Scots Sangs Fur Schools

Traditional and new Scots songs 
and tunes for use in Scottish schools

THE FREEDOM COME-ALL-YE

This magnificent song was written by Hamish Henderson in 1960 for the peace marchers at the Holy Loch near Glasgow. The tune is the World War One pipe march ‘The Bloody Fields of Flanders’.


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.


Henderson wrote this song for the marchers at Dunoon, hence the opening lines about the blustery Argyll weather. But like many others who write songs about peace he developed his lyric to talk about our history, our future and our hopes.

Some people feel this song should be our National Anthem, but Henderson himself hoped this would not happen. He felt that part of the song’s strength is that it is ‘alternative’, not official.


Hamish first heard this tune as the pipe march ‘The Bloody Fields of Flanders’ in 1944 on the beachhead at Anzio in Italy.

MORE about ‘The Bloody Fields of Flanders’ tune


MORE about the 1960 peace marchers, see 'Ding Dong Dollar'.