Siol nan Gaidheal

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  • BANNOCKBURN

    The Carse was wet with morning dew,
    the sun was low in the sky,
    I walked alone through the fallen leaves,
    where the Bannock Burn runs by.
    But as I stopped to view the land,
    I felt a tear in my eye,
    for in this Nation of my birth,
    Freedom's blood ran dry.

    For here's where many patriotic Scots,
    laid down their lives to be free,
    for their pathetic descendants,
    to mock their noble deeds,
    I pray, Bruce and Wallace cannot see,
    the Legacy they left behind,
    lost in vain and ignorance,
    and mocked by their own kind.


    (D.McQueen '92)


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    THE HIGHLANDS

    When the house is deserted,
    the hearth moist and the thatch reverting
    to earth, the beds rotting,
    the blankets and covers decaying,
    we will believe then that the family is dead.

    Though the next-door children
    were enjoying themselves to the full,
    playing with shards, and jumping on the chairs
    that once supported their forebears' friends,
    we may say truthfully there is no life there.

    I am depressed,
    seeing now so many rafters bared,
    missing the fire with its welcoming flames;
    the moon sheds light through the ribs
    of this Highland-Lowland house tonight.

    (D.Thomson)


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    Scotland the Brave?


    Given time all wounds will heal
    at least that's what they say
    But how can wounds so fresh and real
    Ever go away?
    Where's the sense in what we believed
    or what we felt and thought?
    Where's the sense in being deceived
    It's either truth or not.
    We chose to believe what suits our ends
    knowing it was a lie
    Now it's too late to make amends
    We've destined our land to die.
    For we have failed and that's the truth
    though oft times the truth is sad
    We've let our young men trade their youth
    to die for good or bad.
    Oh where's the sense in what we've done
    Am I too blind to see?
    Somewhere out there must be one
    With truth enough for me.
    Little by little, bit by bit
    Our land is falling apart
    And we're just sitting watching it
    Oh can't you hear my heart?
    It's calling out for a gentle ear
    Someone in whom to confide
    It's calling out for one to hear
    What's going on inside.
    For pain cuts deeper than a knife
    I doubt each fleeting breath
    How can we be this far from life
    And yet this close to death.
    I know my heart is fit to break
    For confusion reigns in me
    And how much more can this heart take
    Before you begin to see
    That I am not what I appear
    For I have pain and doubt
    And within my soul there burns a fear
    That is not seen without
    And all my childish ways
    It's not as foolish as it seems
    In these enlightened days
    And all my pride and all the blood
    That used to burn so strong
    Has washed my heart like a coursing flood
    'Till I dont know right from wrong.
    For today and tomorrow will soon be past
    And look what we've become
    We've lived our lives hard and fast
    And there's no sense for some
    For this rose that I love has its thorns
    That draws blood from the depths of my heart
    I've watched my dreams get ripped and torn
    And my soul being pulled apart
    But things will change, I know they will
    For we can't go on this way
    Too long we've swallowed the bitter pill
    Now we will have our say
    The time to choose has come at last
    Make sure your anchor will hold
    Too many chances we have passed
    Too many lies been told
    But we know our present and our past
    We're not too blind to see
    That it's too late the die's been cast
    My nation cries to be free
    So open your eyes and look around
    Before it disappears
    And cast your gaze on the hallowed ground
    Thats upheld us through the years
    The land that holds us is all ours
    It's all we'll ever need
    And we'll break free from foreign powers
    And foreign lust and greed
    This land is ours and we will choose
    Who will govern and rule
    For we have nothing left to lose
    Are we Scotland the Brave or Scotland the Fool?

    (M.Hill)

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    THE GREAT RED SHEEP

    Noo Scotland is an ancient land, Tae the north o' Solway Firth,
    But there's a loat o' folk in Scotland who dinnae see the worth
    Of a nation free and sovereign, tae choose its forward way
    Withoot past ties tae bind us an' lead our thochts astray
    An' mony ithers are jist too feart tae think aboot it deep
    An' trek alang oan votin' day like a flock o' Great Red Sheep!!

