So, Ronnie Browne has added clairvoyancy to his musical talents in claiming that Flower of Scotland will never be toppled as the nation’s favourite song, and that it has “proved to be far more popular than anything written by Burns” (your report, 18 August).
Let’s examine this claim, firstly looking at the popularity of Burns. Unfortunately, Burns’ songs were not available on LP, CD, cassette or download for more than a hundred years after the poet’s death. If they had been, who knows how many millions would have been sold in the first 50 years?
Secondly, has Ronnie ever heard of Auld Lang Syne?
Thirdly, it is nearly 250 years since Burns died and his songs are still widely known and available in all sorts of musical formats. How can Ronnie possibly know how popular Flower of Scotland will be in, say, the year 2300?
As to Flower of Scotland standing the test of time, speaking personally, I heard it and sang it enthusiastically when it first appeared. By about 1970 I was fed up with it. As for noo – it gars me grue!
This issue can’t really be settled till the year 2300 and in the meantime regarding Ronnie Browne’s claims – I hae ma doots!