Scottishness: it’s up to me

A few days ago, I came across this song, called Dawning o’ the Day, by The Corries.

 

No, The Corries are not some 80s alternative-rock band. They are a Scottish folk duo that were extremely popular in the 1960s and 1970s, and I got hooked on their Youtube videos when I was doing all my research into Scottish history and literature and arts last year. This song came up for the first time this week, and a particular verse stuck out in my mind:

“It’s no use in thinking it’s too late for changing
No use in thinking that it’s not up to you”

This blog, as I hope you have noticed, is about ways to get UNSTUCK. The last post was pulled out of my  desire for some encouragement- even if I had to give it to myself! When I heard those lyrics, it was just what I needed. I was climbing out of a trough of worries and woes onto a grassy knoll where I could once again feel in control of my destiny, my hand firm on the tiller.

I’ve often wondered why I, and others, feel drawn to a certain period of history, or a certain group of people. What does it tell us about ourselves? Anything?

My friend Erin Kurup recently posted about her young (and continuing!) obsession with pioneers. In her words: “There it was – the connection between past and present, between my childhood heroes, who trekked across the American wilderness so many years ago, and what I am doing today,” i.e. being a entrepreneur, chasing a crazy dream.

Powerful stuff, isn’t it? So what do I gather from my obsession preoccupation love affair with all things Scottish from the 18th and 19th centuries? I think it has something to do with being downtrodden, being at the end of your resources, feeling sidelined, missing the identity which you were once justly proud of… and building back up, starting over, and never losing hope.

There is a strong thread woven through Scottish arts and crafts to this day that preserves the belief in their right to rule themselves. While Irish songs are comparable in their anti-English sentiment, the Irish end up sounding either antagonistic or mournful, while the Scots seem to scorn the Brits or just carry on being proud, acknowledging their loss but not letting it be the end of them. A very interesting difference.

I am preserving what was good about my past experiences, but not fearing to go forth and create new paths, just like the Scots settled new lands after they were chased out of their own homeland. For:

“It’s no use in thinking it’s too late for changing
No use in thinking that it’s not up to [me]“

 Who’s with me?

5 Responses to Scottishness: it’s up to me

  1. I love this, Margaret!! Way to make a powerful connection! I love that I’m not the only one drawing inspiration from seemingly unlikely places. Awesome :)

  2. I love when a song inspires! Count me in. I’m with you. For the longest time, I identified with Logical Song by Supertramp. Except these days, I’m defining for myself who I am. I learned the answer isn’t out there for others to decide for me.

    • Sweet! I’m not usually adept at hearing the actual lyrics of popular songs, so I just went to listen to Logical Song… it’s kind of like a “Take Back the Night” campaign, except it’s Take Back Ourselves, isn’t it?

  3. I am with you, Margaret! All the way :-) GREAT post!

  4. Pingback: WDS: In the Moment, and In Retrospect | Taste Life Twice

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