Clan Anthem -
Dear Fellow Clansmen, Clanswomen, and Clanspeople,
Last April I received the following email and an accompanying video from
British Columbia member Rick Galbraith. I thought it was great and asked if
I could post it to our website, to which he agreed. I could imagine the
accompaniment of pipes, drums, and/or fiddle in the background - a vision
Rick also shared. I didn't post it at the time because it had also been
forwarded to John Galbraith, who produced our Calling of the Clans
segment for the 2000 Grandfather Mountain Highland Games and he was going to
use it in the "How do you say our name?
" video for the 2021
Grandfather Mountain Highland Games roll call. Rick wrote:
"Hello, Len. You may recall me saying I felt inspired after watching John Galbraith's
display of bravado and stirring words in your banner video. I can't remember whether
I also told you I had been thinking that the Clan deserved its own song - a chant -
no... an anthem! I started thinking about that back in 2016 when the gathering was in
Vancouver and I was hosting a karaoke night. The joyful singing by everyone then was
what instilled in me an itch to do something. I forgot to scratch it when life brought
dozens of interruptions and tasks. And then John's video sparked my enthusiasm once
again and I've finally finished one verse of our story, covering what John said, plus
a little more. President Paul says he loves it. I wanted to share it with you just to
show you I finally took the inspiration we talked about and did something with it!
Mind you, I'm not proud of my performance in the video, but the melody and lyrics of
the anthem are there. Perhaps it will be made into a music score, with more verses,
some day. But not today. I couldn't find an e-mail for John. Would you kindly pass
along my praise and thanks?
Best regards, and stay safe,
So, here's Rick's video anthem:
That's pretty good Rick! Maybe we have other musically-inclined Clan members?
Rick chimed in with:
... And your thinking is dead on with mine - maybe it will continue inspiration. I'd love
it if members embraced the idea and added a verse or two. Or sang it. Or learned from
it. As a side note, though, I did offer to Paul that I would arrange musical
accompaniment and add some verses if he could pay a hundred bucks (which I'd give to
my two musician friends as a token thank you to them). I don't want anything for it
and, if I were any kind of a musician, I'd have already done that myself. With that
one caveat in mind, the as is version is free for CGS members to use personally and/or
enhance among themselves, so publish away and may the pride continue to flow!
Well, a few months have passed. John's video is out there (see the home page)
and I've just received this from Rick:
I just read Angus Galbraith's poem of the 1977 gathering [see the August 2021
Red Tower]. He summarizes so well some of our history but, better, he wrote the
ending I failed to come up with for the Clan Galbraith Anthem. I
racked my brain for a couple of weeks before giving up; he, though,
succinctly describes the Galbraith spirit of today (and tomorrow, and
1977). He offers a genuine and timeless characteristic I've found in
pretty much every Galbraith I've met.
With the blessing of any one of you, along with an assurance that it
would be okay to copy and massage it oh so slightly, I will use his
last verse as the last verse of the anthem. One thing - I'd like
feedback on whether to make more neutral the line implying our
Christian beliefs. I personally don't think it's necessary to omit it
but, well, you know.
So, if it's a go, I'll do that, then we would just need a little more
input from members (including more of what Angus said) to complete our
general history (without making an anthem that is 30 minutes long),
and I would work on having a drafted version for us to sing next May.
Let me know.
So, what do you say guys? Are there any members out there who have a flair
for the verse or are musically adept and want to contribute to this wonderful
endeavor? I can put you in contact with Rick to collaborate. Email me at
-Len Galbraith Everson
Addendum - I received this from Rick on 9/30/21 ... the addition of a final verse.
-Len Galbraith Everson
* * * * * * *
Please give me feedback on this draft of the last verse. I'll sing it a few times
to see if it flows right - I think it does but it feels like it needs some fine tuning
of the lyrics, the same way I felt doing the first verse. It may feel like it's
projecting a little too much purity, but we sing it just to ourselves, normally,
so I don't see that as pretentious. And if we fill the in-between verses with the
truth, we just might need to end it with a little self-respecting lustre!
Let me know in time to send Joan a final version for publishing in the November Red Tower.
I'll also sing the two verses into a video for the web site, although there's likely
to be a fair bit of snow on that peak I pretended was Ben Lomond.
DRAFT of last verse:
Now our doors are always open
You can give me feedback on this as well, if you like.
To the strangers we once were.
Our new quest: we're always hopin'
To find our chief, we need be sure.
So, as we go into the future
Known just to God who reigns above
Let's show the world how you and I were
Then stay our course of truth and love.
DRAFT of start to flippant second verse:
As a clan, we grew much bigger
Best regards, and stay safe,
Wandered where we weren't wished to
Banned we were, so off to Gigha
Where the women gave no issue.