WHAT a hauntingly touching story about the elderly woman in Beirut “pushing through her pain… making beauty from ashes” (All the way from Beirut - the perfect national anthem for indy Scotland, August 8).

Auld Lang Syne. There can be few, if any, songs with the international reach of this one. Intrigued by Pat’s suggestion of it being a contender for our national anthem (those very words sending a frisson of delight through me), I set about fleshing out the history of its international appeal, one that crosses all borders in every corner of the world. The most comprehensive website was … wait for it … on the BBC website (bit.ly/BBCAuld).

Robert Burns was an everyday presence in my life throughout child and early adulthood. I grew up a few yards along the road from Burns Cottage and of course, every year, we all had to learn Burns poems and songs and enter the many Burns competitions as a matter of course.

READ MORE: The perfect national anthem for indy Scotland comes all the way from Beirut

In those days, the glaring schism between how we were disciplined to speak “proper English” and the annual immersion in our Scots language was never commented on – certainly in my family and all those of my friends – if indeed such questions ever even surfaced in our parents’ minds.

For some time now, however, memories of the harsh reprimands and sometimes beltings in school for dropping our t’s and g’s at the end of words and the glottal stop in the middle of words, have been ever-present as the campaign for independence has widened its appeal. I am relishing using the words I knew but could only be spoken in a kind of comedic way, a means of coping with our uncomfortable feelings of projecting a risky image and always the underlying class issue, the “they’re common” for speaking “slang”.

So, for the following reasons, I would wholeheartedly support Auld Lang Syne as our national anthem:

1) The inspirational thought for all Scots, wherever our birthplace or whatever our circumstances, that a person born in a humble cottage brought together words and music already in Scots folklore and reworked them into a song that is possibly the most famous song in the world – ever.

2) What more fitting announcement could the newly reborn independent nation of Scotland give to the world than the news that we have chosen the song that so many already know and that we are proudly claiming its roots.

3) It contains not a single reference to anything militaristic or bombastic, such as in Flower of Scotland and its repetitive reference to the vexatious past concerning England, and even more so in the “National Anthem” of Britain which, as we know, contains the infamous lines in verse six “the rebellious Scots to crush” along with several other references to military action.

4) And on a final note, we are telling the world that we will no longer shy away from the truth of who we are, our history, our rich resources both human and material, and our joy at being free to resume our natural outward-looking, peaceful interaction with other nations.

Auld Lang Syne. Thank you, Pat, for bringing us the surprisingly obvious but thus far unvoiced suggestion for our national anthem.

I do not use social media but wonder if someone amongst our readership might consider launching an online campaign to support this choice.

It could provide something tangible and ultimately necessary to help see us through these heightening days of anticipation, a positive focus and respite from the rough and tumble of the home stretch.

Jennifer Rodger
West Kilbride