ODD SCOTLAND ABROAD


Pining for Old Scotland has created Odd Scotland abroad. How else to explain all these Battle of Culloden re-enactments, and cultish kilts, Highland games, Rabbie Burns Haggis Suppers in Uigg, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia or Inverness, Florida and farfetched places from Maui to Mumbai. This humorous rhyme mixing up Scotland and Ireland was perhaps imagined after too many wee drams.



Lament of the Scotch-Irish Exile


OH, I want to win me hame
To my ain countrie,
The land frae whence I came
Far away across the sea;
Bit I canna find it there, on the atlas anywhere,
And I greet and wonder sair Where the deil it can be?

I hae never met a man,
In a' the warld wide,
Who has trod my native lan'
Or its distant shores espied;
But they tell me there 's a place where my hypo­thetic race
Its dim origin can trace — Tipperary-on-the-Clyde.

But anither answers: " Nae,
Ye are varra far frae richt;
Glasgow town in Dublin Bay
Is the spot we saw the licht."

But I dinna find the maps bearing out these pawkie chaps,
And I sometimes think perhaps
It has vanished out o' sight.

Oh, I fain wad win me hame
To that undiscovered lan'
That has neither place nor name
Where the Scoto-Irishman
May behold the castles fair by his fathers builded there
Many, many ages ere
Ancient history began.

.....James Jeffrey Roche, from A Book of American Humor, 1907,
New York Duffield and Company


The Canadian Boat Song


Listen to me, as when ye heard our father
Sing long ago the song of other shores—
Listen to me, and then in chorus gather
All your deep voices, as ye pull your oars :

Chorus :
Fair these broad meads—these hoary woods are grand,
But we are exiles from our fathers' land.
From the lone shieling of the misty island
Mountains divide us, and the waste of seas—
Yet still the blood is strong, the heart is Highland,
And we in dreams behold the Hebrides.

We ne'er shall tread the fancy-haunted valley,
Where 'tween the dark hills creeps the small, clear stream,
In arms around the patriarch banner rally,
Nor see the moon on royal tombstomes gleam.
When the bold kindred, in the time long-vanished,
Conquer'd the soil and fortified the keep,—
No seer foretold the children would be banish'd,
That a degenerate Lord might boast his sheep.

Come foreign rage — let Discord burst in slaughter !
O then for clansmen true, and stern claymore—
The hearts that would have given the blood like water,
Beat heavily beyond the Atlantic roar.


.....These haemsick verses written about the sad time of The Clearances have been attributed to Christopher North, John Gait, to Hugh, Earl of Eglinton, and to Sir Walter Scott's son-in-law, John Gibson Lockhart. But it's still a mystery.