If you had gone to school in Scotland prior to the 1990’s you may have witnessed lessons in History which dwelled on the events which led to the creation of the so called Bayeaux Tapestry. This piece of cloth depicting the emergence of the aristocratic Normans of Northern France into the History books of the Anglo Saxon seemed to take a large piece of our Historical learning in Scotland (WHY?). The story of the “Wars of Independence” was largely glossed over or passed by to stories of Harold, Arrows and a Conqueror called William. The strangest parts of the glossing over of this story were the hard facts of Hastings and all that…. France versus Germany and in modern day england a St George’s cross now flutters from a pole near Hastings village??
Of course Scotland was not spared the Anglic invasions nor were we spared the Norman aristocracy that followed and our hard fact is that we now speak the same Germanic dialect they call english. This despite asserting our Independence following the Independence Wars and remaining so until being finally swallowed up in 1707 by the descendants of the very same aristocratic Normans and the Germanic tribes that occupied most of what is south of our border.
But at least we remember the sacrifice made in the Independence Wars and have done throughout the ages since. Whether from Barbour’s epic, “The Brus”. Even King James III carried Bruce’s two handed sword onto the field of Sauchieburn as a talisman in June 1488. Robert Burns was to pen an unofficial National Anthem, Scots Wha Hae. “See approach proud Edwards power, chains and slavery” in the 1790’s. Claiming it as Bruce’s speech before the Battle of Bannockburn as sung here by The Corries.
Its good to remember events in your History and in Scotland there is not many as fitting as The Battle of Bannockburn. Always remember it as the long nights of Scotland’s daylight never close. Remember the ultimate goal of the invaders was the making of Scotland a medieval province of an aristocratic feudalised State. Remember the stand made by many of the lower classes of this medieval Scotland, yet to be a Nation on that field. Does that not remind you of a certain London Rule of 300 or so years? Possibly the reason why they hide it from our children…..
Remember Bannockburn, 23rd-24th of June……..1314.
We will never forget it ever…
Next issue we hope to discuss the way in which Scotland became assimilated into a Hanoverian Britain through its own landed gentry and clan chiefs. With that thought we leave this reminder of the great day that was Bannockburn with some poignant words from our own bard…….Bha Uair Beò (There Once Lived)
Bha Uair Beò
Bha uair beò air ar beul,
Ar cuid cainnt, dril nar neul,
Ar cuid comas ri ciall
Nis nar ceò
Nis nar ceò ro bhogs’ glòrach,
Làn Sasainnich gòrach,
Beo-ghlacadh ‘s e treòrach,
Gun deò sinn ‘s gun shiubhal,
Ged mòr-rathaideach ar saoghal,
Sìos cruaidh-chuislean ar fuil,
Anam ‘s breò
Anam ‘s breò air ‘n cur às,
Druimean cam’ fo chruaidh-chàs
A’ toirt torradh don ‘Ghaidheal Glas’
(a) Bha uair be
There Once Lived
There once lived on our lips,
Our own speak, the spark in our cloud,
Our ability to discern,
Now lost in mist
Lost in mist before a noisy box,
Full of silly Englishmen,
An obsession and strong,
Missing the vital spark of life
Without spark and without direction,
Though our world be motorwayed,
Down hard channels our blood,
Soul and fire
Soul and fire, they’ve put out,
Backs crooked under hardship,
Giving a funeral to the ‘Grey Gael’
Who once lived