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Homage to Bonnie Scotland

for Burns Night 2007, pioneering the musical genre of the Scottish Calypso

Ach when I was a wee wee bairn my mammie said to me
"We’re going to move from England to a big hoose by the sea."
She said "Ye’ll like the people fine and ye needn’t have no fears,
and ye’ll learn to speak the language in a couple of hundred years!"

Oh Bonnie Scotland, my hame from hame,
my spirit swells like a well-cooked haggis at the sound of your very name.
I left my heart on the Firth of Clyde
and when I came back to get it all the wheels had gone and the radio was not inside.

It’s a land of gae great beauty of the loch, the cairn, the ben,
and its scenery is talked of time and time (and time) again,
and when I hear a Scot in Exile singing praise to their land so green
I feel the pain right from the Trossachs all the way to Aberdeen.

Now the wailing pipes of Scotland have a rich and plaintive charm
as the lone piper walks the battlements wi’ a dead pig under his arm
and we see the pipe band coming all kilted and well groomed
and when they pull out the music for Mull Of Kintyre then we know that we’re all doomed...

Oh Bonnie Scotland, your culture’s rare
like a goal from the Scottish football team or a comb through Rod Stewart’s hair.
For your next icon we hold our breath

who can follow the Bay City Rollers, the Krankies or Macbeth?

And the Scots are great inventors it’s very plain to tell
and we owe the greatest debt to Alexander Graham Bell,
for it only took a century of his telephone so fine 
to drive the English mad with ring tones on the Piccadilly Line.

Ah Bonnie Scotland, James Watt did dream
of the wondrous things that a man could do wi' a kettle and head of steam.
Thanks to these men’s ingenuity
we can call each other up and say “Will ye no come round for your tea?”

Now poor downtrodden Scotland has a bloody history
of Bannockburn and Culloden and the struggle to be free,
and while they wait for the return of William Wallace and the Bruce
they’ve not made peace with England yet, just a 300 year long truce.  

They tried to make rebellion in 1745
but the Young Bonnie Prince Charlie only just got oot alive,
and now you need a new Pretender so I’ll tell you what we’ll do—
we’ve a spare Prince Charlie here that you’d be more than welcome too

Oh Bonnie Scotland, Scotland the Brave!
Where a man’s a man for a’ that, and even the women shave.
From
England’s yoke ye'll find relief
wi’ a bravehearted Scottish hero like Mel Gibson as your chief.

But though you sheathed your claymores and put your shields away
it seems you’ve conquered England in a democratic way
for in London Toon there’s Gordon Broon, and if you want to kick him oot
you've a Cameron or a Campbell—so whit’s that all aboot?

Yes have your cake and eat it, that’s the Scottish way to deal
(and you can eat your weight in starch in just a single evening meal)
so take the Act of Union wi’ a pinch of salt at best
and be British when it suits you and be Scottish for the rest

Ah Bonnie Scotland, I must end my lay
Caledonia, we’ll never own ya in any feeble English way,
and if my song has caused offense you know
then blame the vicar here, he’s called Donaldson—he’ll meet you in Glencoe.


Performed at a Burns Night supper at St Johns in January 2007. after the haggis had been consumed.