Dave Cameron’s sing-along referendum song

TORCUIL CRICHTON speculates on which Scottish Tory leadership candidate was stepping up to the mic at their annual conference


The songbook for tonight’s traditional Scottish Conservative reception has been published.All four leadership candidates are expected to make a contribution to the ceilidh but I’m not sure which of them will dare sing this one about David Cameron’s options for calling an early referendum on independence. It’s not an easy question to answer but it is an easy tune to remember…

“T’was by yon bonnie banks and by yon bonnie Braes,
That Wee Eck had a victory so glorious,
But since that day in May there’s been no yea or nay,
On when we get a say on who rules oo’er us.

So You’ll tak the High Road and I’ll tak the low Road,
And I’ll get the Scots votes afore ye,
For me and my true love my bonnie Nicky Lad
We can still stick a ballot box afore ye.

There’s a tribe out the west that the Scots know the best,
But the Gray men went down in the slaughter,
Now they havnae got the crown and they havenae got a king,
And they’re seeking for a Prince oo’er the water.

Oh, you take the High Road and I’ll take the low Road…

On the banks of the Thames the air was stirring warm,
With the sound of the pipes far up yonder,
If Salmond got his plan, there’d be no bawbies and no dram,
It’s the thought made Davie’s clan sit and ponder.

Oh, you take the High Road and I’ll take the low road…

If Eck played in long then the Scots could be gone,
With the folks that were stacking in his favour,
Was it best to cut him short with a vote oo’er the lot
And put a Union yes or no on the table

You take the High Road and I’ll take the Low Road…

Young Danny was sent north to cut the Saltire cloth,
With a nine o diamonds as his callin
Was quite a sight to see, his plaid and finery,
Frayin on Drumossie muir on that morning.

But for all that Libs could yell , Wee Eck said go to hell
For the time o the fight was his choosing,
He’d wait till close of play and he wouldn’t face a crowd
On any day it looked like he’d be losing

You take the High Road and I’ll take the low road…

But the Scots knew the score and their patience it grew sore,
With the flummery he was making of their future,
If the man was ‘frit’ to call then the deal it must be soor
Or was he taking them for fools in their trustin.

So you take the High Road and you take the Low Road
And let us Scots have a vote put afore us
And we’ll tell baith masters then with the power of our pen
That none has a right to rule oo’er us.”

(Trad: arrangement Crichton & Kidd)

Torcuil Crichton is the Westminster editor of the Daily Record. He Tweets as @torcuil. This post was originally published on Torcuil’s own blog, Whitehall 1212 on October 3. He doesn’t get out much.

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7 thoughts on “Dave Cameron’s sing-along referendum song

  1. Good stuff, Torcuil! None has a RIGHT to rule o’er us. The Claim of Right enshrines this reality in what (so far) exists of our national constitution. It is the starting point from which all else must follow. The sovereignty of the people, even over the Parliament (which is, at heart, a legalistic mechanism and a form of institutionalized preferment, not necessarily always on grounds of merit) must be recognised first and foremost.

  2. Quote, Torcuil Crichton (TC), “none has a right to rule oo’er us”

    Seems to me TC has committed a constitutional foo-pah.

    Is TC actually arguing that ultimately sovereignty lies with the Scots, the people, and not with Westminster?

    If he is I’m sure his comrades in the Labour party and his employer will have something to say on such a radical idea being immortalised in verse.

    Perhaps the bright lights of London has addled his political brain, maybe it is time for TC to come home.

    1. Perhaps you could let Mr Salmond know this. He seems to think that the only people with a mandate to talk about it are SNP representatives in Holyrood and Westminster.

      When he says its ok for us to discuss it, perhaps you could ask him to tell you what you should be saying.

  3. *rubs eyes in astonishment*

    Is Torcuil saying that Scotland belongs to the Sovereign people and it’s us who’ll decide our future? If so it sounds like he’s ready to defect to the Nat side!

  4. Nice little ditty, with a truthful ring to it. Salmond plays a clever game and won’t commit to a referendum until he thinks it can be won, which, of course, is what any politician would do. And ultimately, Torcuil admits that Westminster have no divine right to rule over us. (although perhaps ‘divine’ is not the right word, what with Ecks speech being mis-reported an all)

  5. Ah Torquil, when will you realise that Alec Salmond exists to put in place the hopes of the people who support the party The same people who did deep in their pockets when asked to match the Soutar thousands in the hope that Independence will arise. Ignore these people at your peril!

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