Saturday, November 16, 2013




Born in a dream of Scottish unity
St Andrew promises victory
With impunity
Over the massed English foes
At Athelstaneford
And in the morn
A nation was born
As the cloudy cross
Stretched in the blue sky
Above the battle
That decreed the Apostle
Was for Scotland


Colourful districts
A patchwork of fate
A full-blooded charge
Like a river in spate
The claymore and pibroch
The plaid and the croft
The spirit on free wings
Flying aloft on the tide of time
A family of the Clan
The great glens of Man
In a dance that longs to be home


The mist covered mountains
And peat water glens
The ancient bones
With fingers of pine
The stag and the coast
The wandering ghost
Awaiting a sign
The croft in the Bens
The sparkling fountains
The fox in the dens
Such granite as these will stand


Soaring aloft on the updraft
Of crags
And diving a drop onto a beastie
That lags behind the pack
Imperial gold with
Talons of steel
Rapidly deploying
Vigilant and free
Its ancient feathers
By the decree of
The carnate cycle


Misty islands of the setting sun
Wave crashing shores
The tides of the minches
And fishermans nets
And standing stones
The Atlantic beach
On the brink of a storm
Selkie taking human form
From their underwater palace


Athens of the North
For enlightened Scots
Edins worth is not in thoughts
Nor its seven mystical hills
For its theatrical intellects
A new and old town
Delving deep into caverns
And faerie stories
Told in taverns after a wee dram
Castle and palace and
Seat of determination
The flags are flying
The fireworks fly for the
Dream that was the azure sky
And saltire clouds


Prickly purple
Sovereign plant
Mover of bones and gristle
Resistance and calling
The weeds of the thistle
Stubborn and hard
To handle is bad
The Scottish bard
Will sing of its roots
Borne upon the winds of time
Its endless shoots uprising
To greet the morning


Darkened stone against the tide
Of armies broken at its side
The fortress of hope
For some a hassle
The resistance of a Scottish castle
Sitting there on jut or gap
An inconvenience on the map
Just as the winds will bring a sail
The lasting memories of the Gael
Are the walls of its inclusion


The lost tribe of Dan
Fresh air in a can
The secretive plan
Of the Bloodline of Rosslyn
Our tartan procured
For the return of the Solan Steward
A prophesy foretold
Of the millennial King of Scotland
Whilst lost treasure does sleep
Way down in the deep
Of the Templar caverns
The Rossln secret Mary vowed to keep
Is whispered in the taverns


The Atlantic crashing
On the rocks
On granite bones
The storm does shock
Through fingers of cloud
Ever westward
Crying loud
The parting flock of geese
Whilst rain on the mountains and in the trees
A solemn release of morning


In what peak hides
the Solan Steward
In the purple heather of Scotland

The mountains wear
Their regal cloak
Glistening with the
Jewels of mist

And in the summer sun
The bees are busy
Bringing sweetness
As they ring the heatherbells
And in the glens
The sun has kissed
The blossom round the well


In evening light
The last days glimmer
Is reflected off the eternal mirror
Of the Loch
In dark and deep
Its cold waters turn from sleep
Down in the deep
There is a moan
As the spirit of the Kelpie
Roams the misty shoreline


The rolling lowland hills and dales
Roman forts, Pilgrim trails
Contentious castles
Ruined stone,
Battles for cattle, glory and pride
A Covenant with treasure
Down to the river Annan
Castles rise and fall
To the echoes of cannon
Fairy hills the full moon measure
Courting not unnatural displeasure
From the parade of fate

