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Happy St. Andrews Day Patron Saint of Scotland

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Re: Happy St. Andrews Day Patron Saint of Scotland

Post  Admin on Mon 30 Nov 2009, 12:17 pm

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Traditional Scottish Songs
- The Scottish Blue Bells

The Scottish Blue Bells
Let the proud Indian boast of his jesamine bowers,
His pastures of perfume and rose cover'd dells;
While humbly I sing of those wild little flowers,
The bluebells of Scotland, the Scottish bluebells.
Wave, wave, your dark plumes, ye proud sons of the mountain,
For brave is the chieftain your prowess who quells,
And dreadful your wrath as the foam flashing fountain,
That calms its wild waves 'mid the Scottish bluebells.
Chorus:
Then strike the loud harp to the land of the river,
The mountain, the valley with all their wild spells,
And shout in the chorus for ever and ever,
The bluebells of Scotland, the Scottish bluebells.

Sublime are your hills when the young day is beaming,
And green are your groves with their cool crystal wells;
And bright are your broadswords like morning dews gleaming
On bluebells of Scotland, on Scottish bluebells.
Awake, ye light fairies, that trip o'er the heather;
Ye mermaids arise from your coralline cells;
Come forth with your chorus all chanting together
The bluebells of Scotland, the Scottish bluebells.

Chorus
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Re: Happy St. Andrews Day Patron Saint of Scotland

Post  Admin on Mon 30 Nov 2009, 12:14 pm

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Bluebells add a splash of colour as they display themselves in full flower in the woods in Scotland. Here is a poem by someone who appreciated such delights.


The Bluebell of Scotland
The rose, summer's emblem,

'tis England's chosen tree
And France decks her shield
with the stately Fluer-de-lis
But brighter, fairer far than these
There blooms a flower for me,
Tis the Bluebell, the Bluebell
On Scotland's grassy lea
Where from the dark, up springs the lark
The rising sun to see!
Where from the dark, up springs the lark
The rising sun to see!
My land! native land!

Where afar my steps have been,
Blue skies charm the eyes,
And the earth is ever green.
Yet dwelt my heart 'mid Scotland's glens,
Where aye in thought was seen,
The Bluebell, the Bluebell,
Amid the bracken green,
And brighter far than sun or star,
The eyes of bonnie Jean!
And brighter far than sun or star,
The eyes of bonnie Jean!
The Thistle, Scotland's badge

Up from Freedom's soil it grew,
Her foes aye found it hedg'd round
With rosemarie and rue.
And, emblem that her daughters were modest, leal, and true,
From off the rocks, to deck their locks,
They pluck'd the Bell of Blue!
The Heathbell, the Harehell,
Old Scotland's Bell of Blue!
The Heathbell, the Harebell,
Old Scotland's Bell of Blue!
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Re: Happy St. Andrews Day Patron Saint of Scotland

Post  Admin on Mon 30 Nov 2009, 12:11 pm

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The national flower of Scotland is the thistle, a prickly-leaved purple flower which was first used in the 15th century as a symbol of defence. The Scottish Bluebell is also seen as the flower of Scotland.
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How did the Thistle become the emblem of Scotland?
On a dark autumn night of 1263, during the reign of Scottish King Alexander III, the Vikings came ashore in barefoot to Scotland at Largs, lead by King Haakon IV. History is uncertain if they were intent upon a full invasion of Scotland, or were showing their power by raiding the surrounding villages. Other historians' claim that a fierce storm had driven many of their longboats ashore and they were merely retrieving them.

Many of the castles along the western coast were on guard against such raids and a possible Viking invasion. It was one such watch who heard the cries of pain of the Vikings and their leader as their bare feet walked on thistles. This alerted the Scots in time to see off the Vikings, thus saving Scotland from an invasion and possible Viking rule. The role of the thistle was then understood, and was chosen as Scotland's symbol and emblem.

