Best wishes everyone for 2019: ‘It’s coming yet for a’ that’




Some words, in addition to those of Burns, that inspired my personal political philosophy, especially in verse two, which sums up its primary anti-imperialist drive. Never mind what currency we’ll use or how long the oil will last, believe in something bigger:

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

from Collected Poems and Songs, edited by Raymond Ross (Curly Snake Publishing, 2000)


29 thoughts on “Best wishes everyone for 2019: ‘It’s coming yet for a’ that’

  1. Alasdair Macdonald December 31, 2018 / 4:10 pm

    Yes, Hamish wrote a couple of really memorable and impressive songs, which very rapidly gained common currency. Like Burns, he had a particular talent for selecting a particular tune and fitting words to it. Many of us can make parodies of songs, but to make a powerful and sustained statement takes craft and insight. I find it inspirational, too.

    It is not about economics, important as being able to live in warmth and to have a good diet and all the rest are concerned. It is about a sense of who we are in this place, wherever we came from. The Declaration of Arbroath captures the sentiment well.

    All the best for the New Year.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Marlene Halliday December 31, 2018 / 4:21 pm

    I have just been looking up the words to Freedom Come All Ye. It’s not the easiest song to fit the lyrics into! But I nearly always tear up when I listen to it. Mark McNaught has it as the Scottish National Anthem in his draft Scottish Constitution.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. William Henderson December 31, 2018 / 5:21 pm

    It’s the time of year to say a big “Thank You” for all the thought and effort you have put into your blog – an oasis of good Scots sanity in a desert of madness.

    A guid New Year to you and yours and best wishes for the coming year.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Gordon G December 31, 2018 / 5:39 pm

    Aye – well I hope it is comin’ all right… John, thanks for all the fantastic posts, and all the work you put into the blog- much appreciated. Guid new year to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Alan Gordon December 31, 2018 / 5:40 pm

    As with William H, a big thank you for your thoughts, humour and research.

    To you and your family, commenters and bloggers,
    a very guid New Year,
    Bliadhna Mhath Ùr

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Scott December 31, 2018 / 7:59 pm

    Best wishes to you and family in 2019,and Thank you for all the good articles.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Contrary January 1, 2019 / 12:16 am

    Happy new year John and all essential readers 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      • Contrary January 1, 2019 / 8:57 am


        You have to bring down the tone so early in the new year! Anyway, I got Dick an Dora (fluff the cat, nip the dog), so only know Janet and John from the bit parts they played. I had been fast asleep and brain wasn’t functioning to think of an all encompassing uplifting inclusive phrase, so be nice.

        Up and at them! I do like a non-hangover start to the new year & to get out there for a good healthy striding walk on the 1st. The enthusiasm only lasts about 12 hours when I realise the days are still short and it’s a long haul to those leisurely long daylight hours, and little else has changed. But for now it feels like a big renewal – leave the old behind, start afresh, all the the things I didn’t finished last year, all the things I didn’t achieve – swept away! I have another whole year – I hope – to not achieve them again 😀 😀

        Glasgow is jam-packed with fabulous parks, and I’m going to pick one and ramble through it, scrabbling about in the mud looking for fungi. Start the year as you mean to go on! A 50-mile bicycle run for you John?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Contrary January 1, 2019 / 9:00 am

        AND I have new wellies so can wade through bramble without getting my legs shredded – it’s going to be a good year!


      • johnrobertson834 January 2, 2019 / 12:41 pm

        I’m bringing the tone down? You’ve just bragged about having a Dick and a Dora! I haven’t had either yet this year.


  8. Toni Young January 1, 2019 / 12:43 am

    This and Caledonia move me to tears.
    Happy New Year to all who come here.

    Liked by 2 people

    • johnrobertson834 January 2, 2019 / 12:43 pm

      Yes Caledonia for the Scottish national anthem? Freedom etc is a bit difficult to learn and sing.


  9. Jon January 1, 2019 / 9:45 am

    2019 a year bursting with prospects. Impossible to predict.
    A big thanks for your articles and research John.
    May Nicola make the right decision at the right time!

    And so it’s a bleary eyed Guid Ne’erday to all.


    • johnrobertson834 January 2, 2019 / 12:47 pm

      Yes, come on Nicola! That reminds of back in the late seventies and early eighties when i may have been a teacher (you’ll have to ask the bairns). I used to shout that all the time in PE lessons. Nicola’s (and Worcester Sauce crisps) were ubiquitous, but not iniquitous, back then.

      all the best Jon!


  10. Alan Gordon January 1, 2019 / 10:05 am

    Contrary, that was infectious enthusiasm. I’m almost out the door forage bag in hand, even before a hearty breakfast. Gorgeous sun lit day here, no cobwebs, so no excuses.


  11. exile January 1, 2019 / 10:31 am

    Guid New Year to you and yours John! This site keeps my spirits up, and will be needed even more for Scotland in 2019. Thanks for all your work. Lang may yer lum reek!


    • johnrobertson834 January 2, 2019 / 12:49 pm

      All the best Exile. Your support moves me…honest you do…like Sam Cooke!


  12. Donald McGregor January 2, 2019 / 7:48 am

    New year greetings to you John, and to one and all!
    Many thanks for your work here – it’s good to have support and ammunition in my attempts to nudge my family and colleagues gaze up from the floor to embrace openness and understanding of our best way forward!

    And unsurprisingly, bbc continue 2019 as it was in 2018 – no mention yet on BBC Scotland of rail rises, while bbc U.K. has to feebly keep plugging that rises in England average 3.1% whilst those in Scotland average ‘nearly 3%’ – no mention at all that I can find of the actual 2.8% Scottish figure, which I think is what you get when applying the same sort of averaging. (Off peak rises being restricted by more than peak fare rises here)
    Oh what a joy our media is!


    • johnrobertson834 January 2, 2019 / 12:52 pm

      When was the ban on your surname lifted? Are you sure it’s safe to use it?

      All the best Donald!

      Great minds think alike? I tweeted on the rails thing.


  13. johnrobertson834 January 2, 2019 / 12:54 pm

    THE END. You can leave kind (only) comments after this but I may not be back to reciprocate (swollen prostate gland).

    Too many stinky new trails to follow.


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