    He that would live let him fly,"
                                    And over the line stepped a hundred and seventy-nine.

                                    Chorus :
                                    Way y y y Up Santy Anna we're killing your soldiers below,
                                    So the rest of Texas will know and remember the Alamo!

                                    Jim Bowie lay dyin' his powder was ready and dry.
                                    From flat on his back Bowie killed quite a few in reply,
                                    Young Davy Crockett was laughin' and singin'.
                                    The challenge was fierce in his eye.
                                    For Texas and freedom a man more than willin' to die.

                                    A messenger sent from the battle both bloody and loud.
                                    With words of farewell that he carried were bitter and proud.
                                    Remember little darlin' my dyin' tomorrow
                                    When Texas is sovereign and free.
                                    We'll never surrender and ever shall liberty be.

Footnote : Our thanks to Gordon Menzies of Gaberlunzie for supplying the words for 'Remember The Alamo' which was a very popular song during the Scottish Folk Revival. It was one of the songs on the first ever LP recorded by Gaberlunzie 'Brave Words 'n' Fighting Talk' which has recently been re-released on CD. The Alamo fell on 6 March 1836 resulting in the death of most of the defenders including David Crockett and Jim Bowie, of Scots descent, and at least four native born Scots - Robert W Ballentine, John McGregor, Issac Robinson and David L Wilson. John McGregor was a piper and enjoyed musical duels in the Alamo with David Crockett. McGregor playing his bagpipes and Crockett the fiddle. The defenders of the Alamo all lived up to the hope penned by Lieutenant Colonel William Barret Travis at the outset of the siege on 24 February 1836 - "I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible and die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor and that of his country - VICTORY OR DEATH."  As long as freedom is valued, men, such as the defenders of the Alamo, will be remembered. Visit for more background to their stand for freedom.

Extracts from the American Declaration of Independence

Listen to the extract read by Marilyn Wright

Is there for honest poverty
That hings his head, and a' that?
The coward-slave, we pass him by,
We daur be poor for a' that!
For a' that, and a' that,
Our toils obscure, and a' that,
The rank is but the guinea's stamp,
The Man's the gowd for a' that!

What though on hamely fare we dine,
Wear hoddin grey, and a' that;
Gie fools their silks and knaves their wine,
A Man's a Man for a' that.
For a' that, and a' that,
Their tinsel show, and a' that;
The honest man, tho' e'er sae poor,
Is king o' men for a' that!

Ye see yon birkie ca'd a lord,
Wha struts, and stares, and a' that,
Though hundreds worship at his word,
He's but a coof for a' that:
For a' that, and a' that,
His ribband, star and a' that;
The man of independent mind
He looks and laughs at a' that.

A prince can mak a belted knight,
A marquis, duke and a' that;
But an honest man's abune his might
Gude faith, he maunna fa' that!
For a' that, and a' that,
Their dignities, and a' that;
The pith o' sense and pride o' worth
Are higher rank than a' that!

Then let us pray that come it may,
As come it will for a' that
That Sense and Worth, o'er a' the earth,
May bear the gree, and a' that.
For a' that, and a' that,
It's comin yet for a' that,
That Man to Man, the world o'er,
Shall brothers be for a' that!

Such A Parcel Of Rogues In A Nation
by Robert Burns

Click here to listen to this song in Real Audio by Gaberlunzie

Fareweel to a' our Scottish fame,
Fareweel our ancient glory;
Fareweel ev'n to the Scottish name,
Sae fam'd in martial story.
Now Sark rins over Solway sands,
An' Tweed rins to the ocean,
To mark where England's province stands-
Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!

What force or guile could not subdue,
Thro' many warlike ages,
Is wrought now by a coward few,
For hireling traitor's wages.
The English stell we could disdain,
Secure in valour's station;
But English gold has been our bane-
Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!

O would, or I had seen the day
That Treason thus could sell us,
My auld grey head had lien in clay,
Wi' Bruce and loyal Wallace!
But pith and power, till my last hour,
I'll mak this declaration;
We're bought and sold for English gold-
Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!

Fair these broad meads - these hoary woods are grand;
But we are exiles from our fathers' land.