The first use of the thistle as the Emblem of Scotland was on silver coins in 1470.

In 1687, James II founded the Most Ancient Order of The Thistle, which consisted of The Monarch and 16 trusted knights. Their motto was "Nemo me impune lacessit" which translates to "No-one harms me without punishment" but more commonly translated to Auld Scots as "Wha daurs meddle wi me" - referring to the fearsome guardian knights and the armed thistles.
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Happy St. Andrews Day Patron Saint of Scotland

Post  Admin on Mon 30 Nov 2009, 12:10 pm

The Scottish Flag
Photobucket
The Scottish flag is the cross of St. Andrew, also known as the Saltire. It is said to be one of the oldest national flags of any country, dating back at least to the 12th century. Tradition suggests that St. Andrew (an apostle of Jesus in the Christian religion) was put to death by the Romans in Greece by being pinned to a cross of this shape.

Saint Andrew is the Patron Saint of Scotland, and St. Andrew's Day is celebrated by Scots around the world on the 30th November. The flag of Scotland is the Cross of St. Andrew, and this is widely displayed as a symbol of national identity.
The "Order of Saint Andrew" or the "Most Ancient Order of the Thistle" is an order of Knighthood which is restricted to the King or Queen and sixteen others. It was established by James VII of Scotland in 1687.

Very little is really known about St. Andrew himself. He was thought to have been a fisherman in Galilee (now part of Israel), along with his elder brother Simon Peter (Saint Peter). Both became followers (apostles) of Jesus Christ, founder of the Christian religion.

St. Andrew is said to have been responsible for spreading the tenets of the Christian religion though Asia Minor and Greece. Tradition suggests that St. Andrew was put to death by the Romans in Patras, Southern Greece by being pinned to a cross (crucified). The diagonal shape of this cross is said to be the basis for the Cross of St. Andrew which appears on the Scottish Flag.

St. Andrews bones were entombed, and around 300 years later were moved by Emperor Constantine (the Great) to his new capital Constantinople (now Istambul in Turkey). Legend suggests that a Greek Monk (although others describe him as an Irish assistant of St. Columba) called St. Rule (or St. Regulus) was warned in a dream that St. Andrews remains were to be moved and was directed by an angel to take those of the remains which he could to the "ends of the earth" for safe-keeping. St. Rule dutifully followed these directions, removing a tooth, an arm bone, a kneecap and some fingers from St. Andrew's tomb and transporting these as far away as he could. Scotland was close to the extremities of the know world at that time and it was here that St. Rule was shipwrecked with his precious cargo.

St. Rule is said to have come ashore at a Pictish settlement on the East Coast of Scotland and this later became St. Andrews. Thus the association of St. Andrew with Scotland was said to have begun.

Perhaps more likely than the tale of St. Rule's journey is that Acca, the Bishop of Hexham, who was a reknown collector of relics, brought the relics of St. Andrew to St. Andrews in 733. There certainly seems to have been a religious centre at St. Andrews at that time, either founded by St. Rule in the 6th century or by a Pictish King, Ungus, who reigned from 731 - 761.

Whichever tale is true, the relics were placed in a specially constructed chapel. This chapel was replaced by the Cathedral of St. Andrews in 1160, and St. Andrews became the religious capital of Scotland and a great centre for Medieval pilgrims who came to view the relics.

There are other legends of how St. Andrew and his remains became associated with Scotland, but there is little evidence for any of these, including the legend of St. Rule. The names still exist in Scotland today, including St. Rules Tower, which remains today amongst the ruins of St. Andrews Cathedral.

The Royal Flag of Scotland
RoyalFlag

There is a second flag which is associated with Scotland, the "Rampant Lion", or Royal Flag of Scotland. Although based on an older Scottish flag than the St. Andrew's Cross, it should, strictly speaking, now only be used by the monarch in relation to her capacity as Queen in Scotland. However, it is widely used as a second national flag
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