Scotland’s rugby fifteen play England this afternoon. They will have a disadvantage before they start. Prior to kick-off, the dirge Flower Of Scotland will be played.
Music is not my expertise, but the tune of this funereal drone is hardly stirring.
As someone interested in words I feel qualified enough to point out a stark truth: the defeatist, depressing, dull lyrics of this song are the opposite of inspiring.
Flower Of Scotland is about young men, that fought and died for, never coming home. We won’t, it appears, see their like again. And we’re told that all they battled for was a wee bit hill and glen.
If anyone is glorified it is, proud who, Edward. Why does he get to be proud? Whereas those who stood against him sound like they had an inferiority complex. All that is achieved is to send him homeward to think again. Hardly a resounding success, is it.
The second verse gets even more depressing. Those days are past now, and in the past they must remain. Scotland’s only hope is that we can still rise now… no doubt for another hopeless tilt, resulting in dismal defeat.
By the time the third stanza tells of autumn leaves lying vacant still, I expect any formerly red-blooded Scot is reduced to melancholy inertia, not keyed up to win bruising buffets in the scrum.
Even given weight by massed voices, and I’ve stood among them, the song is ploddingly slow and low. It is supposedly about a victory but manages to be a lament of failure.
I’ve heard it described as dignified. Laurels aren’t given for dignity, I want to win.
An anthem should roar. It should quicken minds and strengthen feelings of brotherhood. The words should bolster backbones and jut jaws. It should be sung with gusto, it should lift fists to punch the air, it should summon all the drive and ambition a proud nation can muster.
A new song must be found that may take Scots fortitude as a start but then kindles our will to win, demands determination, provokes passion, and fires our wha’s like us, God-given right to be the best in the world.
Surely, somewhere in the nation that invented everything, there is a composer who can play an air to gladden hearts and set lyrics to it that inspire victory?
Words are power.
Word of the week
Composed of three parts. E.G. “Flower Of Scotland is ternary: the dull bit, the depressing bit and the uninspiring bit.”
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