Happy May Day
Roch the wind in the clear day’s dawin Blaws the cloods heelster-gowdie ow’r the bay, But there’s mair nor a roch wind blawin Through the great glen o’ the warld the day. It’s a thocht that will gar oor rottans – A’ they rogues that gang gallus, fresh and gay – Tak the road, and seek ither loanins For their ill ploys, tae sport and play
Nae mair will the bonnie callants Mairch tae war when oor braggarts crousely craw, Nor wee weans frae pit-heid and clachan Mourn the ships sailin’ doon the Broomielaw. Broken faimlies in lands we’ve herriet, Will curse Scotland the Brave nae mair, nae mair; Black and white, ane til ither mairriet, Mak the vile barracks o’ their maisters bare.
So come all ye at hame wi’ Freedom, Never heed whit the hoodies croak for doom. In your hoose a’ the bairns o’ Adam Can find breid, barley-bree and painted room. When MacLean meets wi’s freens in Springburn A’ the roses and geans will turn tae bloom, And a black boy frae yont Nyanga Dings the fell gallows o’ the burghers doon.
—Hamish Henderson (1919-2002)