    The Great Red Sheep o' Scotland are a' curious beasts indeed, fur they
    a' think wi their arses instead o' usin the heid.
    "Ma family huv voted Labour a' oor lives," they'll say,
    An never gie a single thocht tae the wey things are today.
    There's nane sae blin' as them that disnae want to see,
    That they kin vote Labour a' they want Efter Scotlands Free!

    Support fur Scotland means for some, a tartan scarf an' tammy
    But vote fur Scotland's Freedom? They'd need tae ask their mammy.

    Anon.

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    BEFORE

    Looking at last o'er Loch Rannoch
    remember the young girls laughter combust along the shore
    no more boats score the shingle
    on their way to sanctuary
    beneath once poignant trees

    Insidious time.

    Brave Schiehallion fairies guard
    the lands long surrendered
    to the whims of indulgence
    water of deep secret lying still
    amid the echo of our own

    Insidious time.

    Within the landscape reforms
    to the point of embrace
    forgotten at the dawn
    Sweet Heather lies choked
    smothered by the Saxon weed.

    Insidious time.

    Daibhidh


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    STREETS

    Dark wet wandering course of toil
    Laid upon our native soil
    Monument of forgotten hope
    Guiding chain where once was rope
    Around the neck of honest right
    Of ways to reach the coming night
    On streets a symbol of deliverance
    Named in desperate significance.

    Destinations yet uncertain
    Familiar force of occupation
    Within the sanctuary of our pride
    Our new found voice, the coming tide
    Of insignificance undeserved
    Jock Tamson's bairns unpreserved
    Among the gathered sycophants
    Who are the crude inhabitants.

    Sussex, Surrey, Gloucestershire
    The London fog uprooted mire
    The fashion conscious take the floor
    Obscurity behind the door
    Where once the lion rampant flew
    A sickened beast, red white and blue
    So raise the voice in noble lede
    And remember those among our deid.

    Daibhidh


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    SCOTLAND

    I make you what you are not
    Mean land in the winter
    The eye remembers rain
    Homeless miles over grey wind
    Mist like ghosts, hands rough shod
    Cut from leather, and the trees are dead.

    There are times I did not love you
    Old woman on rickety frame
    The broken ruins of your dying bed.

    In the flutter of a pulse-were battles
    Echoes of a long-gone drum
    Or the frail cries of the peewit
    In lament over burning lands.

    Why do I remain faithful to the wedding ring of pure gold
    These fragments I panned from your rivers. Year after cold year?
    Perhaps in your poverty I find my home, in these bones - my own heart.

    (K.C.S)

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    FICHEAD BLIADHNA / TWENTY YEARS

    Freedom of the moor.    Freedom of the hill.
    And then to school at the end of summer
    Children, five years of age
    Without a word of English in their heads.

    Here's your book.    Here's your pen.
    Study hard, That's what they told me
    And you will rise up in the world
    You will achieve.

    I learnt many things;
    The English language
    The poetry of England
    The music of Germany
    The history of Spain
    And even that was a misleading history

    Then on to further education
    Following education, more education
    Like puppets, on the end of a string
    And I did rise in the world
    I found my suit, I found my shirt
    I found a place in the eyes of men
    Well away from the freedom of the moor

    But why did they keep our history from us?
    I'll tell you they are frightened
    In case the children of Gaeldom awake
    With searching and penetrating questions
    Twenty years for the Truth
    I had to wait, I had to search
    Twenty years of deceit

    They denied me knowledge of myself.

    (C.MacDonald/R.MacDonald)

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    THE LAST WOLF

    When I despair on these long miles of loss
    And History slipped from source to sea
    I catch a glimpse of the last wolf of Scotland
    That blows through the embers of the fire.

    (KCS)

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    THE SHOT

    A long time ago
    A bullet hit the deer of Scotland
    That first cry is lost
    But for the splinters and echoes
    Whose blood is still dripping
    from my hands and pen.

    (KCS)

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    RAB & NIGEL'S LITTLE CHAT

    Nigel expounds:
    "Independence is a quaint ideal
    But come on Jocko, let's be real -
    Is not the Scot a simple child
    The edified must view as wild?
    He and all his 'Celtic ilk'
    Would die without their mother's milk,
    The milk of gracious England's breast
    And monies from her treasure chest."

