Culture

Poetry Corner: Freedom Come All Ye

On this day 28th May 1961 ” the British newspaper The London Observer publishes British lawyer Peter Benenson’s article “The Forgotten Prisoners” on its front page, launching the Appeal for Amnesty 1961–a campaign calling for the release of all people imprisoned in various parts of the world because of the peaceful expression of their beliefs.” (This Day in History)


Freedom Come All Ye

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.

by Hamish Henderson (1919 – 2002)

Amnesty International

Amnesty International (Richard Potts)

“Freedom Come All Ye” performed by Karine Polwart in The Italian Chapel, Orkney August 2013

National Poetry Day on Thursday 27th September 2017 will celebrate “Freedom”

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