The Thistle o' Scotland

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"The Thistle o' Scotland"
GenrePatriotic song
Songwriter(s)Malcolm MacFarlane and Evan MacColl
Composer(s)Frederick Wilson Whitehead

"The Thistle o’ Scotland" (Scottish Gaelic: An Cluaran o h-Alba) was originally called "The Badge of Scotland" (Bràiste h-Alba) but it is more commonly known as "The Thistle o' Scotland".

Malcolm MacFarlane (1853-1931) translated this song from the Scottish Gaelic of Evan MacColl (1808-1898).[1] It was first published in Macfarlane's book, Songs of the Highlands, Inverness: Logan & Company, 1902, pp. 44–45.[2] The accompaniment was by Frederick Wilson Whitehead (1863-1926). It is considered by some to be a possible National Anthem for Scotland. A spirited rendition of this song by Ina Miller can be found here.

First page of the song in Songs of the Highlands p.44
Second page of the song, p.45


  1. ^ Not to be confused with the folk singer, Ewan MacColl, see
  2. ^ The copy of the book in the Mitchell Library, Glasgow is stamped as having been received in December 1902.
  3. ^ toorie – tuft or top of plant (originally ‘small tower’).
  4. ^ snod – neat, tidy, compact.
  5. ^ bauld – strong, fierce (originally used of fire).
  6. ^ tassle - blue tuft of the plant.
  7. ^ langsyne - long since or ago.
  8. ^ owre – over.

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