Listen to me, as when ye heard our father
Sing long ago the song of other shores -
Listen to me, and then in chorus gather
All your deep voices, as ye pull your oars.

From the lone shieling of the misty island
Mountains divide us, and the waste of seas -
Yet still the blood is strong, the heart is Highland,
And we in dreams behold the Hebrides.

We ne'er shall tread the fancy-haunted valley,
Where 'tween the dark hills creeps the small clear stream,
In arms around the patriarch banner rally,
Nor see the moon on royal tombstones gleam.

When the bold kindred, in the time long vanish'd
Conquer'd the soil and fortified the keep -
No seer foretold the children would be banish'd,
That a degenerate lord might boast his sheep.

Come foreign rage - let Discord burst in slaughter!
O then for clansmen true, and stern claymore -
The hearts that would have given their blood like water,
Beat heavily beyond the Atlantic roar.

Tartan Day and The Declarations

Click here to listen to Tartan Day and the Declarations in Real Audio

Declaration of Arbroath at Arbroath AbbeyIN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES November 10, 1997 Mr. Lott submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.

RESOLUTION Designating April 6 of each year as "National Tartan Day'' to recognize the outstanding achievements and contributions made by Scottish Americans to the United States.

Whereas April 6 has a special significance for all Americans, and especially those Americans of Scottish descent, because the Declaration of Arbroath, the Scottish Declaration of Independence, was signed on April 6, 1320 and the American Declaration of Independence was modeled on that inspirational document;

Whereas this resolution honors the major role that Scottish Americans played in the founding of this Nation, such as the fact that almost half of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were of Scottish descent, the Governors in 9 of the original 13 States were of Scottish ancestry, Scottish Americans successfully helped shape this country in its formative years and guided this Nation through its most troubled times;

Whereas this resolution recognizes the monumental achievements and invaluable contributions made by Scottish Americans that have led to America's pre-eminence in the fields of science, technology, medicine, government, politics, economics, architecture, literature, media, and visual and performing arts;

Whereas this resolution commends the more than 200 organizations throughout the United States that honor Scottish heritage, tradition, and culture, representing the hundreds of thousands of Americans of Scottish descent, residing in every State, who already have made the observance of Tartan Day on April 6 a success; and

Whereas these numerous individuals, clans, societies, clubs, and fraternal organizations do not let the great contributions of the Scottish people go unnoticed:

Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the Senate designates April 6 of each year as ``National Tartan Day''.

Tartan Day in Canada

Canada’s Scots and Tartan Day Celebrations

Celebrating the Pipes

Listen to this Pipe set Jim Tweedie's Sea Legs
by Gordon Duncan

Tunes of Glory Parade

Sir Sean ConneryOne of the highlights of Tartan Day in America will be the world record breaking attempt to have 10,000 pipers playing in the New York Tunes of Glory Parade. Renowned Scottish international film star Sir Sean Connery will lead 10,000 pipers down Fifth Avenue on their way to Central Park.
Seventy Scottish Pipe Bands will participate in the Parade, including Nairn Pipe Band who will feature the youngest piper taking part nine-year-old Kevin Harraughty. His father Kevin Snr is Pipe Major of the Nairn Band and young Kevin has been playing the pipes for two years. The spectacle from the Big Apple can be enjoyed on web-cam link and will be well worth watching as the massive parade of pipers march and play for charity.
For children of all ages we include two poems with a piping theme by the Scottish poet J K Annand.

The hielant piper in his braws
    Heedrom hodrom hi
Pluffs his rosie cheeks and blaws
    Heedrom hodrom hielantman.

He gie's his oxtered bag a squeeze
    Heedrom hodrom hi
And oot the bonnie music flees
    Heedrom hodrom hielantman.

Fingers on the chanter prancin
    Heedrom hodrom hi
Gar a bodie's feet gae dancin
    Heedrom hodrom hielantman.

Some can pipe and some can sing
    Heedrom hodrom hi
But I can dance the Hielant Fling
    Heedrom hodrom hielantman.


Up at the Castle
Lots o people come
To hear the sodgers pipe
And beat upon the drum.

I'd like to be a piper,
I'd like to be a drummer,
But best o aa I'd like
To be the big heid-bummer.

He birls his siller stick,
He throws it in the air,
And when he gies the sign
The pipers play nae mair.