    Rab stirs his coffee.
    "For England's breast read Auld Nick's udder,
    The Scots are more than cannon fodder.
    Your Saxon milk's a septic brew
    Inducing us to die for you.
    Around the globe on fields of battle
    Scots have bled like slaughtered cattle,
    And how did England pay their keep??
    These heroes in eternal sleep?
    - For some they burned their families out,
    Replaced their bairns with black-faced sheep!

    But some of us remain at home
    And fought like hell to strive
    To keep the outlawed cultures
    And the Gaelic tongue alive.
    And as for independence, pal,
    There's something I must say -
    'CUIR A MACH NA SASANNAICH'
    For independence day.

    Your two-faced leaders in the south
    Have blinkered views and twisted mouths,
    And every promise that they make
    We know's a lie they're bound to break.
    When they encounter ancient cultures
    They scavenge like a pack of vultures -
    They pick away and steal the riches
    Then make our people dig their ditches.
    Well, I will work for them no more
    nor sing 'God save the German whore'
    -Just get to hell and leave us be and let us have our country FREE"

    Macmhuirich '92

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    A'GHÀIDHEALTACHD

    Nuar a bhios an taigh fas,
    a' chagailt tais 's na leapannan a'breothadh,
    creididh sinn an uair sin gun d'fhuair an teaghlach bas.

    Ged a bhiodh clann
    an ath dhorais aig mullach an sonais
    a' cluiche le pristealan 's a' leum air na cathraichean
    a chum taca uair ri cuideachd an athraichean,
    faodaidh sinn a radh le firinn nach eil beatha ann.

    Bidh mi fo sprochd
    a' faicinn a-nis uiread de cheanglaichean ris,
    ag ionndrain an teine a b' aoidheile lasraichean;
    's i a' ghealach a tha a'deanamh soillse troimh asnaichean
    an taighe Ghall-Ghaidhealaich seo na-nochd.

    (Ruaraidh MacThomais)

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    CRUAIDH

    Cuil-lodair, is Briseadh na h-Eaglaise,
    is briseadh nan tacannan -
    lamhachas-laidir da thrian de ar coms;
    's e seoltachd tha dhith oirnn.
    Nuair a theirgeas a'chruaidh air faobhar na speala
    caith bhuat a' chlach-liomhaidh;
    chan eil agad ach iarann bog
    mur eil de chruas nad innleachd na ni sgathadh.

    Is caith bhuat briathran mine
    oir chan bhuat briathran agad;
    tha Tuatha De Danann fon talamh,
    's nuair a ruigeas tu Tir a' Gheallaidh,
    mura bi thu air t'aire
    coinnichidh Sasannach riut is plion air,
    a dh'innse dhut gun tug Dia, brathair athar, coir dha anns an fhearann.

    (Ruaraidh MacThomais)


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    ANTHEM FOR MANKIND

    (Postscript to Scots Wha Hae)

    Twa thousan years o storied fame
    'gainst Rome an Saxon's baseless aim
    clans the morn will warm tae claim
    they, like us, are free;

    In smeddum strang our sons hae gane
    tae fremmit lands tae staun alane
    wi Scotia's boast in ilka vein,
    man maun aye be free;

    It maitters nocht whaure'er we bide,
    in Scotland's tryst we aye confide,
    Lat Freedom rush like awesome tide,
    Lat us dae--no dee.

    Send Scotia's creed 'cross every main,
    nae tyrant yet but tried in vain,
    tae haud for aye in servile chain,
    the man wha will be free.

    Tae brithers aa wha'll claim the gree,
    we'll shout the sang o free men, free,
    in slogan clear fae historie,
    Lat us dae -- no dee.


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    NO GODS, AND PRECIOUS FEW HEROES

    I was listening to the News the other day
    I heard a fat politician who had the nerve to say
    He was proud to be Scottish, by the way
    With the glories of our past to remember
    Here's tae us, wha's like us? Listen to the cry
    No surrender to the truth and here's the reason why
    The Power and the Glory's just another bloody lie
    they use to keep us all in line.

