Songs for Scotland is a Scottish cultural tradition, albeit one of recent coinage. It is dedicated to the proposition that imagination, through its handmaidens music and art, must be at the forefront in the drive for positive political change. This idea has been variously expressed down the ages. Some examples:
Let me make the songs of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws.
Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun 1655 – 1716
Music has charms to soothe the savage breast. To soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.
William Congreve 1670 – 1729
All art constantly aspires to the condition of music.William Pater 1839 – 1894
‘Independent thought is impossible unless people freely employ their imaginations. Imagination is therefore essential both to the proper functioning of democracies and to acts of artistic creation. Music and art, by helping us to transcend the mundane, can also help us to imagine and to build a better world.’ – Alasdair Gray