Scotland The Brave march

Also known as Alba An Àigh, Scotland The Brave, Start Off The Day With …… Porridge Oats.

There are 19 recordings of this tune.

This tune has been recorded together with

Scotland The Brave appears in 1 other tune collection.

Scotland The Brave has been added to 41 tune sets.

Scotland The Brave has been added to 343 tunebooks.

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Three settings

X: 1
T: Scotland The Brave
R: march
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
A,D|D2 D3/2E/|FD FA|d2 d3/2c/|dA FD|G2 B3/2G/|FA FD|
E2 A3/2B/|(3ABA FE|D2 D3/2E/|FD FA|d2 d3/2c/|dA FD|
G2 B3/2G/|FA FD|E2 D3/2D/|D2 cd|e2 e3/2e/|ec A2|
d2 f3/2e/|dA FD|d2 dd|c2 dc|Bd cB|AG FE|D2 D3/2E/|FD FA|
d2 d3/2c/|dA FD|G2 B3/2G/|FA FD|E2 D3/2E/|D2||
X: 2
T: Scotland The Brave
R: march
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
A|D>C DE|FD FA|d>c d>c|dA FD|G2 BG|
|:d>c d>c|dA FD|d>c d>c|dA FD|
# Added by MBAC .
X: 3
T: Scotland The Brave
R: march
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
D2 D>E|FD FA|d2 d>c|dA FD|G2 B>G|FA FD|E2A>B|AG FE|
D2 D>E|FD FA|d2 d>c|dA FD|G2 B>G|FA FD|E2 D>E|D4|
e2 e>d|ec A2|d2 f>e|dA FA|d2 dd|c2 dc|Bd cB|AG FE|
D2 D>E|FD FA|d2 d>c|dA FD|G2 B>G|FA df|e2 AB/c/|d4|

Twenty-six comments

Scotland The Brave

OK, it’s corny and overplayed but it’s still a good tune and somebody had to post it so…

Not a polka

Oh, yeah, and it’s not a Polka but a march, technicaly, but there’s not category for ‘March’ but the polka time signature and rythm fits best out of the other categories.

This is a popular ring tone melody, but certainly not a session tune.

Says who?

What a remarkable statement - Slainte!

This certainly is a traditional tune (although I think the words were added a bit more recently - in the last 100 years or so) and therefore it’s perfectly acceptable as a Session tune. It is also played as a reel at ceilidhs making a good tune to which you can dance The Gay Gordons.

Just because something has become popular as a ring tone is no reason to denigrate the tune. I’ve heard Beethoven as a ring tone but that doesn’t mean it suddenly not classical music.

Says us….

“slainte” having spent some time in Edinburgh, I’m sure is well aware that it’s a Scottish traditional tune. I think what he’s telling you is that this is not a tune which is often played in sessions, and I agree with him. Pipe bands will certainly play it, and as you point out, it may often be played at ceilidh dances, but in a session ? I’ve been playing in sessions for over thirty years, and have never heard this played in any session in Scotland. The only time I have heard it played was at the Irish Club in Adelaide in Australia. By all means, play it in your session if you want to, but don’t be surprised if you get some funny looks.

Posted by .

It is certainly played at ceilis for the Gay Gordons. I played it myself just last week at a ceili mor. But as it is, a march and not as a reel. How do you play it as a reel?

There’s a hornpipe version or a reel version knocking around somewhere, which I think is a Sean Ryan tune or something. Am too tired to look it up today but I think it’s here somewhere.

I and attending others have and also play this march to ‘the Gei Gordons’, as well as often dancing to it, including in ceilis in Eire…

People do play it in sessions

Right here in The Session discussion of “Common Session Tunes” scottythefiddler says (

“The session at the Lionshead Pub in Hamilton, Ontario, has been changed again, this time from Thursday nights, to Tuesdays, and as a result, I have a list of tune sets prepared by the session leader.”

He includes Scotland The Brave in the list.

Also look at:
which represents a random web sreach to see if anybody else lists it as a session tune.

So, we’ve established that this is a traditional tune often played at ceilidhs (and ceilis). I will also accept that it is not commonly played in sessions but to say flatly that this is not a sesion tune is not correct when clearly people on this list do play it in sessions (even if rarely).

Not arguing………………


Posted by .

One of the *daggiest* tunes on this site.

Dag’s a laugh, good kick ~

unless you take it all too seriously, so seriously that you’re easy to wind up… (so serious ‘smiley’s’ aren’t allowed…)

Funnily enough, this got played at a session I went to last week.

Scotland The Brave indeed.And an incomplete version too.

sorry, I took it from an old ringtone, that’s why it’s not complete and I didn’t know the name, but I liked it :P

Posted by .

Some quality control please!

Most of the tunes submitted to TheSession are a great resource for players, but the comment above from MBAC shows that we badly need some quality control.

I’m afraid I don’t agree with you there Ian. I think that’s one of the strengths of the resource, & those who make good use of it.

I think it’s brilliant, the fact that you can enter a tune, even half remembered, or part of a tune here & some trusty soul is bound to quickly jump in & say - Ah ha, that’s such & such & this is what it should sound like.
Where else could you do that?

I don’t have a problem with the source of that tune either.
OK, I’m sure the way it will be played on a ring tone will be tacky & cheesy, but so what!
Doubtless, once the poster of the tune gets the correct version, he or she will play it in a good old traditional way.

After all, we can’t all learn our tunes at the lap of some old wrinkly boy from East Clare.

It’s not where you get your tunes that counts so much as what you do with them, once you have them.

Well, that’s my 2p on the subject.

Can someone post the abc for “Crazy Frog” please?

I wish you would. I get kids asking me to teach them that on the Whistle, all the time!

Avoided for understandable reasons in sessions, still a core trad tune

I like it! Good busking tune, which I’ve sometimes played with a polka-ised version of the song tune “Hot Asphalt” after. An essential ceilidh band tune for the Gay Gordons, one of the core dances in the ceilidh repertoire, in Scotland and Northern England anyway: it’s one of those dances which, with a good caller, those of us who are only occasional dancers can actually do.
I suppose few Irish tunes go to that rhythm (can’t think of any, offhand), which would make it hard to introduce to Irish sessions, and it may have a cliche / cringe factor for Scottish ITM sessioneers; but it’s still a good tune, whose rhythm is shared incidentally by a number of Scottish and Northumbrian tunes.

“Not a tune which is often played at sessions”

Actually, this statement is true for the majority of tunes even some of the very good ones. It just depends what is either “fashionable” or, on the other hand, the accepted common repertoire (may be very unfashionable and obscure to anyone else) of a particular group of musicians.
I’d agree that S the B would be extremely unlikely to fall into either category.

Of course, players will sometimes play a lesser known or different tune from time to time but I don’t think it would be this one.

Scotland the Brave

Found in the Darley & McCall Collection (1914) as “The Irishman’s Toast”. Their notes say, “This air was adapted to the Fenian ballad “General Burke’s Dream”, a broadsheet published by Nugent & Co., Cook Street, Dublin.” Slightly further back in the Gesto Collection (1893) it goes under the title “Scotland For Ever” or “Brave Scotland”, and is described as a “Trumpet March”.

Scotland The Brave, X:2

I was surprised there weren’t more settings of this very common tune. Not my favourite ever tune, but one I have played for every Gay Gordon’s set I have ever played. This is the setting I have most commonly heard, though I used to play a pipe version that stays within one octave, only going up to the D for the B part.

Re: Scotland The Brave

I knew this tune first as a TV advert “Start off the Day with Scott’s Porridge Oats” - me being 3/4 English………