Meaning of “Flower of Scotland” by The Corries

Written By Michael Miller

Michael is a music teacher and professional cellist. He loves uncovering the deeper meaning of popular songs.

“Flower of Scotland” by The Corries is a stirring anthem that captures the spirit of Scottish pride and history. The song harks back to Scotland’s battles against English rule, particularly referencing the legendary victory over Edward II’s army at the Battle of Bannockburn. It’s a tribute to those who fought for Scotland’s freedom and a call to remember their bravery. The song encapsulates a longing for the days of triumph and a hope for a future where Scotland can rise to greatness once again. It’s a powerful reminder of national identity and a call to cherish and uphold the legacy of the past.

Intrigued about the deep roots of “Flower of Scotland”? Keep reading to explore the historical echoes and present-day resonances of this iconic song.

“Flower of Scotland” Lyrics Meaning

“O Flower of Scotland, When will we see your like again?” This opening line sets a nostalgic and hopeful tone. It’s a rhetorical question, looking back at the glory days of Scotland’s past, and yearning for a time when such valor and determination will emerge again.

“That fought and died for, Your wee bit Hill and Glen,” speaks to the fierce battles waged by the Scots to protect their homeland. The reference to “Hill and Glen” is a poetic way of encompassing the entirety of Scotland’s landscape, cherished and defended by its people.

The lines, “And stood against him, Proud Edward’s Army, And sent him homeward tae think again,” are a direct nod to the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, where Robert the Bruce defeated Edward II’s forces. This historical reference is a point of pride, a reminder of a time when Scotland asserted its might and determination.

“The Hills are bare now, And Autumn leaves lie thick and still,” paints a somber picture of the present, suggesting a loss or absence of the fiery spirit that once defined Scotland. It’s a poignant contrast to the victorious past, evoking a sense of longing.

“Those days are past now, And in the past they must remain, But we can still rise now, And be the nation again,” shifts the song from reminiscence to a rallying cry. It acknowledges that while the past cannot be changed, the spirit of those times can inspire contemporary Scotland to seek greatness and unity.

The song’s chorus, repeated throughout, serves as a poignant reminder of Scotland’s valor and the sacrifices made for its freedom. It’s a call to not forget the past, but also a hope for the future.

Why Was “Flower of Scotland” Written?

“Flower of Scotland” was penned in a context of rising Scottish nationalism and a revival of interest in Scotland’s history. The songwriters, inspired by the historical events and driven by a sense of national pride, aimed to capture the essence of Scotland’s struggle and triumphs. It was a time when the people of Scotland were increasingly reflecting on their identity and history, seeking to keep the spirit of their ancestors alive in the modern era. The song is a musical embodiment of this sentiment, a melding of past glory with present aspirations. It’s more than just an anthem; it’s a narrative of resilience, a legacy handed down through generations, urging Scotland to remember and be inspired by its rich and turbulent history.