Russia is waging a disgraceful war on Ukraine.     Stand With Ukraine!

Scots Wha Hae (English translation)

English (Scots)
English (Scots)

Scots Wha Hae

Scots, wha hae wi Wallace bled,
Scots, wham Bruce has aften led,
Welcome tae yer gory bed,
Or tae victorie.
Now's the day, an now's the hour:
See the front o battle lour,
See approach proud Edward's power –
Chains and Slaverie.
Wha will be a traitor knave?
Wha will fill a coward's grave?
Wha sae base as be a slave?
Let him turn an flee.
Wha, for Scotland's king and law,
Freedom's sword will strongly draw,
Freeman stand, or Freeman fa,
Let him on wi me.
By Oppression's woes and pains,
By your sons in servile chains!
We will drain our dearest veins,
But they shall be free.
Lay the proud usurpers low,
Tyrants fall in every foe,
Liberty's in every blow! –
Let us do or dee.
Submitted by evfokasevfokas on 2015-03-08
Last edited by Ww WwWw Ww on 2019-12-01
English translationEnglish
Align paragraphs

Scots Who Have

Scots who have with Wallace bled
Scots whom Bruce has often led
Welcome to your gory bed
Or to victory!
Now's the day, and now's the hour
See the front of battle glower
See approach proud Edward's power
Chains and slavery!
Who will be a traitor knave?
Who can fill a coward's grave?
Who's so base to be a slave?
Let him turn, and flee!
Who for Scotland's King and Law
Freedom's sword will strongly draw
Freeman stand, or freeman fall
Let him follow me!
By Oppression's woes and pains
By your sons in servile chains
We will drain our dearest veins
But they shall be free!
Lay the proud usurpers low
Tyrants fall in every foe
Liberty's in every blow
Let us do or die!
thanked 37 times

This translation is Intellectual Property of evfokas, unless indicated otherwise by a Translation Source field, and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

Submitted by evfokasevfokas on 2015-03-08
Comments    Sun, 16/08/2020 - 16:55

It is strange to me to come across a site which would use the word 'translation' where "Scots wha hae wi Wallace bled" has been rendered into standard English (Scots who have with Wallace bled). No speaker of English could fail to understand Burns' poem. Other than the odd particular word and the aberrations of spelling to reflect local pronunciation, Scots cannot claim to be a separate language which can be translated. Scots is a dialect of English. Because of its historical remoteness from fashion-setting London it has kept some characteristics which emphasise its Germanic (not Celtic) roots and its close relationship to another West Germanic tongue, Dutch. The largely silent 'gh' of modern southern English is still gutturally present in Scots. The rolling 'r' of Old English and the 'k' instead of 'ch' in church show that Scots is closer to the older sounds (and to Dutch) than the modern southern speech. When I first studied Chaucer I was told I should not talk about translating it because it was English and you could not translate English into English. It was to be 'transcribed'. I saw the point though it always struck me as a fine difference. However, there was no denying that the language was English even though Chaucerian or Middle English is further away from the modern standard tongue and spelling than is Scots.
Wham the Scots may be is something they have to work out as each generation goes on but it is a pity that they do not embrace the large element of themselves which is English. The ethnic origins of the central and eastern lowlands lie among the Angles and you could not get a more English name for a fortified place than the 'burgh' of Edinburgh, whatever the rights and wrongs about the claims for Edwin (Angle) and Eidyn (Brythonic Celtic).
Scotland does have a language which is not English and that, of course, is Irish, the language of a northern Irish tribe, the Scots of Dál Riata who like the Angles, gave their name to the land they conquered. They raided and settled in the western highlands and islands just as the English, from Germany, were doing to Roman Britain in the south. They brought a new (to the region) language which was Goidelic Celtic or Q-Celtic and largely overran the speakers of Brythonic Celtic or P-Celtic, the alleged namers of Eidyn, who were the native inhabitants whom we would now call Welsh. This was much the same people as the Romanised Britons who were penned up in the western parts of southern Britain in Devon, Cornwall, Wales and even Cumbria while the rest became England. The English called them Welsh, or Wylisc (pronounced Wullish), meaning foreigner.
Again we see the Scottish people's linguistic and ethnic origins are not entirely as they like to see them. Just as with English and Scots so with Scottish and Irish Gaelic. My mother was a fluent speaker of Irish and said she could understand written Scottish Gaelic though changes in pronunciation meant she could not follow the speech.
There is little linguistic evidence of those other significant others of the Scottish people, the Norwegian Vikings apart from DNA and place names like the anomalous northern area called Sutherland because that's what it was for them.
As the Scots now continue the debate about independence they are of course a distinctively identifiable nation but they might also reflect upon origins of language, culture and ethnicity, their roots, to use a current buzzword, as more intermingled with others in these islands than they might like to think.

Read about music throughout history