‘Robert Burns The Musical’ inspires new Scottish anthem

Scotland needs a new national anthem. Tish Tindall (45), the Scottish composer of Robert Burns The Musical – a recent production based on an idea by Michael Jackson and David Gest – has launched a campaign to give Scotland a new anthem. Her song honours not just the artistic legacy but also the national worth of Scotland’s beloved poet and heartthrob Robert Burns.

Robert Burns and Tish Tindall
Robert Burns and Tish Tindall (photo right: Tish Tindall)

Worth millions of pounds

Tindall’s new song, Follow My Scotland (#112914), is inspired by Burns’ legacy, which extends well beyond his poetic and artistic achievements: “Robert Burns is worth millions of pounds per year to the Scottish economy,” she explains. “He gave us one of Scotland’s finest exports, Auld Lang Syne, which as well as having a Scottish identity all over the world, has been adopted by the Chinese as their ‘friendship song’.”

Burns himself never witnessed these worldwide successes. Rather than envisioning his works as a boost to the Scottish economy, Burns died miserable and broke. The irony, according to Tindall, is that today his debts could be paid off with Scottish currency that carries Burns’ image: “He was harassed on his death bed by a Scottish tailor for the payment of the sum of £10 for a military uniform. If that debt was still due today, it would be worth around £1,129.14, which ironically could be settled with Scottish ten pound notes displaying Robert’s iconic image.”

No political agenda

Burns did not just enter Tindall’s life through the Scottish ten pound note. Her recent work on Robert Burns The Musical forms another source of inspiration for composing an anthem that settles Scotland’s ‘debt’ to its iconic poet. “Follow My Scotland (#112914) is an anthem that speaks to the heart of a nation which celebrates the achievements of its sons and daughters with a united passion and without political agenda,” says Tindall.

Tish Tindall
Tish Tindall from Lossie Entertainment Academy (photo: Tish Tindall)

In contrast, two of Scotland’s unofficial anthems, Flower of Scotland and Scots Wha Hae – the latter of which was actually written by Robert Burns – do have political connotations, as they were inspired by the Battle of Bannockburn, where the Scots defeated the English in 1314. Other unofficial song competitors include Scotland the Brave, Caledonia, Highland Cathedral, and also I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) by the Proclaimers.

Choosing a Scottish anthem

Tindall’s new song comes at a time when Scottish sports enthusiasts are debating over choosing a national anthem. The song could either be one of the existing unofficial anthems or a brand new one. Chances are slim however that this will happen anytime soon. In February 2015 The Scotsman reported that the Scottish government has no intention of choosing one official anthem. “It is clear that different songs or anthems are enthusiastically adopted at different sporting occasions, but that is not the same as a country or a nation determining to have a single designated song or anthem to the exclusion of all others,” a spokesperson for the Scottish government stated.

Yet Tindall’s composition might be just the right song to change people’s minds, as it expresses heartfelt Scottish unity and pride: “It is an anthem for the people, inspired by the people’s poet and Scotland’s favourite son, Robert Burns. It is a passionate reminder of the words that Robert gave our nation. Words which we have shared with a world of nations for generations. I believe that Follow My Scotland (#112914) will unite our nation with a renewed recognition of the extraordinary achievements of an ordinary man.”

© Annemarie Latour

Follow My Scotland (#112914)
By Tish Tindall  © L2L Ltd March 2015
Now available on iTunes

The guilded buttons of a coat,
Your face upon the Scottish note,
One debt you had to pay,
One currency you gave our nation.

Our words are centuries apart,
Yet I can hear them in my heart
You write with honesty,
The story of a world of nations.

The words you gave us,
The words we say,
Last for a life time,
For more than just one day.

I feel a debt within my heart
Your Revoloution now must start,
Such an Enlightenment,
A brighter day,
A new tomorrow.

I pledge to you my pride of worth,
My words, my time here on this earth,
You gave your last to us,
And now my friend, we owe you something…

The words you gave us,
The words we say,
Last for a life time,
For more than just one day.

The guilded buttons of a coat,
Your face upon the Scottish note,
One debt you had to pay,
One currency you gave our nation.

Our words are centuries apart,
Yet I can hear them in my heart
You write with honesty,
The story of a world of nations.

The words you gave us,
The words we say,
Last for a life time,
For more than just one day.

Follow My Scotland,
Follow your dream,
Because of you my friend,
Scotland will be seen.

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