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date: 19 May 2019


  1. O ye'll tak' the high road, and I'll tak' the low road,
    And I'll be in Scotland afore ye,
    But me and my true love will never meet again,
    On the bonnie, bonnie banks o' Loch Lomon'.
    Anonymous: ‘The Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomon’ (traditional song)
  2. So long as there shall but one hundred of us remain alive, we will never subject ourselves to the dominion of the English. For it is not glory, it is not riches, neither is it honour, but it is freedom alone that we fight and contend for, which no honest man will lose but with his life.
    Anonymous: ‘Declaration of Arbroath’, a letter sent to the Pope by the Scottish Parliament, 6 April 1320
  3. There are few more impressive sights in the world than a Scotsman on the make.
    J. M. Barrie 1860–1937 Scottish writer and dramatist: What Every Woman Knows (performed 1908, published 1918) act 2
  4. Scotland, land of the omnipotent No.
    Alan Bold 1943–  Scottish poet: ‘A Memory of Death’ (1969)
  5. My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here;
    My heart's in the Highlands a-chasing the deer.
    Robert Burns 1759–96 Scottish poet: ‘My Heart's in the Highlands’ (1790)
  6. Scots, wha hae wi' Wallace bled,
    Scots, wham Bruce has aften led,
    Welcome to your gory bed,—
    Or to victorie.
    Now's the day, and now's the hour;
    See the front o' battle lour;
    See approach proud Edward's power,
    Chains and slaverie.
    Robert Burns 1759–96 Scottish poet: ‘Robert Bruce's March to Bannockburn’ (1799), also known as ‘Scots, Wha Hae’
  7. I don't want a Stormont. I don't want a wee pretendy government in Edinburgh.
    on the prospective Scottish Parliament; often quoted as ‘a wee pretendy Parliament’
    Billy Connolly 1942–  Scottish comedian: interview on Breakfast with Frost (BBC TV), 9 February 1997
  8. From the lone shieling of the misty island
    Mountains divide us, and the waste of seas—
    Yet still the blood is strong, the heart is Highland,
    And we in dreams behold the Hebrides!
    John Galt 1779–1839 Scottish writer: ‘Canadian Boat Song’ translated from the Gaelic in Blackwoods Edinburgh Magazine September 1829, and later attributed to Galt
  9. It came with a lass, and it will pass with a lass.
    of the crown of Scotland, on learning of the birth of Mary Queen of Scots, December 1542
    James V 1512–42 Scottish monarch, King from 1513: Robert Lindsay of Pitscottie (1500–65) History of Scotland (1728)
  10. The noblest prospect which a Scotchman ever sees, is the high road that leads him to England!
    Samuel Johnson 1709–84 English poet, critic, and lexicographer: James Boswell Life of Samuel Johnson (1791) 6 July 1763
  11. Who owns this landscape?
    The millionaire who bought it or
    the poacher staggering downhill in the early morning
    with a deer on his back?
    Norman McCaig 1910–96 Scottish poet: ‘A Man in Assynt’ (1969)
  12. Scotland small? Our multiform, our infinite Scotland small?
    Only as a patch of hillside may be a cliché corner
    To a fool who cries ‘Nothing but heather!’…
    Hugh MacDiarmid 1892–1978 Scottish poet and nationalist: Direadh 1 (1974)
  13. O Caledonia! stern and wild,
    Meet nurse for a poetic child!
    Sir Walter Scott 1771–1832 Scottish novelist and poet: The Lay of the Last Minstrel (1805) canto 6, st. 2
  14. It's ill taking the breeks aff a wild Highlandman.
    Sir Walter Scott 1771–1832 Scottish novelist and poet: The Fortunes of Nigel (1822)
  15. Stands Scotland where it did?
    William Shakespeare 1564–1616 English dramatist: Macbeth (1606) act 4, sc. 3, l. 164 (Oxford Standard Authors ed.)
  16. It is a wonderful result of the progress of human culture, that at this day there come to us from Scotland rules of taste in all the arts, from epic poetry to gardening.
    commonly quoted as ‘We look to Scotland for all our ideas of civilization’
    Voltaire 1694–1778 French writer and philosopher: Gazette littéraire de l'Europe (1764); quoted in Thomas Raynesford Lounsbury Shakespeare and Voltaire (1902) vol. 2
  17. It's nae good blamin' it oan the English fir colonising us. Ah don't hate the English. They're just wankers. We can't even pick a decent vibrant, healthy culture to be colonised by.
    Irvine Welsh 1957–  Scottish novelist: Trainspotting (1994)
  18. O flower of Scotland, when will we see your like again,
    that fought and died for your wee bit hill and glen
    and stood against him, proud Edward's army,
    and sent him homeward tae think again.
    unofficial Scottish Nationalist anthem
    Roy Williamson 1936–90 Scottish folk singer and musician: ‘O Flower of Scotland’ (1968)
  19. It is never difficult to distinguish between a Scotsman with a grievance and a ray of sunshine.
    P. G. Wodehouse 1881–1975 English writer; an American citizen from 1955: Blandings Castle and Elsewhere (1935) ‘The Custody of the Pumpkin’