The Hert O Scotland
by Robert S Silver

Montrose-born, in 1913, Robert Silver was a renowned scientist, a Nationalist and Internationalist. In 1968 he was the first recipient of the UNESCO Science Prize for his work on de-salination. He was presented with the award at a ceremony in Paris. Robert Silver combined his work as a scientist and University Professor with a love of the Arts; he was a talented composer, playwright and poet. His non-scientific publications include Dream Sweetheart ( music, 1931 ), Conflict and Contexts ( poems, 1992 ) and The Picture, a play which, in 1995, was performed in London. His play The Hert o Scotland was written between 1948 and 1951 and was first published in 1986 under the title The Bruce by the Saltire Society. A revised edition was published in 1995.
The play was given a performed reading as part of the Official Edinburgh International Festival in 1990. The following year The Hert o Scotland was given its World Premier once again as part of the Official Festival.
The Hert o Scotland is a dramatic account of medieval Scotland's struggle for Independence from England. The influence of Robert I, The Bruce, and his followers on the concepts of National Freedom - as outlined in the Declaration of Arbroath ( one of the earliest known historical documents guaranteeing  constitutional government of peoples ) - is portrayed with deep feeling and frankness by Robert Silver. It is a sad reflection on the Scottish Theatre, and one which clearly demonstrates the need for a Scottish National Theatre, that it took some forty years for Robert Silver's masterpiece to appear on stage. Happily Robert Silver was able to see the play premiered before his death in his native Montrose on 21 March 1997.
The extract from the play, read by Marilyn Wright and commented upon by Jim Lynch, deals with the basic feeling of National Independence and the playwright based his Address by Bruce before Bannockburn on the speech attributed to Galgach, the first recorded Scot, who faced a similiar problem to Robert I in facing foreign invaders, in his case the Romans in 84 AD.   

Click here to listen to this extract in RealAudio
Read by Marilyn Wright

KING: Noo men, gie me attention noo a meenit. There’s nae muckle time for speakin — an I harangued ye lang eneuch yestreen. I spak o haudin tae yer place an hoo aa depends on that — hoo ye mauna brak the dispositions we hae practised. Thae laist three month ye’ve wrocht fu hard, sweatin an strainin, an aye on the go. I haena gien ye muckle rest — I ken — but it’s aa been for this ae day. We’re tryin a terrible — an glorious — thing. Believe me nane kens better than mysel what I’m askin ye tae dae. The heavy—airmit men an iron—wrappit horse hae lang been the hert o an airmy’s micht. Blawin up wi greed an pride they hae become the very symbol o oppressive pooer — an yonder i the English lines ye can see them at their heichest. God hae mercy on us — for we are gaun forrit agin them —on fute agin their horse — little armour but spear, or aixe or sword. It’s never been dune afore — but as ye hae wrocht, I hae wrocht — an I think I hae made siccar that it will be dune the day — (growling cheers of assent from the MEN which the KING causes to subside by continuing with a shout) if— ye haud at them — haud at them — an never back an inch. An when the airrows o their archers come lichtenin on ye — dinna flinch — thinkin o Falkirk. There your schiltroms stude open tae the hail that struck them doon — stuide steady an bravely waitin the chairge o horse —but stood defenceless ower lang. That will no happen the day. We haena muckle horse — but what we hae, under guid Sir Robert Keith — I’m haudin back — the attack the English airchers as soon as they stain harassin ye. An at Falkirk ye waited for their cavalry. We’re no waitin the day. Our schiltroms maun gae forrit — an maun keep unbroken. Then their horse will come at us — ye maun tak the shock o their weicht — an keep aye that pressin forrit.

