Scotland the Brave

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Scotland the Brave
Alba an Àigh
Royal Standard of Scotland.svg

Unofficial anthem of  Scotland
Lyrics Cliff Hanley (unofficial), 1950

"Scotland the Brave" (Scottish Gaelic: Alba an Àigh) is a Scottish patriotic song. It was one of several songs considered an unofficial national anthem of Scotland.

The tune probably first appeared around the turn of the 20th century,[1] and at that time was sometimes known as Scotland the Brave. The lyrics commonly sung today were written in around 1950 by the Scottish journalist Cliff Hanley for the singer Robert Wilson in an arrangement by Marion McClurg.

"Scotland the Brave" is also the authorised pipe band march of The British Columbia Dragoons of Her Majesty's 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.

The Scotland national football team used "Scotland the Brave" as its anthem in the 1982, 1986 and 1990 FIFA World Cups.[3][4][5][6] "Flower of Scotland" was subsequently adopted by the national football team, following its successful use by the Scotland national rugby union team.[6]

"Scotland the Brave" is a popular song for pipe bands to play in North American parades.

Unofficial national anthem[edit]

In June 2006, the song came in second in an online poll with more than 10,000 votes to determine the nation'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 in Delhi onwards.[8]

In popular culture[edit]

  • The character "Piper" from the game Crossy Road plays it on his bagpipes.
  • The song, played with actual bagpipes, is often played at New York Police Department funerals.
  • In the 1967 film The Devil's Brigade, the main theme by Alex North is made up largely of variations on the song, and when the Canadian contingent marches into at Fort William Henry Harrison, it is played by the bagpipers.
  • In the 1970 film Patton, the song is played by the band of the British Eighth Army in a victory parade through the streets of Messina, led by General Bernard Law Montgomery, before discovering that General George S. Patton and his Seventh US Army were already there to meet him. After a short exchange between the rival commanders, "Scotland the Brave" is struck up again, but is then symbolically drowned out by the American band's rendition of "The Stars and Stripes Forever."
  • "Scotland the Brave" is sometimes used as an unofficial fight song by Macalester College, whose athletic teams are nicknamed the Fighting Scots. Additionally, a modified version is sung after a football victory, and the opening verse and chorus is sung before all rugby games.
  • It is played by a bagpiper during the opening of Peter Weir's film Dead Poets Society (1989).
  • The Dropkick Murphys song "Cadence to Arms" off their debut album Do or Die is a reworking of "Scotland the Brave"'s melody.
  • The song is among the entrance songs for professional wrestler Roddy Piper during his time in WWE.
  • Dorothy the Dinosaur dances to this song in the Wiggles' 1997 videotape Wiggly, Wiggly Christmas.
  • A comic version by The Corries mixes humorous and topical lyrics.[9]
  • The Latter-day Saints hymn "Praise to the Man" is set to the tune of "Scotland the Brave".
  • The melody is also used for the Hawkesbury Agricultural College Rugby Team chant "Hawkesbury the Brave".
  • The Halifax Mooseheads Quebec Major Junior Hockey League team plays a techno version of the song when the Mooseheads score.
  • This tune can be heard being played on bagpipe during the funeral ceremony in the popular movie The Departed.
  • This song is played on bagpipe and drums during the scene 'The Canadians Arrive' in the 1968 film The Devil's Brigade. It is also played over the opening and closing credits of the film.[10]
  • The German heavy metal band Grave Digger have a version of "Scotland the Brave" as the intro of their album Tunes of War.[11]
  • The first verse and chorus of Hanely's version are sung a cappella in Stuart Ross' 1990 musical Forever Plaid.
  • The Scottish ITV television station Grampian Television used the first few notes of the song in its logo identifications (or "idents") during its first three decades of broadcasting.[12]
  • This tune is the base for the school song of Brisbane school St. Laurence's College.[13]
  • In the 2005 video game TimeSplitters Future Perfect, there is a level titled "Scotland the Brave", which features a soundtrack that evokes themes from the original song.
  • In the American TV show NCIS, Dr Donald Mallard 'Ducky' has it like a ring song to his cellphone.
  • The Character "Rowena" of the CW's Supernatural, can sometimes be heard humming Scotland The Brave during the show.