A Peaceful Land

What is being a nation? A tal­ent spring­ing in the heart. And love of coun­try? Keep­ing house among a cloud of wit­ness­es (Wal­do Williams)

 1. When one hun­dred thou­sand people
met to march from Glas­gow Green,
there were mil­lions more walked with them,
a cloud of wit­ness­es unseen,
from the past and from the future,
and the cry on every hand,

not in our name do you go to war,
this must be a peace­ful land.’

 2. And how shall we teach our children
love of coun­try, pride of place?
Shall we say, we once were heroes,
of a fiery, fight­ing race;
and for­get the stains of violence -
peo­ple beat­en, enslaved and banned?
Or shall we now be peacemakers
in a hos­pitable land?

 3. From the Pent­land to the Solway,
from the Forth down to the Clyde,
city streets and qui­et places
and the turn­ing of the tide;
shall we rise on wings of eagles
soar­ing over wave and sand,
nev­er see­ing beneath the surface
to the scars upon the land.

4. We are armoured and defended
like an empire dressed for war.
But we face no threat or peril
and we don’t know what it’s for.

Take the mis­siles from the waters’,
it’s our dream and our demand.
Turn the weapons into ploughshares,
Give us back a peace­ful land.

5. There’s a choice that lies before us.
How shall Scot­land best be known?
For the glo­ries of its history
and its love­li­ness alone?
Or shall care for all earth’s people
be the song for which we stand,
and the flow­er­ing of our nation
as a just and peace­ful land.

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