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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