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Updated 12/14/2016


Highland Cathedral

Highland Cathedral is a popular melody for the Great Highland Bagpipe.  The melody was composed by German musicians Ulrich Roever and Michael Korbin 1982 for a Highland games held in Germany. It has been proposed as the Scottish national anthem to replace unofficial anthems Scotland the Brave and/or Flower of Scotland. It has subsequently undergone various orchestrations and had lyrics added in English and in Scottish Gaelic.

The tune has been performed by the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, and featured in the album, Spirit of the Glen, which won a Classical Brit award in 2009. The song has been performed at numerous Scottish cultural events, including Scotland's Rugby Union games. The tune was the Royal Hong Kong Police Anthem under British rule which ended in 1997. It was played at a ceremonial lowering of the Governor's flag at Chris Patten's official residence, Government House in Central, on the last day of British rule. Highland Cathedral is Patten's favorite pipe tune, as said by him on a BBC Asia Today program. It is also a popular wedding song.

There is only one set of lyrics registered with PRS and MCPS, written by Ben Kelly in 1990.  Other versions have been tried but this version is the one used at the Scottish Rugby games and other ceremonies. They describe a moment in history when James the 6th of Scotland became James the 1st of England and in doing so united all the land and feuding clans for the first and probably the only time.


There is a land far from this distant shore
Where heather grows and Highland eagles soar
There is a land that will live ever more
Deep in my heart, my Bonnie Scotland

Though I serve so far away
I still see your streams, cities and dreams
I can't wait until the day
When I'll come home once more

And so Lord keep me from the harm of war
Through all its dangers and the battle's roar
Keep me safe until I'm home once more
Home to my own in Bonnie Scotland

Another version is

Land of my fathers, we will always be
Faithful and loyal to our own country.
In times of danger, we will set you free.
Lead you to glory and to victory 

Hail, Caledonia, to our ancient land.
In this Highland Cathedral let us stand as men.
Joining together with one dream to share.
God bless the people of this land so fair.

Gone is the past, let us start anew.
Let this hope of peace, always remain.
Children of Scotia, be strong and true.
Then our children will smile again, again, again, again.

Rise, Caledonia, let your voices ring
In this Highland Cathedral of our God and King.
Whom, joy and liberty, to all, will bring.
Come; let your heart, with love and courage, sing.