National Poetry Day 2018

4 October 2018

Today is National Poetry Day in the UK and to celebrate we have chosen to share Sir Walter Scott's 'Football Song.

Scott was educated at the High School in Edinburgh in the 1770s and was later one of the founding fathers of the Edinburgh Academy, which opened its doors to pupils in 1824. 'Football' featured large in the lives of both of these schools, although it was a rough and ready game that would not be recognisable as football to today's viewer. However, it was the forerunner of rugby, soccer, American football and Aussie Rules, and elements of all of these games would have been evident back in the late 18th and into the 19th centuries, when football 'to rugby rules' and soccer both started to evolve.

The Football Song, by Sir Walter Scott

Then strip, lads, and to it, though sharp be the weather,
And if, by mischance, you should happen to fall,
There are worse things in life than a tumble on heather,
And life is itself but a game at football.

And when it is over, we'll drink a blithe measure
To each Laird and each Lady that witnessed our fun,
And to every blithe heart that took part in our pleasure,
To the lads that have lost and the lads that have won.

Then up with the Banner, let forest winds fan her,
She has blazed over Ettrick eight ages and more;
In sport we'll attend her, in battle defend her,
With heart and with hand, like our fathers before.