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Thread: Scottish Poems and Songs

  1. #1
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    Scottish Poems and Songs

    Post your favorite Scottish poetry and song. This section needs some brightness. In my opinion, some of the most beautiful songs and poems in the world come from Scotland, both in Scots and English.

    The Flowers of The Forest

    I've heard the lilting, at the yowe-milking,
    Lasses a-lilting before dawn o' day;
    But now they are moaning on ilka green loaning;
    "The Flowers of the Forest are a' wede away".

    As buchts, in the morning, nae blythe lads are scorning;
    The lasses are lonely and dowie and wae.
    Nae daffin', nae gabbin', but sighing and sobbing,
    Ilk ane lifts her leglen, and hies her away.

    In hairst, at the shearing, nae youths now are jeering,
    The Bandsters are lyart, and runkled and grey.
    At fair or at preaching, nae wooing, nae fleeching,
    The Flowers of the Forest are a' wede away.

    At e'en, in the gloaming, nae swankies are roaming,
    'Bout stacks wi' the lasses at bogle to play.
    But ilk ane sits drearie, lamenting her dearie,
    The Flowers of the Forest are a' wede away.

    Dule and wae for the order sent our lads to the Border;
    The English, for ance, by guile wan the day:
    The Flowers of the Forest, that foucht aye the foremost,
    The prime o' our land are cauld in the clay.

    We'll hae nae mair lilting, at the yowe-milking,
    Women and bairns are dowie and wae.
    Sighing and moaning, on ilka green loaning,
    The Flowers of the forest are all wede away.

    A Man's A Man
    Robert Burns

    Is there for honest poverty
    That hings his head, an' a' that?
    The coward slave, we pass him by -
    We dare be poor for a' that!
    For a' that, an' a' that!
    Our toils obscure, an' 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 an' a' that?
    Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine
    A man's a man for a' that.
    For a' that, an' a' that,
    Their tinsel show, an' 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, an' stares, an' a' that?
    Tho' hundreds worship at his word,
    He's but a cuif for a' that,
    For a' that, an' a' that,
    His ribband, star, an' a' that,
    The man o' independent mind,
    He looks an' laughs at a' that.

    A prince can mak a belted knight,
    A marquis, duke, an' a' that!
    But an honest man's aboon his might -
    Guid faith, he mauna fa' that!
    For a' that, an' a' that,
    Their dignities, an' a' that,
    The pith o' sense an' 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,
    Shall bear the gree an' a' that,
    For a' that, an' a' that,
    It's comin yet for a' that,
    That man to man the world oe'r
    Shall brithers be for a' that.

    Lochnagar
    Lord Byron

    Away, ye gay landscapes, ye gardens of roses,
    In you let the minions of luxury rove,
    Restore me the rocks where the snow-flake reposes,
    Though still they are sacred to freedom and love.
    Yet Caledonia, belov'd are thy mountains,
    Round their white summits tho' elements war,
    Though cataracts foam 'stead of smooth-flowing fountains,
    I sigh for the valley of dark Lochnagar.

    Ah! there my young footsteps in infancy wander'd,
    My cap was the bonnet, my cloak was the plaid.
    On chieftains long perish'd my memory ponder'd
    As daily I strode thro' the pine-cover'd glade.
    I sought not my home till the day's dying glory
    Gave place to the rays of the bright Polar star,
    For fancy was cheer'd by traditional story,
    Disclos'd by the natives of dark Lochnagar!

    Years have roll'd on, Lochnagar, since I left you!
    Years must elapse ere I tread you again.
    Though nature of verdure and flow'rs has bereft you,
    Yet still are you dearer than Albion's plain.
    England, thy beauties are tame and domestic
    To one who has roamed over mountains afar
    Oh! for the crags that are wild and majestic,
    The steep frowning glories of dark Lochnagar.

    I could post many many more but I'll limit it to three.

  2. #2
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    I just heard of this awesome Scots song through the Dutch band "Omnia".

    The Twa Corbies

    As I was walking all alane,
    I heard twa corbies makin a mane;
    The tane unto the ither say,
    "Whar sall we gang and dine the-day?"

    "In ahint yon auld fail dyke,
    I wot there lies a new slain knight;
    And nane do ken that he lies there,
    But his hawk, his hound an his lady fair."

    "His hound is tae the huntin gane,
    His hawk tae fetch the wild-fowl hame,
    His lady's tain anither mate,
    So we may mak oor dinner swate."

    "Ye'll sit on his white hause-bane,
    And I'll pike oot his bonny blue een;
    Wi ae lock o his gowden hair
    We'll theek oor nest whan it grows bare."

    "Mony a one for him makes mane,
    But nane sall ken whar he is gane;
    Oer his white banes, whan they are bare,
    The wind sall blaw for evermair."

    The Two Crows

    As I was walking all alone,
    I heard two crows (or ravens) making a moan;
    One said to the other,
    "Where shall we go and dine today?"

    "In behind that old turf wall,
    I sense there lies a newly slain knight;
    And nobody knows that he lies there,
    But his hawk, his hound and his lady fair."

    "His hound is to the hunting gone,
    His hawk to fetch the wild-fowl home,
    His lady's has taken another mate,
    So we may make our dinner sweet."

    "You will sit on his white neck-bone,
    And I'll peck out his pretty blue eyes;
    With one lock of his golden hair
    We'll thatch our nest when it grows bare."

    "Many a one for him is moaning,
    But nobody will know where he is gone;
    Over his white bones, when they are bare,
    The wind will blow for evermore."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Soten View Post
    The Twa Corbies
    A common and widespread theme in the Anglophone world. We have an old version known as The Three Ravens. I like ours better, but I won't rush to claim something as meaningless as ours being earlier, as it's a common tradition to the AngloSaxons...

    http://sniff.numachi.com/pages/tiTHR...tTHRERAVN.html
    Midi file, a nice dark feel to it, like most English music had in the good old days: http://sniff.numachi.com/midi/THRERAVN.midi
    The midi hasn't captured it perfectly, but if you're as good a pianist as I am and can play one note at a time with a finger while reading the score, and recording into a decent keyboard at 50% of normal speed and speeding it up on replay, you'll see what it should be like from the score on the first link!

    As for Scotch songs, can't go wrong with a bit of Runrig, who do a bit in English as well as their Gaelic songs:
    The Ship

    A rubbish recording, but you get the idea...
    Or Dougie McLean:
    Caledonia


    Anyone know of any Lowlands folk singers of the present day worth listening to? I'm afraid I've just given Hebridean and Pictland examples above.

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t25AOSxZZkI

    This is not a Scottish poem but a great instrumental called "Glasgow Kiss" and is beautiful on its own. Someone with talent could put words to it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oswiu View Post

    Anyone know of any Lowlands folk singers of the present day worth listening to? I'm afraid I've just given Hebridean and Pictland examples above.
    Scocha is good. Crappy video:

    Killiecrankie

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