Scottish Andrew

Monday, October 21, 2013

Made in Scotland

Over the years the Scots its true to say have had a hard time from the English – so much so that they have spent lots of time trying to define themselves in terms of their historic defeats e.g. songs like Flower of Scotland and Scots wha hae BUT although the following pro-Scottish tirade to be found on the internet is true of people both globally and in England – the one humbling fact that although one folklore source MM Banks accredits football to originate in the Scottish borders towns – its certainly true that its not a game that we have evolved the ability to play !!
The legend goes of the Englishman …..
He cooks his breakfast at the gas cooker with coal gas invented by William Murdoch who was born near Cumnock, East Ayrshire
The average Englishman, in the home he calls his castle, slips into his national costume, a raincoat, patented by chemist Charles Macintosh from Glasgow, Scotland. En route to his office he strides along the English lane, surfaced by John Macadam of Ayr, Scotland.He drives an English car fitted with tyres invented by John Boyd Dunlop of Dreghorn, Scotland, arrives at the station and boards a train, the forerunner of which was a steam engine, invented by James Watt of Greenock, Scotland. He then pours himself a cup of coffee from a thermos flask, the latter invented by Dewar, a Scotsman from Kincardine-on-Forth.
At the office he receives the mail bearing adhesive stamps invented by James Chalmers of Dundee, Scotland, then a fax from the machine invented by Alexander Bain from the Caithness village of Watten near Wick.
He operates a computer whose inner workings maximise the use of the logarithms of John Napier of Merchiston, Edinburgh who enabled first Kepler then Newton to measure the universe.
He would see his marketing charts and maps but find no comfort in the fact that these were invented by William Playfair of Dundee.
During the day he uses the telephone invented by Alexander Graham Bell, born in Edinburgh, Scotland.
At home in the evening his daughter pedals her bicycle invented by Kirkpatrick Macmillan, blacksmith of Dumfries, Scotland.
He watches the news on his television, an invention of John Logie Baird of Helensburgh, Scotland, and hears an item about the U.S. Navy, founded by John Paul Jones of Kirkbean, Scotland.
Overhead on the airport flightpath, jets are  being guided safely in by the radar invented by Robert Watson-Watt  who was born in Brechin.
He would head out for a game of golf but that too was invented in Scotland – the first ever documented round at Gosford links near Gullane in the time of Mary Queen of Scots.
He has by now been reminded too much of Scotland and in desperation he picks up the Bible only to find that the first man mentioned in the good book is a Scot, King James VI, who authorised its translation.
Nowhere can an Englishman turn to escape the ingenuity of the Scots.
He could take to the countryside but discover that Englands green and pleasant land is being harvested by the Threshing machine invented by Andrew Meikle of East Linton, East Lothian
He could take to drink, but the Scots make the best in the world.
He could take a rifle and end it all but the breech-loading rifle was invented by Captain Patrick of Pitfours, Scotland.
If he escapes death, he might then find himself on an operating table injected with penicillin, which was discovered by Alexander Fleming of Darvel, Scotland, and given an anaesthetic, which was discovered by Sir James Young Simpson of Bathgate, Scotland.
Out of the anaesthetic, he would find no comfort in learning he was as safe as the Bank of England founded by William Paterson of Dumfries, Scotland.
Perhaps his only remaining hope would be the fact that the adaptation of the Scottish Highland outfit called the Plaid by an English Mill-owner in the 19th century to prevent the Scottish migrant workforce from getting g entangled in the machinery gave us  the kilt as we know and love it today !!!

Sunday, October 06, 2013

The Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond

"The Bonnie Banks o' Loch Lomond", or simply "Loch Lomond" for short, is a well-known traditional Scottish song (Roud No. 9598) first published in 1841 in Vocal Melodies of Scotland.[1][2] (Loch Lomond is the largest Scottish loch, located between the counties of Dunbartonshire and Stirlingshire.)

Played here by Andrew Hennessey, (fiddle), Martin, (guitar) and Guy (bodhran) at the Kings House Hotel in Glencoe, Scotland.

