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The Flower of Scotland

DigiTrad:
FLOWER OF SCOTLAND
THE FLOWER OF SCOTLAND


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Tattie Bogle 13 Feb 19 - 04:50 PM
GUEST,Allan Conn 13 Feb 19 - 06:48 PM
GUEST,Miranda 13 Feb 19 - 09:05 PM
GUEST,Allan Conn 14 Feb 19 - 02:41 AM
GUEST 14 Feb 19 - 05:09 AM
GUEST,Dave D 14 Feb 19 - 06:17 AM
Tattie Bogle 14 Feb 19 - 06:55 AM
GUEST,Observer 14 Feb 19 - 08:02 AM
GUEST,ActiusAquila 14 Feb 19 - 10:50 AM
GUEST,Allan Conn 14 Feb 19 - 12:48 PM
meself 14 Feb 19 - 01:39 PM
Tattie Bogle 14 Feb 19 - 05:07 PM
GUEST,Sol 14 Feb 19 - 05:57 PM
Workingtonman 14 Feb 19 - 07:30 PM
GUEST,ActiusAquila 14 Feb 19 - 08:00 PM
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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 13 Feb 19 - 04:50 PM

It didn't sound anti-English in its original form IMHO: more gentle and reflective, I thought.
It has become more martial-sounding in its later reincarnations at big sporting events, perhaps, although you can still sit side by side with the other side's supporters at England v Scotland rugby internationals without anyone getting pugilistic over it.


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 13 Feb 19 - 06:48 PM

My better half, who hails from south of the border, once said to me that it shouldn't be sung at the rugby etc because it would offend the Queen and Princess Anne etc. It hadn't ever struck her that they are descended from Robert the Bruce who is celebrated in the song ??


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: GUEST,Miranda
Date: 13 Feb 19 - 09:05 PM

If Scotland is a part of the UK, and the Queen is ruler of the UK, then how would it offend them exactly? Is there a larger preference towards England?

Also I'm quite sure Edward II (Proud Edward) is related to Elizabeth as well.


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 14 Feb 19 - 02:41 AM

Well my point was that it of course wouldn't offend them. Not only are they descended from Bruce through James VI who became King of England too but as you say they are British rulers so why would singing about one of the national heroes of one part of Britain offend them. Re the Edward II yes of course there is a connection there too. I wasn't suggesting otherwise. The point was my better half only considered the connection between the present royal family and the English royal line. She didn't even know at the time that the Queen was dsecended from Bruce through the Scottish royal line. A very anglo-centric view on things which 30 odd years of living with me has mostly eradicated :-)

I had another friend at our local club who said something the same as Actius Aquila. Basically that Scottish folk songs are mostly about hating the English etc etc etc. Fine saying that but when I asked him to list such songs it then becomes much harder. I produced the wee book 100 Great Scottish Songs produced by Soodlum with many of the better known Scottish folk songs and from that only two songs could be described as being about specifically conflict with the English. One is 'Scots Wha Hae' basically the Burns poem which is supposedly Bruce addressing his troops before Bannockburn. So it is about fighting the invader but the idea that you can't have a song about one of the defining moments of Scottish history is plainly absurd. The other is the song "Haughs of Cromdale" which introduces "the English" into something they weren't actually directly involved in. So yes that is one song which could be described as putting the English in as adversaries when they weren't historically - but that is one song out of 100 in total.

I am not saying there are no other songs about fighting the English or in some way having a go at the English but the truth is that they are more conspicuous by their absence rather than their presence in the overall number of songs. And it would take someone of heightened paranoia to imagine every song dealing with historical conflict with the English is an anti-English song. For instance the Lammas-Tide is basically just the first few verses of the Battle Of Otterburn. Yes it deals with the subject of Scots fighting the English but it doesn't actually slag off or diss the English. It is simply a narrative of events as told according to the ballad. That isn't anti anything - it is only telling a story.

And I have yet to understand why Killiecrankie was used as an example by the other poster. There is absolutely nothing anti-English about it and doesn't even mention the English or anything about England. Killiecrankie was a battle between Scottish Jacobites and the Scottish gvt army. The narrator in the song is a Scottish gvt soldier who has just been at the battle. He meets another soldier who wasn't at the battle and he tells him about the battle and how awful it was. It honestly takes a bit of a twisted turn of logic to suggest that is anti-English in any way!


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Feb 19 - 05:09 AM

"And I have yet to understand why Killiecrankie was used as an example by the other poster".
In a word, ignorance.


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: GUEST,Dave D
Date: 14 Feb 19 - 06:17 AM

Always loved the gallows humour of Killiecrankie:

         I fought at land, I fought at sea
         At hame I fought my auntie-o


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 14 Feb 19 - 06:55 AM

To answer Miranda in short and gloss over reams of history, before 1707, England and Scotland were separate countries: and there are plenty of people hoping that they will be again!


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 14 Feb 19 - 08:02 AM

Both "Lammas Tide" and "Lock the Door Lariston" are border ballads about Border raids in which neither the politics or national agendas of the Monarchs and Courts of either kingdom (Scotland or England) featured.

The thread and ethics of loyalty along the Anglo-Scottish border between 1289 and 1653 ran family first, friends and allies second, King and Country came way, way down the pecking order, if it ever featured at all.


