David MacLennan, the Scottish writer, actor, and producer, is the founder of  A Play, A Pie & a Pint, Glasgow’s Lunchtime Theatre. In the 1970s he co-founded 7:84 Theatre Company with his brother-in-law, John McGrath, and later Wildcat Stage Productions.  David died earlier this year from Motor Neurone Disease. Shortly before he gave his permission for me to post this  poem.

If Scotland

If Scotland votes for Independence
Will the limestone lochs of Durness become more limey
Will Scots porridge oats be much more porridgey
Will Arbroath smokies be far smokier
And make our Cullen Skink a whole lot skinkier

Will Independence make the heather bloom more purple
The gorse more yellow sea campion more pink
And will the bluebells below the Duke’s Pass in the Trossachs
More thoroughly carpet the woods

If we vote yes
Will the Tartan Army throw off its inhibitions
And really get themselves about
Will Celtic Rangers Hibs and Hearts at last command the passion of the fans
Will Inverness Caley Thistle find a more patriotic name
And will the Sun and Daily Record finally give some space to football

Will the Proclaimers rediscover their Dundee accents
Will Phil Cunninghame get his act together on that box of his
And Aly Bain get to grips with his Shetland fiddle
Will Paolo Nutini sound more Paisley
And Capercaille a bit more Gaely

If Scotland was left to go it alone
Would Bannockburn be undeniable
The Saltire flag more flyiable
The Bank of Scotland liable
The crofting way of life more viable
The Wee Free Church more pliable
The Orange marchers justifiable
The summer weather more reliable
And would the deep fried Mars bar cease to be as fryable

If Scotland goes it own way
Will the Langholm Common Riding be more common
Will the cabers birl further in bonny Braemar
Will the flames of Up Helly Aa more brightly burn
Will Abermuchty and Auchtergeldy take it in turn
To have the longest village main street in the land

Will smir and dreich and gloaming forebye
And drookit and glaikit an aw naw an och aye
Burst forth like a spring when Scotland is free
An’ gallus an’ stumour an’ oh michty me

If Scotland says aye
Will St. Andrews be the home of golf
Will the curling stones roar on the Lake of Menteith
Will the cammans clash loud in the Camanachd Cup
Will the Guest House in Oban be always full up

Will the Rest and Be Thankful be thankful at last
The Beallach to Applecross more like a pass
Will the Old Man of Hoy and the Old Man of Stoer
And Buachaille Etive Beg and Buachaille Etive Mòr
Stand taller and prouder and more recognizable
And the chip on oor shooders a wee bit less sizeable

Will Glaswegians be more gallus
Will you have had you’re tea in Edinburgh
Will Aberdonians be more mean
And will all the stereotypes
Of every city town and village in the land be reinforced

If Scotland does its ain thing
Will Scotland be more Scottish

I hae ma doots.

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