The song ‘The Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond’  was written in 1746 in Carslisle when some supporters of Bonnie Prince Charlie retreating from England were captured by the English. The words of the song are the words of Macgregor of Glen Eldrick who faces execution for his support of the Bonnie Prince to another who is to be freed. Macgregor who is about to die tells his friend that he will take the ‘Low Road’ back to Scotland. The Low Road was the name of the spiritual path that was believed to exist for the spirits of those who died far from home who could return to the place of their birth. The Low Road, in the spirit world would speed the executed soldier to Scotland faster than his compatriot who faced many miles of hard marching, but although he might return to his homeland swiftly enough after death, he would never meet with his sweetheart again. I like to think he made it home to his love, albeit his Ghost and she took him into her heart forever. Eventually both as loving spirits walking again hand in hand. The tune is an older air called Kind Robin, although it may have another name.
Another interpretation of the 'Low Road' is that it refers to the traditional underground route taken by the 'fairies' or 'little people' who were reputed to transport the soul of a dead Scot who died in a foreign land - in this case, England - back to his homeland to rest in peace.[8][7]
Another similar interpretation also attributes it to a Jacobite Highlander captured after the 1745 rising. The Hanoverian British victors were known to play cruel games on the captured Jacobites, and would supposedly find a pair of either brothers or friends and tell them one could live and the other would be executed, and it was up to the pair to decide. Thus the interpretation here is that the song is sung by the brother or friend who chose or was chosen to die. He is therefore telling his friend that they will both go back to Scotland, but he will go on the 'low road' or that of the dead, and be home first. Another supporting feature of this is that he states he will never meet his love again in the temporal world, on Loch Lomond. Some believe that this version is written entirely to a lover who lived near the loch.[7][9]

By yon bonnie banks an' by yon bonnie braes
Whaur the sun shines bright on Loch Lomond
Whaur me an' my true love will ne'er meet again (alternate: Where me and my true love were ever lak/wont tae gae)
On the bonnie, bonnie banks o' Loch Lomon'.
O ye'll tak' the high road, and Ah'll tak' the low (road)
And Ah'll be in Scotlan' afore ye
Fir me an' my true love will ne'er meet again
On the bonnie, bonnie banks o' Loch Lomon'.
'Twas there that we perted in yon shady glen
On the steep, steep sides o' Ben Lomon'
Whaur in (soft) purple hue, the hielan hills we view
An' the moon comin' oot in the gloamin’.
The wee birdies sing an' the wild flouers spring
An' in sunshine the waters are sleeping
But the broken heart it kens, nae second spring again
Tho' the waeful may cease frae their greetin'. (alternate: Tho' the woeful may cease from their grieving)

Scottish Andrew

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Bagpipes

Possible ancient origins of the BAGPIPES:
The evidence for Roman and pre-Roman era bagpipes is still uncertain but several textual and visual clues have been suggested. The Oxford History of Music says that a sculpture of bagpipes has been found on a Hittite slab at Euyuk in the Middle East, dated to 1000 BC. In the 2nd century AD, Suetonius described the Roman Emperor Nero as a player of the tibia utricularis. Dio Chrysostom wrote in the 1st century of a contemporary sovereign (possibly Nero) who could play a pipe (tibia, Roman reedpipes similar to Greek aulos) with his mouth as well as with his "armpit".

from Wiki
The Great Highland Bagpipe (Scottish Gaelic: a' phìob mhòr; often abbreviated GHB in English) is a type of bagpipe native to Scotland. It has achieved widespread recognition through its usage in the British military and in pipe bands throughout the world.
The bagpipe is first attested in Scotland around 1400 AD, having previously appeared in European artwork in Spain in the 13th century. The earliest references to bagpipes in Scotland are in a military context, and it is in that context that the Great Highland Bagpipe became established in the British military and achieved the widespread prominence it enjoys today, whereas other bagpipe traditions throughout Europe, ranging from Portugal to Russia, almost universally went into decline by the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Though widely famous for its role in military and civilian pipe bands, the Great Highland Bagpipe is also used for a solo virtuosic style called piobaireachd, or simply pibroch.


