Scots wha hae

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X:1 T:Scots Wha Hae M:C L:1/16 R:Highland Schottische B:Kerr - Merry Melodies vol. 3 (c. 1880's, No. 202, p. 24) Z:AK/FIddler's Companion K:D A3AA3F (AB3)d4|B3BB3A (Bc3) d4|f3ge3f d3e f3e|(dB3) B3A (A4A)z2:| |:f3ff3e f3g a4|e3ee3d e3f g4|af3 e3f d3ef3e|dB3 B3A (A4A2)z2:|]

SCOTS WHA HAE (WI’ WALLACE BLED). AKA and see "Bruce's Address," "Hey Tuttie Taiti" "Fill Up Your Bumpers High." Scottish, Air and Highland Schottische (whole or ¾ time). D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. Antiquarian Frank Kidson (1915) says the tune comes from "remote antiquity;" tradition has it that it was played (as "Hey Tuttie Taiti") at the battle of Bannockburn. "Hey Tuttie Taiti" is the air to which, in 1793, Robert Burns set his famous lyric "Scots Wha Hae,” having been partly inspired by the French Revolution (Purser, 1992), and presented in the form of a speech given by Robert the Bruce before the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, in which Scotland won independence from the English king. The Burns song “Scots Wha Hae” [1] appears in the James Johnson’s Scots Musical Museum, No. 577 (published in six volumes, 1787-1803). In September, 1793, Burns wrote to his publisher, George Thomson:

I do not know whether the old air “Hey tuttie taitie” may rank among the number, but with Frazer’s hautboy it has often filled my eyes with tears. There is a tradition, which I have met with in many places of Scotland, that it was Robert Bruce’s march at the battle of Bannockburn. This thought, in my solitary wanderings, warmed me to a pitch of enthusiasm on the theme of Liberty and Independence, which I threw into a kind of Scottish ode fitted to the air that one might suppose to be the gallant Royal Scot’s address to his heroic followers on the eventful morning.

Unfortunately Burns was apparently persuaded by Thomson to allow the use of another air ("Lewis Gordon") when the song was first published in vol. III Thomson's collection in 1799. However, after Burns' death Thomson changed his mind, and with the edition of 1801 "Hey Tuttie Taiti" was restored as the vehicle for the words.

Burns' lyric begins:

Scots, wha hae wi' Wallace bled,
Scots, wham Bruce has aften led;
Welcome to your gory bed,
Or to victory!

Now's the day, and now's the hour;
See the front o' battle lour;
See approach proud Edward's power—
Chains and slavery!

Somewhat contemporaneously (and also anonymously) Carolina (sometimes Caroline) Oliphant, Lady Nairne (1766-1845) employed the melody for her own verses in "Land of the Leal," written in late 1797 or 1798 for her friend, Mrs. Archibald, upon the death of an infant daughter:

I'm wearin' awa' John,
Like snaw-wreaths in thaw, John,
I'm wearin' awa'
To the land o' the leal.
There's nae sorrow there, John
There's neither cauld nor care, John,
The day's aye fair
In the land o' the leal.

To me ye hae bee true John,
Your task's ended noo, John
For near kythes my view
O' the land o' the leal.
Our bonnie bairn's there, John,
She was baith gude and fair, John,
And, oh! we grud'd her sair
To the land o' the leal.

But dry that tearfu' ee John,
Grieve na for her and me, John
Frae sin and sorrow free
I' the land o' the leal.
Now fare ye weel, may ain John!
This warld's cares are vain, John,
We'll meet and aye be fein
I' the land o' the leal.

A standard version of this tune (set as a schottische) appears in the music manuscript copybook of John Burks, dated 1821. Burks was a musician who was probably from the north of England. However, the tune has been set variously as a slow air, Highland Schottische, march and other forms.

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 3), c. 1880’s; No. 202, p. 24.

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