Traditional Scottish Songs
- Our Ain Native Land

Henry Scott Riddell (1798 - 1870) was born at Sorbie, in the Vale of Ewes, in the south-east of Dumfriesshire. He was a contemporary - and admirer - of James Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd and like him, helped his father tend the flocks in his local area. Despite a lack of early education, he eventualy went to St Andrews University and later became a preacher, back in the Scottish Borders.

A number of his poems are very patriotic and nationalistic - he wrote Scotland Yet while out for a walk in a lonely glen at Teviothead and Scotia's Thistle. This is another in a similar vein.

      Our Ain Native Land

Our ain native land! our ain native land!
   There's a charm in the words that we a' understand,
That flings o'er the bosom the power of a spell,
   And makes us love mair what we a' love so well.
The heart may have feelings it canna conceal,
   As the mind has the thoughts that nae words can reveal,
But alike he the feelings and thought can command
   Who names but the name o' our ain native land.

Our ain native land! our ain native land!
   Though bleak be its mountains and rugged its strand,
The waves aye seem bless'd, dancing wild o'er the sea,
   When woke by the winds from the hills o' the free.
Our sky oft is dark, and our storms loud and cauld,
   But where are the hearts that sic worth can unfauld
As those that unite, and uniting expand,
   When they hear but the name o' our ain native land?

Our ain native land! our ain native land!
   To hear of her famed ones let none e'er demand,
For the hours o' a' time far too little would prove
   To name but the names that we honour and love.
The bard lives in light, though his heart it be still,
   And the cairn of the warrior stands gray on the hill,
And songster and sage can alike still command
   A garland of fame from our ain native land.

Our ain native land! our ain native land!
   Her wild woods are glorious, her waterfalls grand,
And her songs still proclaim, as they ring through the glen,
   The charms of her maids and the worth of her men.
Her thistle shall cease in the breezes to wave,
   And the floweret to bloom on the patriot's grave,
Ere we cease to defend, with our heart and our hand,
   The freedom and faith of our ain native land.

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