Bagpiper carved around 1600 A.D.
Though popular belief sets varying dates for the introduction of bagpipes to Scotland, concrete evidence is limited until approximately the 15th century. The Clan Menzies still owns a remnant of a set of bagpipes said to have been carried at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, though the veracity of this claim is debated.[1] There are many ancient legends and stories about bagpipes which were passed down through minstrels and oral tradition, whose origins are now lost. However, textual evidence for Scottish bagpipes is more definite in 1396, when records of the Battle of the North Inch of Perth reference "warpipes" being carried into battle.[2] These references may be considered evidence as to the existence of particularly Scottish bagpipes, but evidence of a form peculiar to the Highlands appears in a poem written in 1598 (and later published in The Complaynt of Scotland which refers to several types of pipe, including the Highland: "On hieland pipes, Scotte and Hybernicke / Let heir be shraichs of deadlie clarions."[3]
In 1746, after the forces loyal to the Hanoverian government had defeated the Jacobites in the Battle of Culloden, King George II attempted to assimilate the Highlands into Great Britain by weakening Gaelic culture and the Scottish clan system,[4] though claims that the Act of Proscription 1746 banned the Highland bagpipes are not substantiated by the text itself nor is there any record of any prosecutions under this act for playing or owning bagpipes but it is an oft repeated myth. However the loss of the Clan Chief's power and patronage and widespread emigration did contribute to its decline. It was soon realised that Highlanders made excellent troops and a number of regiments were raised from the Highlands over the second half of the eighteenth century. Although the early history of pipers within these regiments is not well documented, there is evidence that these regiments had pipers at an early stage and there are numerous accounts of pipers playing into battle during the 19th century, a practice which continued into World War I when it was abandoned after the early battles, due to the high casualty rate.
The custom was revived by the 51st Highland Division for their assault on the enemy lines at the start of the Second Battle of El Alamein on 23 October 1943. Each attacking company was led by a piper, playing tunes that would allow other units to recognise which Highland regiment they belonged to. Although the attack was successful, losses among the pipers were high, and they were not used in combat again during the war.[5] A final use of the pipes in combat was in 1967 during the Aden Emergency, when 1st Battalion, The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders were led into the rebel-held Crater district by their Pipe Major playing the regimental marches.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Paddy's Milestone

 The island of Ailsa Craig off the Scottish south west coast at Turnberry in Ayrshire is also known as Paddys Milestone as its enroute to Ireland across the Irish Sea.
Well known for its famous quarry of granite where ice curling stones are hewn for the elite sports market, the island was recently up for sale for a ridiculous knock-down price.
The tradition, mystery, heritage and honour of Scotland all to be had for the price of the weeks coffee budget of a multinational corporation.
To say this island was 'given away' is an understatement.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Heavenly Intercession for St Kentigern


Appendix to the Preface of the " Register of the Bishopric of
Glasgow/' edited by him for the Maitland Club in 1843. The other
and longer Life was written, probably about twenty-five years
later, by Jocelyn, a monk of Furness, and exists in two
manuscripts, one in the British Museum, 2 the other in the
library of Archbishop Walsh in Dublin. It was included by
Pinkerton in his " Vitae Antiquae Sanctorum Scotise," a
collection translated, as already mentioned, by the
Rev. W. Metcalf, D.D., for the Scottish Text Society.
Both Lives have been re-edited,  with a translation, in the
volume by the late A. P. Forbes, Bishop of Brechin.

The older Life of the saint is the fuller, so far as it goes,
and supplies details of Kentigern's origin which are altogether
lacking from the later and more pious work. The narrative begins
without preface.

Leudouus, a certain half-pagan king, whose province was
named after him Leudonia, (Loth/Lothian) had a daughter under a
This daughter, Thaney by name, was a Christian, and given to
brooding on religious things. Her mind especially was filled with
thoughts of the Virgin Mary and her glory as the maiden mother of
Jesus. So much was she occupied with these thoughts that her heart
had no room for mere earthly loves such as engage the attention of girls of her age. Nevertheless she had a lover, Ewen. son of Erwegende, of a most noble stock of the 
Britons. In the gestes of the histories, says the chronicler, he is called Ewen, son of King Ulien.' Personally he appears to have been highly attractive, and as the son of the king of Reged  he was a desirable match. The father of the princess, therefore, encouraged his suit. Thaney herself, however, had her mind set entirely upon heavenly things, and would listen to no talk of an earthly love. As she persisted in refusing the advances of Ewen,

