I´ve just been listening to a BBC documentary in which James Naughtie tells the story of an audacious raid carried out on Christmas Day 1950. Three young men and one woman removed the Stone of Destiny from under King Edward I's Chair in Westminster Abbey, where it had lain since its removal from Scone in Scotland in 1296. The exploit brought the cause of Scottish independence to the front pages. To this day, the Stone, now installed in Edinburgh Castle, remains a symbol of the pride of Scotland in its nationhood. It roused my Scottish blood and reminded me of this toast by our national poet, Robert Burns, which usually precedes the imbibing of large quantities of our most famous alcoholic beverage.
Here’s tae us.
Wha’s like us?
And they’re a’ deid,
Mair’s the pity!
May those who live truly be always believed,
And those who deceive us be always deceived.
Here’s to the men of all classes,
Who through lasses and glasses
Will make themselves asses!
I drink to the health of another,
And the other I drink to is he,
In the hope that he drinks to another,
And the other he drinks to is me.
Then let us toast John Barleycorn,
Each man a glass in hand,
And may his great prosperity
Ne’er fail in old Scotland!
This inspired the following list of the many inventions and innovations created by Scotsmen. If you´re not Scottish, some of these may surprise you!
Click to enlarge
Here´s the unadorned list:
tar road surface
the U.S. Navy
the first authorised translation of the bible
the breech-loading rifle
the Bank Of England
Wha´s like us?
Damn few and they´re a´deid.....indeed!