The National Burns - Ed William Mackenzie

Inside this old book containing the correspondence of Robert Burns with the publisher Thompson, is letter No. XLIII written by Burns to Mr Thompson, in September 1793:

"I am happy, my dear Sir, that my ode pleases you so much. Your idea, "honour's bed" is, though a beautiful, a hackneyed idea ; so, if you please, we will let the line stand as it is. I have altered the song as follows.

N.B. I have borrowed the last stanza from the common stall edition of Wallace:

" A false usurper sinks in every foe,
And liberty returns with every blow."

 A couplet worthy of Homer. Yesterday you had enough of my correspondence. The post      goes, and my head aches miserably. One comfort! I suffer so much just now in this world,    for last night's joviality, that I shall escape scot-free for it in the world to come. Amen.

Imagine our surprise when we received this video from reader "Natounette" who took us up at our word to find an audio of the song "Scots wha hei wi' Wallace Bled!" to include in our post . She took her flute and played the song for us !!

Very moving!  Many thanks Nathalie for this lovely contribution to Scotiana's blog !  It is greatly appreciated.

Merci beaucoup :-)

       English lyrics
'Scots, who have with Wallace bled,
Scots, whom Bruce has often led,
Welcome to your gory bed
Or to victory!
'Now is the day, and now is the hour:
See the front of battle lower (threaten),
See approach proud Edward's power -
Chains and slavery!
'Who will be a traitor knave?
Who will fill a coward's grave?
Who's so base as be a slave? -
Let him turn, and flee!
'Who for Scotland's King and Law
Freedom's sword will strongly draw,
Freeman stand or freeman fall,
Let him follow me!
'By oppression's woes and pains,
By your sons in servile chains,
We will drain our dearest veins
But they shall be free!
'Lay the proud usurpers low!
Tyrants fall in every foe!
Liberty is in every blow!
Let us do or die!'