( " Historians of Scotland," vol. v.)
Owen, son of Urien, as the name properly runs, was a celebrated
personage of those times. One of the Knights of the Round Table,
King of Reged, cousin to Sir Gawain, and nephew to King Arthur
himself, he appears to have succeeded Arthur as the champion of
the Cymric tribes against the encroaching Angles. He slew Ida,
the first king of the Angles of Bernicia, but was himself slain
by an assassin. His deeds are sung by the British bards Taliesin
and Llywarch Hen, as well as in the Welsh historical Triads. A
fragment of a romance, having Owen for its hero, appears to
survive in the ballad of "Kemp Owyne."
See Scott's "Border Minstrelsy;" "Merlin, or the Early History of
King Arthur " (Early English Text Society) ; Skene's " Four
Ancient Books of Wales ; " and Robertson's " Scotland under her
Early Kings," i. 4.

her father Leudonus at last wrathfully repudiated her as his
daughter, and gave her to the keeping of a certain swineherd.
Even in this shameful position she continued to resist her
lover's wooing, so that at length he was driven utterly to
Finding his hopes thus desperate, the young prince at last lay
in wait for the girl, and took by force what he could not gain
by affection.

When, after a time, the condition of Tlianey became publicly
known, Leudonus ordered her to undergo the punishment customary
among the pagan Britons for her offence. She was accordingly, in
the presence of thousands of spectators, carried to the top of a
high hill named Kepduf, near her father's capital,
and there cast over a precipice. In her extremity, we are told,
she prayed to the Virgin Mary, once in like condition to her own,
 and, as an answer to her prayer, she reached the foot of the
precipice unhurt. By the pagan people about her this escape was
ascribed to magic art, and the king, persuaded of the truth of
their reasoning, ordered her to be destroyed in another way.
She was carried, therefore, to the shore, about three miles from
Kepduf, and there, at the mouth of a river called the Aberlessic,
was placed in a coracle, carried out into deep water beyond the
Isle of May, and cast adrift.

Shortly afterwards her father, pursuing the swineherd with intent
to slay him, was turned upon by the poor man, pierced through with a
javelin, and slain.

Meanwhile the little boat of skins, driven by wind and tide,
made its way for some thirty miles up the firth, and when morning
dawned was safely drifted ashore on the sand at Collenros. Here,
in the dim light, wet, cold, and despairing, the princess lay on
the beach, aware that her time had almost come, and seeing no help
 at hand. Close by her, however, unnoticed, was a little heap of
ashes left by some shepherds on the day before, and just then a
puff of wind blew them into flame.
Beside the fire thus made, in the grey morning light, and amid
these wild and lonely shores, she gave birth to a son. A little
later, the herdsmen returning, found her with her child, and
carried the tidings to Servanus, who at that morning hour was
teaching the Christian law to his clerks at his cell in the
neighbourhood. The holy man, having been already warned by a
vision in the night, was expecting some such message. When he
heard it, therefore, he rose up, exclaiming : " Thanks be to
God, for he shall be my dear one ! "

At this point the fragment of the older Life abruptly
ends. Curiously, however, the narrative is taken up just here by
the later and less circumstantial account. To a large extent the
Life by Jocelyn has apparently been written to counteract the
effect of the earlier work, and so far as it deals with
Kentigern's birth, it tries to gloss over and spiritualise
the circumstances.

It begins by narrating only very briefly that a certain
princess, being found with child, was by her father's command
carried to the top of a very high hill called Dunpelder, and cast
over the edge. Saved from death in this way by the intervention
of heaven, she was committed to an open boat, which during the
night drifted her to Culenros. Here occurs the incident of the
shepherds' fire, followed by the birth of the child. When the
shepherds brought mother and child to Servanus,
the account goes on, he "exclaimed in the language of the
country ' Mochohe ! mochohe ! ' which in Latin means ' Care mi !
cure mi !

After certain days Servanus baptized both mother and child, the
mother being named in this account Taneu, and the child Kyentyern.
 The name of the mother is spelt variously, Taneu, Thaney,
Tlienewe, etc., and is perpetuated in the name of one of the
city churches of Glasgow, St Enoch's being merely a corruption of
St Theneu's.- Kentigern, Own Tyern, is Cymric for
" head-lord," and Mungo is a combination of the Cymric Mwyn,
"gentle," and G'ti or Cu, "dear." The same final epithet is seen
in the original spelling of Glasgu.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

King Arthur in Scotland

King Arthur in Scotland

It is at this point that Nennius begins his " History of the Britons."
"In ca prin*," he states, " habitabant yuatuor gentes,
ticoti,, (itqne Saxones, et Britones."

