Scotland the Brave

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Alba an Àigh
English: Scotland the Brave
Scotland the Brave.jpg

Unofficial national anthem of  Scotland
LyricsCliff Hanley (unofficial), 1950
MusicUnknown composer, 1911
Audio sample
"Scotland the Brave" (instrumental)

"Scotland the Brave" (Scottish Gaelic: Alba an Àigh) is a Scottish patriotic song. It is one of several songs often considered an unofficial Scottish national anthem (others being "Flower of Scotland" and "Scots Wha Hae").


The tune was first played probably about the beginning of the 20th century,[1] and at that time was known sometimes as "Scotland the Brave!!!"[1] The earliest known version of the song appeared in 1911.[1] The lyrics commonly used presently were written about 1950 by the Scottish journalist Cliff Hanley for the singer Robert Wilson as part of an arrangement by Marion McClurg.

"Scotland the Brave" is also the authorised pipe band march of The British Columbia Dragoons of the Canadian Armed Forces,[2] and also is played during the Pass in Review at Friday parades at The Citadel, and the Virginia Military Institute.[citation needed] In 2006,[citation needed] it was adopted as the regimental quick march of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.

"Scotland the Brave" was played before matches involving the Scottish team at the 1982, 1986 and 1990 FIFA World Cups.[3][4][5][6] "Flower of Scotland" was subsequently adopted by Scotland for use at FIFA-sponsored events, after its usage by the Scottish rugby union team.[6] "Scotland the Brave" was used to represent Scotland at the Commonwealth Games until 2010.

In June 2006, the song rated second in an online poll with more than 10,000 votes to determine Scotland's favourite unofficial anthem, losing only to "Flower of Scotland".[7] The song was used to represent Scotland in the Commonwealth Games until it was replaced by "Flower of Scotland" from the 2010 games onwards.[8]


Hark when the night is falling
Hear! Hear the pipes are calling,
Loudly and proudly calling,
Down thro' the glen.
There where the hills are sleeping,
Now feel the blood a-leaping,
High as the spirits of the old Highland men.

Towering in gallant fame,
Scotland my mountain hame,
High may your proud standards gloriously wave,
Land of my high endeavour,
Land of the shining river,
Land of my heart for ever,
Scotland the brave.

In popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "SCAFFIES CAIRET". Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |website= (help)
  2. ^ Canadian Forces webpage. Retrieved 25 January 2013
  3. ^ "Scotland vs Denmark 1986".[dead link]
  4. ^ "URSS vs Scotland 1982".[dead link]
  5. ^ Hamilton, Fiona (7 February 2010). "Margaret Thatcher feared the Scotland the Brave anthem". The Sunday Times. London.
  6. ^ a b Mills, Rod (3 February 2010). "Thatcher was terrified by Scotland the Brave". Daily Express. Northern and Shell Media Publications. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
  7. ^ The Royal Scottish National Orchestra – Stéphane Denève (Music Director) – The RSNO National Anthem Poll Winner Archived 15 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Games team picks new Scots anthem". BBC News. 9 January 2010. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |work= (help)
  9. ^ Iain40 (4 October 2006). "The Corries Scotland The Brave (humorous)" – via YouTube.
  10. ^ "Grave digger The Brave intro".
  11. ^ Rapier, Multimedia. "ITV Grampian television ident compilation". Retrieved 29 January 2015 – via YouTube.
  12. ^ "St Laurence's College " College Song and War Cry". Archived from the original on 4 April 2015. Retrieved 4 May 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  13. ^ Cashby (16 December 2012), Goon Scotland the Brave, retrieved 13 December 2017
  14. ^ Goon (2011), retrieved 13 December 2017