    For there's no Gods and there's precious few heroes
    But there's plenty on the dole in the Land o' the Leal
    And it's time to sweep the future clear
    Of the lies of the past that we know were never real.

    Sae farewell tae the heather an the glen.
    They cleared us off once and they'd do it all again.
    FOR THEY STILL PREFER SHEEP TO THINKING MEN
    AH BUT MEN WHO THINK LIKE SHEEP ARE EVEN BETTER.
    There's nothing much to chose between the old laird and the new,
    They still don't give a damn for the likes of me and you.
    Just mind ye pay your rent to the factor when its due,
    And mind your bloody manners when ye pay.

    And tell me will we never hear the end,
    Of puir bluidy Charlie at Culloden yet again?
    Though he ran like a rabbit doun the glen,
    Leaving better folk than him to be butchered.
    Or are ye sitting in your council house dreaming o your Clan?
    Waitin' for the Jacobites tae come free the land?
    Try goin doun the burroo wi your claymore in your hand
    And count a' the princes in the queue.

    So don't talk to me of Scotland the Brave,
    For if we don't fight soon there'll be nothing left to save.
    Or would you rather stand and watch them dig your grave,
    While ye wait for the tartan messiah?
    He'll lead us tae the promised land wi laughter in his eye,
    We'll all live on the oil and the whisky by and by,
    Free heavy beer, pie suppers in the sky,
    Will we never have the sense to learn?

    That there's no Gods and there's precious few heroes,
    But there's plenty on the dole in the Land of the Leal
    AND I'M DAMN SURE THAT THERE'S PLENTY LIVE IN FEAR
    OF THE DAY WE STAND TOGETHER WITH OUR SHOULDER'S AT THE WHEEL.


    © Brian McNeill


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    Gathering Song: Over the Water


    - for Clan MacCrea of Locustbrae

    Gather round me, round me gather
    in this candle fired room
    alive with flickering shadows reeling
    along those wood-framed walls;
    the shadows pass quick as grace notes.
    Pay little heed, ah, but pay heed
    to the puzzling ghosts.
    Flame tongue speaks you a sharper lore,
    reeling in time to this tapping foot,
    body spirit swayed.
    Gather round and think me not mad,
    but fill my glass if my soul has not gone blind,
    and fill my glass again if you would call me bard;
    blame me not if no one sees for me.
    Then once again we'll dance
    and throw our laughter to the night.

    Now, tear from you hearts, do not be angry,
    tear away from the rich red of your hearts
    the woven cloth, tapestry that binds you
    in the threads of its history spun fine,
    soaked years in the miles of salt crossing, salt
    bleaching, salt settled in the taste of blood
    staining the swords salt ate
    as it poured on claymore, the blade
    tearing through the cloth of the plaid
    stripped from bodies to beat low the ravaging flames
    that dry the sea water fountains of your eyes.

    Then listen, oak leaves sound like green wood upon the fire.
    Red stag prances naked along the forest edge.
    On rocky slopes you gaze through a valley's depth of air -
    Turning to the peak, the stag tosses his antlers;
    Turning, you nod and move on to the Falls. Falls of Glomach

    But do those Falls run red from the hunt?
    Do they curtain the game's hiding home cave
    from the screams of Culloden's nameless children?
    The ashes of emptied roofs cover stone
    houses that crumble from fear, and lonely
    the bloodstone that protects you, the stone
    of the hollowed mountain;
    pile, if you pass this way, the stone.
    You are not stone hard cold tears
    wetting walls never left, stone heart's cave.
    The Falls run white like the soul of a sail.

    Now listen, child voices sound like streams singing down the mountain.
    Your children dance naked along the pond's shore.
    By firelight these old songs sound from spirit tuned drones,
    And at Locustbrae we gather, we gather love-bound hearts
    To Locustbrae, our glasses raised to life
    That has not died,
    Has not died,
    Has not died.

    By Diane M Bliss


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    DENIED

    Denied.
    Told that we are a part of something else when what we are was old before that something else existed.