To enable them to cope with their enemies, the British tribes appear to have
adopted from their late Roman rulers the plan of appointing a regulus, guledig,
or general leader ; and it is as guledig of the Britons between the Roman walls at this period that the historic Arthur comes into view.

The Arthur of Nennius was without doubt the historic original of the Arthur of
romance. For the poetic glamour which has been thrown around his name and deeds,
the world is indebted to the imagination of that greatest of all the Cymric
romancers, Geoffrey of Monmouth, in the ninth century. The events recorded of
Arthur are not mentioned in the Saxon  Chronicle and other Saxon authorities,
for a good reason. These authorities deal with the struggle between Britons and
Saxons  south of the Humber ; Arthur's battles, as recorded in the "Historia
Britonum," took place in the region north of that.
"The events recorded of him," says Skene, "are not only consistent with the
history of the period, but connected with  localities which can be identified,
and with most of which his name is still associated. 1 Nennius mentions twelve
great battles fought by Arthur, the localities of which are circumstantially
identified by Skene. The first was fought at the mouth of the
Glein or Glen, which the historiographer takes to be the river Glen in Ayrshire.
The second, third, fourth, and fifth were fought on the Douglas, in regione
Linnuis, or Lennox, which is taken to be one of the two streams of the name
flowing into the west side of Loch Lomond. The sixth took place super flumen
quod vocatur Balsas, probably, according to the interpreter, about
Dunipace, near the Can-on. The seventh occurred in silva Caledonis, id e*t Cat
Coit Celidon (Battle in Wood of Caledon),
somewhere about the upper region of the Tweed. The eighth, in castello Guinnion,
was fought in Wedale, the valley of the Gala.
The ninth, in urbe Leogis,' i.e., the city on the Leven, points obviously to
Dumbarton, which, in a parliamentary record of David II., in 1367, is named
Castrum Arthuri. The tenth, in litore fluminis quod vocatur Treuruit, Skene
allocates to the Links of Forth near Stirling, and quotes in support a sentence
from the itinerary of William of Worcester : Ilex Artkurus custodiebat
le round table in castro de Styrling, aliter Snowdon West Castle.
Mynyd Agned, the locality of the eleventh great battle, is clearly identified as
Edinburgh, opposite which Arthur's Seat still bears the guledig's name.
And the twelfth, the great historic victory of Badon Hill, is very obviously
located on the Avon, near Linlithgow, where strong fortifications are still
to be seen.

The Bruts, there is reason to believe, follow real history in stating that
Arthur exercised his power as guledig in giving the districts he had conquered
to three of his chief supporters.
To Urien, it is stated, he gave the district of Reged or Mureif, now the Lennox ;
to Llew or Lothus he gave Lodoneis, or Lothian ;
and to Arawn lie gave Yscotlont or Prydyn, the district of Stirling.

Hitherto, in all his battles, Arthur had been victorious, and after his
settlement of the country there appears to have been
peace for two decades. According to the continuator of Nennius, however,
twenty-one years after the battle of Badon Hill,
Medraut, the son of Loth, headed an insurrection, and, supported by the hostile
Picts, met the guledig in battle at Camlan, now Caraelon, near Falkirk. There
Arthur fell.

There is reason to believe that this last great battle was really between the
Christian faction in the country, headed by Arthur, and the pagan faction,
headed by Medraut. (Mordred) Loth is mentioned in the older Life of Kentigern
as a half-pagan king who persecuted his daughter on account of her Christian
predilections. We know, moreover, that such a religious difference actually split up the Cymric tribes about that period, and that it was only settled by the victory of the Christian faction under Rhydderch Hael at Arthuret, near Carlisle, thirty-six years later. These facts appear to support the traditional character of Arthur, embodied most recently in the poetry of Tennyson, as a Christian king who fell supporting his faith in battle against the heathen.

