That soil is our soil, the place of our birth,

The Highland, the Island, along by the Firth;

Piper and pibroch, the sound of our land

At Culloden and battles, where’er we did stand.


Nothing is sweeter than the skirl of the Pipe,

On Mountain or Glen, when the barley is ripe;

The splash of the Tartan and quivering reed

Are the symbols of Scotland and kindred seed.


We’ve followed its chant and heard the Lament,

In foreign fields, where’er we were sent;

Across desert sands and the shell holes of Hell

At India’s outposts, the Pipes cast their spell.


The enemy heard and knew we had come,

Raising hopes in near vanquished and terror in some;

Who knew the proud sound, of the kilted and brave,

Leading kinsmen in strife to glory or grave.


In the lilt of the Pipe and the twirl of the Plaid,

One sees Lochs and Islands, roamed as a lad;

Swirling mists of the past, bring a tear to the eye

And we vow to ourselves, to return bye-and-bye.


On America’s plains, in Australia’s fierce heat,

The Bagpipes are Caledonia’s heartbeat;

A tingle of pride is what we all feel,

Whether March, a Lament or old Gaelic Reel.


Monty Alexander 8.6.97

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