Hey Tuttie Taitie
Several battles in Scotland’s history were fought in the shadows of the Castle at Stirling. Not least, in 1314, the decisive battle for Scottish Independence at Bannockburn. In 1793 Robert Burns set down his idea of what Robert the Bruce may have said to his troops before the Battle of Bannockburn. He called his poem Robert Bruce’s March to Bannockburn.
Scots, wha hae wi' Wallace bled,
Scots, wham Bruce has aften led,
Welcome to your gory bed,
Or to Victorie!
Burns wrote 'There is a tradition, which I have met with in many places in Scotland, that [‘Hey Tuttie Taitie’] was Robert Bruce’s march at the battle of Bannockburn.' There is further evidence from Orleans, France that this was the marching tune played by Scottish soldiers in 1429 - ‘Marche des Soldats de Robert Bruce’.
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Burns slowed the tune down, fitted the tune around his words and the anthem ‘Scots Wha Hae’ was born. (He also used the tune for a drinking song but as far as I am aware ‘Landlady, Count the Lawin’ has no connection with Stirling!).
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© PCD 9/3/13