See them yonder — oppressors an tyrants ilka ane o them. What dae they hae here? Hames tae defend — Na! Wife an bairns the care for — Na! Hae they ony memories o their forefaithers amang thae hills an glens — ony crofts or fields? — Na! No a thing. Aa that belangs the them is hunders o miles awa. Naething but greed an lust for pooer brings them here. Yet they’re but men. Somewey i the crook o the thochts o ilka ane o them there’s a mindin o their ain country, their hame. Tae that they can retreat — an be safe. They can afford tae be beatin. Cin we but dunt them sair eneuch they’ll brak an flee tae whaur they ken they’ll be safe. But for us — whaur is there safety? Whaur can we retreat tae if we suld fail? Tae the hills, tae begin again aa the hidin an weary warslin o the laist ten or twenty, no, thirty years. This is oor hame, this Scotland, this oor kingdom, oor hearth, oor bairn an wife, oor law an custom. Here on this field is aa that we possess — lockit deep i the hert o ilka ane o’s. They can afford tae lose — we canna. For us there’s nae safety — baur we win. Determine noo that raither than slip back that temptin inch that micht seem tae gie safety i the heat o battle we’ll raither step anither inch forrit tae siccar daith — for that will gie — victory — an freedom, the them that live on — tae the auld, an the wives an bairns, tae oor everlaistin Scotland. The inch step back micht save oursels for the meenit — but if we lose this day —its daith an torture nae only for aa o oorsels — but for ilka ane o oor fowk unless they gie in tae become the slaves, the beasts o burden, the baubles o the English — an Scotland wad be forgotten — an auld tale o the past — jist a bit o England’s dominions — a province — a shire. Wull ye lat that be? Was it for that, that lang, lang ago yer faithers stoppt imperial Rome? Think on it! Through aa lang history this pairt o the world hae never been ocht else but free. This day we hae the chance tae keep that honour savit clear.

This is oor glory

That Scotland is oor Kingdom, that her laws
Alane dae we acknowledge
— that this day
We live i freedom —
an this nicht
Gin we be deid, we keepit liberty
Richt tae the end.

English trumpets sound very near. Two FRIARS enter, bow to the KING, who acknowledges them, then continues.

They soond their trumpets noo
An say the hoor is come. Noo then wi me
Seek God’s great blessin on oor richt an cause
An Jesus mercy on oor sins
— then tak the field.

Click here to listen to a comment on the above play by Jim Lynch

I must say I was very taken with that reading from Robert Silver’s play "The Bruce"; it particularly struck a chord when Bruce said that after the battle was over, the English could go home, to safety, whatever the result. The Scots on the other hand were already at home, and faced "chains and slavery" if defeated; this scenario was repeated in the American War of Independence, as the British (by then) could also go home, but the Americans were at home. It was not technically "The English" who were in America, but "The British"; as the play reminds us," The English" were always good at getting their subject races to fight their battles , and no doubt some of our ancestors were there as part of the occupying troops!

Before I came, I fished out my copy of "The Bruce", which I have had in the house for years, but I don’t think I’ve ever read; ( it is said that the easiest way not to read a book is to buy it, as we will get around to it some day!) I found it very moving indeed, and very appropriate as we are celebrating the Declaration of Arbroath signed on 6th April 1320. In the play, when they are composing the letter to the Pope, the position of the King is discussed, as the King is not King of Scotland, but King of Scots. The point being made is that if the King betrays them to the English, then they will cast him out, and put another in his place.

Bruce, listens to them all, and then turns to his closest friend, Sir James Douglas, and says "An you, Sir James - that were a landless laddie when first ye joined wi me - whit wad ye dae?"

Douglas "What else culd freedom mean. I would disown ye that were freend and leader, and Lord and King. I’d mak a vow tae be the first tae howk a dagger i yer hert."

Scots Wha Hae Wi' Wallace Bled

The song "Scots Wha Hae" by Gaberlunzie

Sir William Wallace

Scots, wha hae wi' Wallace bled
Scots, wham Bruce has aften led
Welcome to your gory bed
Or to victory!
Now's the day an' now's the hour
See the front of battle lour
See approach proud Edward's pow'r
Chains and slavery!

Wha would be a traitor knave?
Wha would fill a coward's grave?
Wha sae base as be a slave?
Let him turn and flee!
Wha for Scotland's king an' law
Freedom's sword would strongly draw
Freeman stand and freeman 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 userpers low!
Tyrants fall in ev'ry foe
Liberty's in every blow
Let us do or dee!


If you'd like to monitor Scotland's continued fight for Independence visit the
Flag in the Wind each Friday for up to date analysis and comment.

We'd like to take this opportunity to thank Greentrax and Gordon Duncan for the pipe music and Gaberlunzie for the songs.


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