What do you think of when you hear someone say, ‘Scotland’ ? It makes me think of the Winnie the Pooh poem, about snow and cold toes, tiddly pom! Mrs BBS says, “long service leave destination!” (but I’ll come too if I can manage it!!)
Legends? Here’s one I filched out of the cupboard;
The Scots King Alexander III routed the army of the Viking King Haakon IV at the Battle of Largs in 1263 A. D. Legend has it that the Vikings were intent on surprising the Scottish army under cover of darkness. Advancing barefoot, one of them trod on a Thistle. His cry of pain alerted the Scots, who fell upon the invaders, driving them back into their longships.
From that day the Thistle was adopted as the Emblem of Scotland.
That’s what our new potholder says, anyway. And it came from Scotland!
This is currently one of our favourite songs… Scotland the Brave. We hear it once a year on bagpipes, too, on Anzac Day, which is a treat.
Here are the lyrics:
Let Italy boast of her gay, gilded waters,
Her vines and her bowers and her soft sunny skies,
Her sons drinking love from the eyes of her daughters,
Where freedom expires amid softness and sighs.
Scotland’s blue mountains wild, where hoary cliffs are piled,
Towering in grandeur are dearer tae me,
Land of the misty cloud, land of the tempest loud,
Land of the brave and proud, land of the free.
Enthroned on the peak of her own highland mountains,
The spirit of Scotia reigns fearless and free,
Her green tartan waving o’er blue rock and fountain,
And proudly she sings, looking over the sea.
Here among my mountains wild, I have serenely smiled,
When armies and empires against me were hurled,
Firm as my native rock, I have withstood the shock,
Of England, of Denmark, of Rome and the world.
But see how proudly her war steeds are prancing,
Deep groves of steel trodden down in their path,
The eyes of my sons like their bright swords are glancing,
Triumphantly riding through ruin and death.
Bold hearts and nodding plumes wave o’er their bloody tombs,
Deep-eyed in gore is the green tartan’s wave,
Shivering are the ranks of steel, dire is the horseman’s wheel,
Victorious in battlefield, Scotland the brave.
Some books I’ve read about Scotland;
For Bonnie Prince Charlie, by Escott Lynne, which has some very entertaining Highland (and English!) characters, and Bonnie Prince Charlie by G. A. Henty. Bonnie Prince Charlie is a popular subject, it seems.
Also a good book, and one I just finished re-reading, is Two Penniless Princesses by Charlotte Yonge, which is supposed to come after The Caged Lion, also partly set in Scotland, but, ah, not as good…
See you later, and don’t step on any of THESE….