Tune of the Day: Scots Wha Hae
“Scots Wha Hae” (meaning “Scots, Who Have”, after the first line of the song) is a patriotic song of Scotland which served for a long time as an unofficial national anthem of the country. Lately, however, it has been supplanted by “Scotland the Brave” and “Flower of Scotland”.
The lyrics were written by Robert Burns in 1793, in the form of a speech given by Robert the Bruce before the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, where Scotland maintained its sovereignty from the Kingdom of England. Although the lyrics are by Burns, he wrote them to the traditional Scottish tune “Hey Tuttie Tatie” which, according to tradition, was played by Bruce's army at the Battle of Bannockburn. This tune, whose title is supposed to imitate a trumpet, tends to be played as a slow air, but certain arrangements put it at a faster tempo, as in the Scottish Fantasy by Max Bruch and the concert overture Rob Roy by Hector Berlioz.