Traditional Scottish Songs
- Old Scotia
The author of this short song, Joseph Train (1779-1852), was born in Ayrshire. His first slim volume of songs was seen by Sir Walter Scott who was complimentary about the work. The two writers corresponded over the years, with Tain conveying legendary tales and scraps of information (including an account of the original "Old Mortality") which Scott incorporated into the Waverley novels. Scott would no doubt have approved of the sentiments of "Old Scotia".
Old ScotiaI 've loved thee, old Scotia, and love thee I will,
Till the heart that now beats in my bosom is still.
My forefathers loved thee, for often they drew
Their dirks in defence of thy banners of blue;
Though murky thy glens, where the wolf prowl'd of yore,
And craggy thy mountains, where cataracts roar,
The race of old Albyn, when danger was nigh,
For thee stood resolved still to conquer or die.
I love yet to roam where the beacon-light rose,
Where echoed thy slogan, or gather'd thy foes,
Whilst forth rush'd thy heroic sons to the fight,
Opposing the stranger who came in his might.
I love through thy time-fretted castles to stray,
The mould'ring halls of thy chiefs to survey;
To grope through the keep, and the turret explore,
Where waved the blue flag when the battle was o'er.
I love yet to roam o'er each field of thy fame,
Where valour has gain'd thee a glorious name;
I love where the cairn or the cromlach is made,
To ponder, for low there the mighty are laid.
Were these fall'n heroes to rise from their graves,
They might deem us dastards, they might deem us slaves;
But let a foe face thee, raise fire on each hill,
Thy sons, my dear Scotia, will fight for thee still!
Meaning of unusual words:
cromlach = megalithic tomb
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