Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Stone of Destiny

The Stone housed in the coronation chai
          The Stone of Scone, also called, The Stone of Destiny, is a rock on which the kings of Scotland are crowned.  The English stole it from the Scots and began crowning their kings on it too, thereby making the King of England the King of Scotland also.
          Stone of Destiny, a 2008 film, tells the story of the recapture of this Scottish symbol.  In the 1950s, a handful of Scots set out to bring back the stone and awaken patriotism and passion in their fellow Scotsmen.
          Throughout the film, Robert Burn's beautiful ballad, Scots Wha hae, plays in the background. Sometimes it whispers through the scenes light and delicate; sometimes, when it is played on the bagpipes (the epitome of Scottish music), it marches with strength and vigor.
         This song (my favorite) is very appropriate for the theme of the movie.  It is about the Scottish fight for freedom from the English led by William Wallace and Robert the Bruce.  It is a passionate song about standing up to tyranny and fighting and dying for freedom. The film is also about the Scottish fight for freedom.  By retrieving the stone, these men and women hoped to bring hope and pride to the Scottish people and encourage them to join the nationalist cause that was seeking to gain greater sovereignty for Scotland.
         The music winds through the movie, highlighting the same old fight (England Vs. Scotland), the same old problems (cowards and traitors), and the same old passion (the willingness to lay down one's life to liberate one's country).
          One verse of the song reads, "wha can fill a coward's grave, wha will be a traitor knave, wha sae base as be a slave? Let him turn and flee!" (See glossary below).  In the film, Bill excused himself from making the attempt by saying that he was about to graduate and get married and did not want to put his future on the line in an attempt to rekindle the Scot's dream of freedom. By no means a traitor, he would rather be a "slave" so he figuratively turned and fled.
          The stone thieves stood staunchly around the stone knowing the police were on the way to arrest them, almost smiling as the wailing sirens approached.  My heart sang Burn's lyrics:
 "By oppressions woes and pains
 by our sons in servile chains
we will drain our dearest veins
but they shall be free."
          They sought a better future for Scotland, putting their lives on hold: "we shall drain our dearest veins." They submitted to "oppressions woes and pains,"  in hopes of Scotland's future freedom: "but they shall be free."
         Currently Scotland is in control of all her internal affairs while England controls her foreign policy. Yet, Scotland's yearning for sovereignty has not died: steps towards a complete separation of Scotland are currently in the works and the movement recently gained more support. 
Read Sky News' blog post (titled Scots Wha Hae!) for more information:

IMBd Stone of Destiny page:

Scots wha hae lyrics:

Scot's Dialect Glossary
wha -- who
hae --have
sae -- so

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for writing this. You may enjoy reading my novel, Stone of Destiny. It is a modern day Thriller about the Stone.