Scotland the Brave – Cliff Hanley (Oct. 28, 1922 – Aug. 9, 1999), Scottish journalist, novelist, playwright, and broadcaster.

The melody of ‘Scotland the Brave’ first appeared around the turn of the 20th century. The name of the song was likely chosen in memory of remember Scotland’s fight with England to retain its independence 500 to 600 years previously. The sound of the pipes in the melody of the song, was universally recognized as a precursor to the arrival of Scottish regiments, who were recognized throughout the world for their military power and ability to instill fear in their enemies. The pipes also functioned to raise the moral of relief troops coming to the battlefield.

The lyrics for the song were written in 1951 by Cliff Hanley, who only intended for it to be sung in a musical performance at Glasgows’ Empire Theater. However, the song became so well-loved that it is considered to be the ‘unofficial’ national anthem of Scotland.

The lyrics are refer to or describe Scots’ brave exploits and their yearning for home when they are away from it. The song celebrates their bravery, but is not at all melancholic in its tone.

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Scotland the Brave