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: GUEST,ActiusAquila
Date: 14 Feb 19 - 10:50 AM

I used "Killiecrankie" as an example of how catchy Jacobite songs usually are. It wasn't meant to be an example of anti-Englishness. I guess I wasn't clear enough, and in that case, I apologize.

Still, though lots of Jacobite songs are not directly anti-English, indirectly, in my honest opinion (you may disagree), they are. Allan mentioned "Sound the Pibroch", which if you think about it is a call to arms- against the English. It's evocative and a beautiful song, of course, but you do start to see ways in which songs may be anti-English when you apply some thought. Allan also mentioned the "The Skye Boat Song" and (the original version) has the line "baffled our foes"- if you ask me "foes" isn't very neutral a term at all. It's not downright offensive, sure, but it'd probably rankle a few people.

I'm sure quite a few more songs are like that too (feel free to disagree and say I'm reading between the lines too much). The thing about Jacobite songs is that several of them are rooted in Scots vs English battles. Whenever that sort of thing comes up, though the song may not mention it, you sort of understand (if you know a tad bit of history) that part of the song's underlying themes are about a) Scots fighting the English, which I think doesn't have very positive connotations, b) Crushing the English (Haughs of Cromdale, Johnny Cope, Flower of Scotland, to a certain extent), or c) Scottish calls to arms against the English. It's the historical context that tends to bring about the Anti-Englishness in Jacobite songs (once again- my opinion), and not the lyrics. You don't have to explicitly say "the English" to get anti-Englishness in something.

But Jacobite songs aside, I think FoS as Roy sang it wasn't problematic. I agree with Tattie, it just sounds gentle and reflective when Roy does it. When Ronnie and the crowd sing it of course it's going to sound martial (and to be honest, there IS a match to play, there's a pipe playing, and Ronnie is usually very... vocally agressive when it comes to getting the crowd to sing louder). The anti-Englishness of FoS really depends on how you sing it.


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 14 Feb 19 - 12:48 PM

You certainly are reading far too much into it - perhaps from not fully knowing what the Jacobite Wars were actually about. They were not England v Scotland. They were Jacobite v Hanovarian. Hence in the Skye Boat Song it is absurd to say that the word "foe" is anti-English. The song lyric was written by an Englishman and 'foe' here means the enemies of the Jacobites. There is no mention of the English!! It is about somone escaping from his enemies over the sea. The use of the word 'foe' hardly makes it a hate mongering lyric even if it was specifically about one nationality. It is simply stating he is fleeing from his enemies.

Likewise with "Sound The Pibroch" - no it is not a call to arms against the English. It is a call to arms against the Hanovarians. Though it doesn't actually really mention the enemy at all. Clearly absurd to suggest either of these songs are anti-English. but if you really want to be offended by songs then you will find a way to be offended - that is clear.

Yes there are some songs about 'crushing' the English but my point was they are the exception. There simply is not that many of them. For every "Black Douglas" or "Stirling Brig" there are a hundred songs which have nothing to do with crushing the English.


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: meself
Date: 14 Feb 19 - 01:39 PM

I would have thought that the singing of most of these Jacobite songs are understood today to be harmless excursions into the glories and drama of some misty romantic past that never quite was. Of course, I'm in North America - but if the singing of, say, Sound the Pibroch were to lead some old greybeard in his cups to start denouncing the English and weeping over the Stuarts, everyone would be laughing over it for days ....


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 14 Feb 19 - 05:07 PM

Ronnie has not sung Flower of Scotland at Murrayfield for a long time! He said he found it too emotional the last time he did (thinking of Roy): what I find emotional now is that for several seasons we've had pipes leading the first verse, but then they stop playing and the crowd does the last verse a capella: we don't need any opera singers to lead it! (Oh, and I'm sure the Princess Royal who goes to the matches as patron, has been caught on camera joining in the singing - far from being offended!)


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: GUEST,Sol
Date: 14 Feb 19 - 05:57 PM

At Culloden in 1746(Jacobites v Duke of Cumberland's British Army), there were apparently more Scots (probably lowlanders)fighting with Cumberland than with Chairlie. If that was the case, it is misleading to describe the battle as a "Scotland v England" encounter.
AFAIK, the '45 Rising was an attempt to reinstate a Catholic monarch on the throne of Scotland.


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: Workingtonman
Date: 14 Feb 19 - 07:30 PM

yes, i've heard that. the insult 'sassenach' actually referred to lowland scots fighting with - or for- the english. fulfilling the same role as unionists today in their sad battle against independent scotland.


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Subject: RE: The Flower of Scotland
From: GUEST,ActiusAquila
Date: 14 Feb 19 - 08:00 PM

OK, Allan, I apologize, you know what you're talking about more than I do here. But yes, people will find every way to be offended if they want to be offended. That's kinda part of what I wanted to say, hence my reading too much into it.

I agree with Tattie 100%. It's amazing when the piper stops piping and the crowd sings without the pipe or a singer leading them on, because they don't need either of them. At that point FoS is just beautiful, though I sort of wish Ronnie would sing it again (he just sings as one of the crowd now, apparently), and it's so sad that Roy never got to lead the crowd in singing the song he wrote himself. At least he got to see them singing it in 1990, he was supposedly smiling all the way through!


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