The Saltire and Lion Rampant
Flutter in the cool summer breeze,
As we march to the slow drum
Underneath the sunlit trees.
We are here to honour
The passing of one of our own,
A good and honourable friend
Who has departed for home.
He has taken the low road*
And will be in Scotland before us,
He was a loyal and honest man
Who never betrayed a trust.
*According to Scottish legend when Scots die in another country, they are said to be taking the Low Road home. This is the route that the spirits travel.
“Take the low road” has been immortalised in the song “Loch Lomond” from the story of two Scottish prisoners who were imprisoned in England after the Battle of Culloden in 1746. One was to be executed in the morning and the other was to be released.
The soldier being released would take the high road over the mountains and the soldier who was to be executed would take the low road, the route for the souls of the dead. “I’ll take the low road and I’ll be in Scotland afore ye.”