JED Cormie (Letters, 26 July) is very sure when he says, for Games medal ceremonies, “it would be infinitely more appropriate to play Highland Cathedral, a fine piece of music which every Scot could feel proud”.
Although I came originally from Pitlochry, I managed to live in ignorance of the piece until my late husband mentioned it in 2000. He had a particular dislike of the music on the grounds of its saccharine nature. Having heard it since, I tend to agree.
Flower of Scotland can be a dirge, depending on how it is played. One could even concede it is anti-English. However, it is no more so than God Save The Queen is anti-Scots. Remember the infamous lines, now omitted:
Lord, grant that Marshal Wade/ May by thy mighty aid/ Victory bring.
May he sedition hush and like a torrent rush/ Rebellious Scots to crush./ God save the King.
My husband regarded Freedom Come All Ye as an appropriate anthem for Scotland and always assured me that fellow Lanarkian, the late Margaret Ewing MP, felt the same.
No Scot could fault the performance of that song at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games. “Mair skill” would have to be involved in a re-arrangement, no doubt, for our anthem.
Each to his own. Hence there is a need for the Scottish Parliament to decide. The choice of Highland Cathedral would be almost enough to make me emigrate.
Musselburgh, East Lothian
IT IS astonishing how some people can misconstrue comments for political purposes.
At the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, First Minister Alex Salmond said that, after the Games, Glasgow may have to be called “Freedom City”.
This was a reference to the fact that Glasgow was the first in the UK to rename part of the city “Nelson Mandela Square” to indicate its opposition to the long imprisonment of Nelson Mandela, and to the evil of apartheid.
Also one of the singers at the opening was a girl brought up under apartheid, who managed to get out and make a career as an opera singer. The song was Freedom Come All Ye by the late Hamish Henderson.
It is remarkable how gleefully Better Together can try to make its own little political views take precedence over the much larger anti-apartheid campaign.
(Dr) EL Lloyd
There has been quite a bit of talk about how Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games should not be used for point-scoring by either camp in the referendum debate.
My wife and I were very fortunate that we were able to attend the opening ceremony at Celtic Park. We had a wonderful evening on Wednesday – a night Glasgow and Scotland can be proud of and which will be fondly remembered, I’m sure, by all.
I was therefore surprised to find No Thanks activists handing out campaign material outside Central Station when we arrived to catch our connection to Dalmarnock en route to Celtic Park.
At Dalmarnock itself, there was an even greater presence of No Thanks activists.
I did hear a couple of people going to the stadium wondering why the Yes camp weren’t out campaigning also.
I was able to tell them that it was felt that such campaigning was not considered appropriate by Yes in the context of the Games. Obviously the No camp had no such sensitivities. I do hope our First Minister will now bring along his Saltire to the closing ceremony.
Before the Commonwealth Games the UK government’s Secretary of State for Scotland, Alistair Carmichael, said that the Games should not be politicised.
That request, in itself, was reasonable enough. But a quick search of the internet instantly uncovers countless references to “Team GB” at the London Olympics by a certain Alistair Carmichael in recent speeches and statements aimed at persuading us that the UK is “better together”.
Following Mr Carmichael’s lead, I will link politics and sporting events by observing that the Commonwealth Games have illustrated just how many countries have become independent from Westminster since the Second World War.
Becoming independent is a well-worn process. Being independent is simply the normal state of affairs for any country.
The Games are also a potent reminder that the social and cultural ties between our nations will remain close and strong after independence. The time is surely right for a thriving, outward-looking, confident Scotland to take its place amongst its Commonwealth partners as a normal, independent country.
North Berwick, East Lothian