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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Lighter Origin: Scotland the Brave (61* d) RE: Origin: Scotland the Brave 14 Sep 15


Thanks, Guest. By punching the wrong button I inadvertently deleted a long list of quotations from that site, which I don't have the patience to retype.

But in summary, they prove that a tune called "Scotland the Brave" was mentioned not infrequently in Scottish newspapers from 1868 or '69 right into the '90s, after which no further examples seem necessary.

Guest's earliest NLS example, in 4/2 time, is from 1891. And it explicitly accompanies the words of Hyslop's poem.

"Miss E. Hunter, the Famous Scottish Prima Donna" is noted as having sung a stage song by that name on various occasions in 1878-79. Surely this was the tune and text that the NLS 1891 source had in mind.


As for the "O'Donnell" connection,

http://digital.nls.uk/broadsides/broadside.cfm/id/15846 :

"The tune for O'Donnell Abu was composed in the early part of the 19th century by Joseph Haliday, a man from Carrick-on-Suir, Co. Tipperary. He was bandmaster of the Cavan militia. Michael McCann, a young Galway man, added words to the music."

"The early part" could mean any time before 1850. Hyslop's poem appeared in 1821, in exactly the right measure to fit either "STB" or "O'Donnell." The above statement, however, contradicts the one I've already posted which claims that Haliday wrote the tune to fit McCann's 1843 words and to replace an earlier one!

Either way, one tune may well have influenced the other. "Scotland the Brave" may have come first, simply owing to the 1821 date of the poem, which Hyslop intended to be sung to "Roderick Vich Alpine Dhu." On the other hand, our limited evidence suggests that "StB" became known only in the 1860s, at least ten years after Haliday's composition.

If only we had the one or two other "Roderick" tunes (other than "Hail to the Chief") composed in 1811, we'd know more!


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