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Scotland (Scotia)


The lyrics composed here by John Henderson on the 28th November, 2007, seek to convey the essence
of the three concluding stanzas presented by Sir Alexander Gray in his poem, 'Scotland'.
The tune playing here by the Scottish Fiddle orchestra is a suitable part of J.P. & A. Fraley's,
'Wild Rose of the Mountain.'

[Sir Alexander Gray's stanzas, as printed in today's Glasgow Herald, appear below the English and Doric lyrics.]

SONG:
Scotland

This is my country, its land begat me,
A bleak windswept place, though surely my own;
Where those who toiled with sweat on their foreheads
Were flesh of my flesh, and bone of my bone.

Grim tasks Thee set most, Scotland stern Mother,
With which in their time my own folks were faced
In daily labour, dawn until gloaming,
And want of good meat they seldom outpaced.

Yet still these children honoured and loved Thee,
Though harsh was Thy schooling, great were the gains;
True hearts, strong limbs and resolute features
Kept fresh by Thy winds and blessed by Thy rains.

****************************************
Scotia

Thon is ma kwintry, its lans begat me,
A dool win-swep plank, tho' shairly ma ain;
Whaur thase wha wirk'd wi swate oan thur foreheids
Wur flesh o' ma flesh, an bane o ma bane.

Dour jots Thee gied maist, Scotia streck Mither
Wi whilk in thur days ma fowks hid tae bear,
Throw muckle lang darg, dawn oontill gloamin,
An wint o guid mait an ither sich fare.

Yit aye ma kin respeckit an loo'd Thee,
Tho ull wis Thy schulin, graun wur the gains;
Troo herts, baul banes an weel din-skint faces,
Brocht oan bi Thy wins an waash'd bi Thy rains.

*********************************************

THE THREE CONCLUDING STANZAS OF THE POEM:

SCOTLAND

This is my country,
The land that begat me.
These windy places
Are surely my own.
And those who here toil
In the sweat of their faces
Are flesh of my flesh,
And bone of my bone.

Hard is the day's task --
Scotland, stern Mother --
Wherewith at all times
Thy sons have been faced:
Labour by day,
And scant rest in the gloaming,
With Want an attendant,
Not lightly outpaced.

Yet do thy children
Honour and love thee.
Harsh is thy schooling,
Yet great is the gain:
True hearts and strong limbs,
The beauty of faces,
Kissed by the wind
And caressed by the rain.


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