It’s Hogmanay and apart from Auld Lang Syne, what other songs will we be singing to celebrate Scotland? In 2009 we asked loads of great Scottish bands what they thought the Scottish national anthem should be. Answers below from Mogwai, Camera Obscura, The Phantom Band, We Were Promised Jetpacks and more:
New interviews are published every Friday. Dear Scotland is currently enjoying a winter break and will return to full service on January 3, 2010.
In the meantime, feel free to enjoy some of the most popular articles of 2009, watch the Dear Scotland Christmas video and vote in the Scotland’s Greatest Ever Vocalist Poll.
What should the Scottish national anthem be?
We Were Promised Jetpacks:
There was some “internet movement” or whatever about making Mogwai’s Fear Satan the national anthem. I think that’d be good. But the best one would be anything by Jocky Venkataraman.
Stuart Braithwaite from Mogwai (on hearing that We Were Promised Jetpacks suggested Mogwai’s ‘Fear Satan’):
Thats very nice of them! I would say that Flower Of Scotland or Scots Wa Hae are both good choices. Anything but God Save the Queen!!
Tommy & Ziggy from FOUND:
‘I’ll Get Them In’ by the Trash Can Sinatras, without any doubt.
Craig Neale from Twin Atlantic:
I think the Scottish National Anthem should be changed to any song by Aereogramme, as Scotland is considered the perennial underdog and Aereogramme are the band I always thought should be massive but never were. And all their songs were incredible!
Ian Turnbull from Broken Records:
Personally I have a dislike for national anthems, especially when lyrically they’re either xenophobic or triumphalistic, so unfortunately our unofficial “Flower of Scotland” anthem falls into that category. Musically it’s very stirring to watch before a match at Murrayfield, but at the same time I dislike the anti-English sentiment and nostalgia for former glories. I’m not sure if The Corries intended it to be quite so vehemently anti-English as there are also themes of national pride, self-determination and praise of national beauty, but culturally the song has taken on a much more aggressively xenophobic tone. I suppose promotion of national pride is an essential part of a national anthem, but there are better ways to go about it than talking about a battle we won 700 years ago while forgetting about all the other defeats since then. For me it makes “Flower of Scotland” just as faintly ridiculous as Skinner and Baddiel’s “Three Lions”. So on a lighter note, if we have to have a national anthem I’d prefer something like The Gael by Dougie McLean (although that might be a bit too maudlin!), or I do have a guilty soft spot for Highland Cathedral. We had a burns supper down at the studio in Wales and I ‘piped’ in the haggis to that, but unfortunately it was played on a melodica!
Colin MacIntyre aka Mull Historical Society:
You Cannae Whack A Cuddle Frae Yer Dearie. Composed by an 82-year-old retired bus driver in Aberdeen. It was sent to me as an entry to a songwriting competition that I was
one of the judges for. I voted it no.1, it didn;t make anyone else’s top 100!! I think I’ll going to upload it to my website and start the campaign..
Gavin Dunbar from Camera Obscura:
Having one of your own songs as a National Anthem would be a bit of a burden I think. When Scotland got put out of the European Championship qualifiers, BBC Scotland’s Sportscene used ‘If Looks Could Kill’ to soundtrack the nation’s disappointment over the ‘highlights’. It’s not really how you want people associating you. I’d go for Orange Juice’s Blue Boy, you can’t go wrong with something that upbeat and exciting.
Paul Carlin from Dananananaykroyd:
Good question. I was thinking about this the other day because I feel like there are so few songs that really sum up what it is to be Scottish and are also REALLY GOOD. James Yorkston’s music definitely manages to capture an element of that and lyrically I think The Proclaimers have probably come closest with ‘Scotland’s Story’. Perhaps they could collaborate? If only there was a song like ‘Cattle and Cane‘ by The Go-Betweens — listening to that really gives you an idea of what rural Australia was like in the seventies. Anyway, until then, we’ll settle for ‘Fan-dabi-dozi’ by The Krankies.
[the queen] 500 miles by The Proclaimers, it has already knocked Auld Lang Syne off the New Years top spot.
[marko nein] Something very broad and inaccurate, probably penned by an American country singer or English composer, giving us another 100 years of moaning.
[jojo doll] It should definitely be our song S.I.C.K.O., and everyone in Scotland has to wear eye liner and lipstick while singing it. That would be a amazing.
[lloyd alex] The main theme in Streets of Rage 2 and we would just sing along with the synths.
Come On Gang!:
Sarah: 500 Miles, by the Proclaimers. Come on, you know you love it — and you know all the words, which is more than can be said for most national anthems.
Mikey: “I’m Only Happy When It Rains”… or anything else with Shirley Manson singing on it.
Rob: Del Amitri — Nothing Ever Happens. You can’t grow up in Scotland without knowing a bit of Del Amitri, and the merry futility of that song feels quite Scottish to me.
John Maclean from The Aliens and The Beta Band:
It should be ‘500 miles’ by the Proclaimers.
James Hamilton of Errors:
“Hoots Mon” by Lord Rockinghams XI, definitely. Maybe the football team would do better if they had that to sing before matches.
Andy Wake from The Phantom Band:
I think it could be anything but Flower of Scotland. How about “Goodnight Girl” by the Wets? I think “Would I…Bounce Back” by The Associates might be fitting, or maybe “The Affectionate Punch” is better suited!
Alan Gorrie of the Average White Band:
I’m passing on that one — I’ve no idea. All I can say is that “Flower” is a sentimental lament, tough to sing en masse, and IT DISNAE SWING!!! An anthem should be rousing and dynamic. (No jokes now about Pick up The Pieces for the current Scottish team!)
Tim Davidson from Attic Lights:
Mark Knopfler’s Local Hero theme tune? Let’s Get Out of this Country by Camera Obscura? Perhaps I’m not qualified to answer this….
Happy New Year from everyone at Dear Scotland
Photo Credit: Alan Hutchison