Till the end of last century, when a Goth carried away the stones to build a
farm-steading, the scene of Arthur's last battle  was commemorated in the
neighbourhood of Camelon [Nennius, 977AD] by a curious monument. This was of hewn stone, bee-hive shape, and of unknown antiquity and purpose, but was named
locally Arthur's  Oon, or Oven. Possibly it was the tomb of the great Cymric

As the battle of Badon Hill is proved from a statement by Gildas to have occurred in the year 516, the battle of Camlan and death of Arthur took place some time in 537.

Our knowledge of these persons and circumstances throws light upon the condition
of the country at the time when the little Christian colony by the Molendinar
first began to make appearance in history. Besides this, however, both persons
and circumstances are intimately connected with the actual founder of the church
of Glasgow ; for Loth, the king set over Lothian  by Arthur, and Medraut, leader
of the insurrection against which Arthur fell, were respectively the maternal
grandfather and uncle of St Kentigern.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Spiritually Disheartened in Scotland ?

To Annabel Ewing @ Scottish Parliament

Dear Annabel,
as a Scottish musician I find wandering about in Dunfermline town centre quite traumatic because on the hour Dunfermline Abbey the alleged 'Spiritual heart of Scotland' chimes out excerpts from Blakes hymn Jerusalem - ... 'and was jerusalem builded here .. (in Englands green and pleasant land .. !!!')
Apparently the 12 bells are controlled by a keyboard ... so in the light of this I was wondering if pressure could be brought to bear to make the Spiritual heart of Scotland chime out something more appropriately Scottish - like e.g. Scots wha hae, (Parcel of Rogues), Scotland the brave.
As someone who is proud of their Scottish heritage I feel its time to stop the playing of this English nationalist/patriotic hymn at Dunfermline Abbey and choose a Scottish melody that befits the Scottish spirit.
I look forward to your reply

Andrew Hennessey

Andrew Hennessey Apparently Historic Scotland were unaware of the Englishness of the Abbeys chimes and are making some enquiries - forget all the masonic and queeny stuff that goes with it - if you're a visitor to Scotland. the last thing you would want to hear or expect to hear is the theme tune for another nation playing at the spiritual heart of the nation that you are currently visiting - there's something very wrong with that. 

Dear Annabelle,

I spoke to Susan Loch of Scottish Heritage who was unaware of the Abbeys involvement in Anglocentric politics  0131 348 5066 saying that visitors to Scotland would like to hear something Scottish - expecting to hear the bells not chiming out Jerusalem.
Below is a copy of my email enquiry to Dunfermline Abbey.

I think the Abbey should be above the political debate - its been chiming out Jerusalem for at least 10 years - time to stop the political misuse of those bells. imo

Andrew Hennessey

Dear Dunfermline Abbey,

I note that it is somewhere said that Dunfermline Abbey is the 'spiritual heart of Scotland'.

Unfortunately the chimes of Dunfermline Abbey are currently singing the praises of England with the English nationalist hymn by Blake called 'Jerusalem'  '.... and was Jerusalem builded here (in Dunfermline) in Englands green and pleasant land ..'

Surely we can both agree that any visitor coming to Scotland would be expecting to hear an appropriate Scottish tune from those chimes e.g. Scots wha hae', Scotland the Brave or even Loch Lomond or some famous Scottish lovesong ... and not be listening to intrusive songs that are at the heart of another nations identity ie. England.

I understand that there may be some political motivation from a Unionist perspective to adhere to political doctrines but surely an important Scottish Abbey has to be above basic politics.

People visiting Scotland want to hear Scottish cultural themes.

Why is Dunfermline Abbey is participating in Anglo-Scottish politics and not promoting themes of the Scottish spirit ?

Would you please consider chiming out something Scottish ?

I look forward to your reply,

kind regards,

Andrew Hennessey

cc Susan Loch Historic Scotland

     Annabelle Ewing  MSP

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Scottish Andrewverse


Ceilidh musician and man of dance
Investigator of paranormal circumstance
Composer of art and pictures and tunes
And researcher of old Scottish stones and runes Cosmic conundrums and landing on the Moon ...