Traditional Scottish Songs
- The Land of Gallant Hearts

Henry Scott Riddell (1798-1870), who wrote the song below, was born and raised near Langholm, in Dumfries and Galloway. So he was aware from an early age about the frequent conflicts between the Scots and the English that ebbed and flowed across that region. He says that he wrote "The Land of Gallant Hearts" in support of our native land, and thus, in his own way, "avenged the Battle of Pinkie." The battle was fought in 1547 and was sparked by English demands that Edward VI of England (aged 10) should marry Mary Queen of Scots (aged 5) - an event known as the "Rough Wooing". It is estimated that in the Battle of Pinkie 15,000 Scots were killed, 1,500 captured and English losses amounted to only 500.

The Land of Gallant Hearts

Ours is the land of gallant hearts,
   The land of lovely forms,
The island of the mountain-harp,
   The torrents and the storms;
The land that blooms with freeman's tread,
   And withers with the slave's,
Where far and deep the green woods spread,
   And wild the thistle waves.

Ere ever Ossian's lofty voice
   Had told of Fingal's fame,
Ere ever from their native clime
   The Roman eagles came,
Our land had given heroes birth,
   That durst the boldest brave,
And taught above tyrannic dust,
   The thistle tufts to wave.

What need we say how Wallace fought,
   And how his foemen fell?
Or how on glorious Bannockburn
   The work went wild and well?
Ours is the land of gallant hearts,
   The land of honour'd graves,
Whose wreath of fame shall ne'er depart
   While yet the thistle waves.

Return to the Index of Traditional Scottish Songs

Where else would you like to go in Scotland?

Separator line