La mélodie semble dater du début du XXe siècle ; elle était déjà connue sous le nom de Scotland the Brave. Toutefois, c'est vers 1950 que les premières paroles furent écrites par le journaliste écossais Cliff Hanley, pour le chanteur Robert Wilson(en).
Une autre version de l'hymne existe, intitulée Scotland Forever ; sur la même mélodie, John McDermott a composé d'autres paroles. Une troisième version, My Bonnie Lassie, existe également.
Cette chanson, aux accents très patriotes, est arrivée derrière Flower of Scotland lors d'un sondage internet visant à déterminer l'hymne favoris des Écossais en juillet 2006.
Scotland the Brave a été utilisée pour représenter l'Écosse lors des Jeux du Commonwealth jusqu'aux Jeux de 2006 inclus, avant d'être remplacée par Flower of Scotland. C'est aussi Flower of Scotland qui remporte la faveur générale lors des matches de rugby à XV joués par l'équipe nationale d'Écosse.
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.
Refrain : 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.
High in the misty Highlands, Out by the purple islands, Brave are the hearts that beat Beneath Scottish skies. Wild are the winds to meet you, Staunch are the friends that greet you, Kind as the love that shines from fair maiden's eyes.
Far off in sunlit places, Sad are the Scottish faces, Yearning to feel the Kiss Of sweet Scottish rain. Where tropic skies are beaming, Love sets the heart a-dreaming, Longing and dreaming for the homeland again.
Let Italy boast of her gay gilded waters, Her vines and her bowers and her soft sunny skies, Her sons drinking love from the eyes of her daughters, Where freedom expires amid softness and sighs.
Scotland's blue mountains wild where hoary cliffs are piled, Towering in grandeur are dearer tae me, Land of the misty cloud land of the tempest loud, Land of the brave and proud land of the free.
Enthroned on the peak of her own highland mountains, The spirit of Scotia reigns fearless and free, Her green tartan waving o'er blue rock and fountain, And proudly she sings looking over the sea.
Here among my mountains wild I have serenely smiled, When armies and empires against me were hurled, Firm as my native rock I have withstood the shock, Of England, of Denmark, or Rome and the world.
But see how proudly her war steeds are prancing, Deep groves of steel trodden down in their path, The eyes of my sons like their bright swords are glancing, Triumphantly riding through ruin and death.
Bold hearts and nodding plumes wave o'er their bloody tombs, Deepeyed in gore is the green tartan's wave, Shivering are the ranks of steel dire is the horseman's wheel, Victorious in battlefield Scotland the brave.
Bold hearts and nodding plumes wave o'er their bloody tombs, Deepeyed in gore is the green tartan's wave, Shivering are the ranks of steel dire is the horseman's wheel, Victorious in battlefield Scotland the brave,
Somewhere a ship and crew, Sails o'er the ocean blue, Bringing, oh, bringing, My bonnie back to me. That's why the drums are drummin, That's why the pipes are hummin, My Bonnie Lassie's comin, comin to me.
Drums in my heart are drummin, I hear the bagpipes hummin, My Bonnie Lassie's comin over the sea. My heart with her she's bringin, I hear the blue bells ringin, Soon we'll be highland flingin, My love and me.
Refrain : I'll meet her at the shore, Playin the pipes for her, Dressed in a kilt and a tam o'shanter too. Drums in my heart are drummin, I hear the bagpipes hummin, My Bonnie Lassie's comin, comin to me,
Sad are the lads she's leavin, Many a sigh they're heavin, Even the heather's grievin, cryin with dew. She's left her native highland, To come and live in my land, She'll love the folks who smile, And say, "how-we-do".
Land o' the purple heather. Land o' the dirty weather. Land where the midges gaither, Scotland the Brave. Land o' the Pakistanis, Andy Capp and Saturday sannies. Land where they sell their grannies, Scotland the Brave.
Used to say in faither's day, You could hear the bagpipes play, But now you hear the regal tones o' Elton John and The Rolling Stones. Land that is full o' stinkers, Wee fat Jews and VP drinkers. Whisky put a lot o' stinkers, into Scottish graves.
Land that is full o' skivers, Comic singers, deep sea divers, Turbans on our bus condrivers, Scotland the Brave. Land o' the brutal Bobbies, Councillers wi' part-time jobbies, Architects wi' paying hobbies, Scotland the Brave.
The tourists come here every year To see all our historic gear, But all they see is loads o' navvies, high rise flats wi' concrete lavvies. Land o' the artic' lorries, Andy Stewart and ra Corries, Land where everybody borries, Scotland the Brave.
Land o' the Kilt and Sporran - Underneath, there's nothin' worn! How I wish the wind was warm! Scotland the Brave. I must admit it's pretty gruesome, Walking about wi' your frozen twosome! It's all we've got - we musn't lose 'em - Scotland the Brave.
Conservatives try to assure us, Labour's hard-put to endure us, The Kirk puts curbs on our enjoyment, Government makes unemployment.
Never mind - the day is near, When independence will be here!