    Betrayed.
    By those that should have known better. By those whose duty it was to stand. By those who we called laird, lord, chief and king.

    Forgotten.
    After battles were won and thrones established. After lives were poured out and all value exhausted. After our 'usefulness' was spent. When we were no longer necessary to their greed.

    Abandoned.
    To the whim of whoever; wherever. Without voice. Without recourse. Without personhood in the eyes of 'whoever and wherever'.

    Orphaned.
    By the lust of lucre and an act of 'Parliament'. Whose Parliament, we were not allowed to ask. Told by those that would lead us that we were no longer us, but a part of them.

    Expelled.
    More greed. More lust for that which fades. Driven from the one thing that was always ours. And we, like the sheep that replaced us, went docilely, without protest, into the unknown.

    Awakened.
    By the few dim flickers of hope in our ancient history, and the fewer but slightly brighter ones of today. By the recognition of so many others who have said "I am". By the children who ask "Who are we?"

    Determined.
    Around the world, the seeds of the Gael are rising from the ashes. Like the phoenix of old, we are reborn; stronger, wiser, and burning brighter than ever before. Burning with a passion for what was, and for what can be. Burning with a fervency that will not abate until all that stands between us and what is ours is swept away. Burning, with the hope of a dream-filled child's heart, for the realization of the emergence of the nation and the people that we always were.

    And now, will be again.



    © Douglas Robinson
    "Seamus Gunn"
    18 September 2003

    Ard Righ


    Composed for the 700th anniversary of Robert the Bruce's coronation, 25th March 1306

    August, thirteen hundred and five,
    A new star lights the Scottish night,
    A galaxy of heroes bright,
    Now hewn in stones of planet size.
    Eternal white-flamed eyes of god.
    Our hope, in Wallace, did not die.

    Now men are men, yet some commend
    With every pulse of consciousness,
    Their waking life to righteousness,
    Which at all costs they must defend.
    Custodians of honours flame,
    And on their likes mankind depends.

    Thus in the hearts of men did ring
    Loud echoes of a standard set,
    The urge to see this standard met,
    And hero songs were ours to sing,
    with mouth, with mind, with, heart, with sword!
    Not least the man who would be King.

    So to the wind his arrow's fired,
    The die is cast for right or wrong,
    As night ensures the day is born,
    Both friend and foe shall be aquired,
    For love and hate have been evoked,
    The fist of fate has been inspired.

    What choice to make?, a crown to take!
    A land to free!, a realm to win!
    From enemies foreign and within,
    Destroy them for this Nations sake,
    For Scotlands pride is born again,
    Of Rampant fire the Lion shall wake!

    Then March of thirteen hundred and six,
    A new sun lifts the Scottish dawn,
    A King! no more to play the pawn,
    A gauntlet cast into the quick,
    In headlong spate to meet the tide,
    His mind now set, the goal is fixed.

    From England's side we now divide,
    Let this define a brand new age,
    Let truth and reason be the gauge.
    We shall not run, nor plead, nor hide,
    We'll chant again, Claymore! Claymore!
    We've claimed what's ours, and here we'll bide.

    So here's a health, here's to the free,
    Here's to the Bruce and all he won,
    And through us now his fight lives on,
    So make a stand and free men be,
    Saor Alba a nis, agus Slainte Mhor!
    We'll raise a quaich to liberty.

    © 2006, Edward Boyter

    Lite Gun Shalainn


    Lite Gun Shalainn

    Sgian dubh na stocainn
    's Beurla na bheul
    moladh lit' sa mhadainn,
    's e cur muesli na bhobhl',
    "Chan fhaighear nas fhearr na'n t-uisge beatha",
    ach 's e 'Martini' bhios e 'g ol;
    Nach ann truagh an cluaran,
    le boladh an ros!

    Black knife in his pocket
    And English in his mouth,
    Praising porridge in the morning,
    As he puts 'muesli' in his bowl
    "You can't get better than the whisky"
    But its 'Martini' that he drinks;
    Isn't the thistle pitiful,
    with the stink of the rose!

    Anna Frater



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