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Last Updated: Sunday, 3 October, 2004, 14:04 GMT 15:04 UK
Greens call for new Scots anthem
Robert Burns
The Greens want to adopt a song by Robert Burns
The Scottish Greens have called for the Robert Burns song A Man's A Man For A' That to be adopted as the country's new national anthem.

MSP Chris Ballance said the bard's famous song would be a fitting anthem for the people of Scotland.

He said: "Scotland sorely lacks a national anthem of its own.

"Now that we have our own parliament once again and with the official opening of the building this week, it's time we adopted one."

The song, which pays tribute to the virtues of the common man, was sung by folk artist Sheena Wellington at the Scottish Parliament's opening ceremony in July 1999.

It is a song held dear by many Scots, and I believe its adoption as our official anthem would be widely welcomed
Chris Ballance
Green MSP
Mr Ballance, the Greens' arts and culture spokesperson, has urged MSPs to support his motion and has called for a Holyrood debate on the matter.

He said the time has come to replace God Save the Queen with a new song and paid tribute to the decision to include it in the opening ceremony five years ago.

He said: "Donald Dewar rightly saw fit to mark the occasion of the re-opening of our parliament with a song which asserts that someone's worth can be measured by their person, not their possessions or title, a belief which is shared by most Scots.

"It is a song held dear by many Scots, and I believe its adoption as our official anthem would be widely welcomed. It would pay a lasting and fitting tribute to Burns."

The Scottish Tories said national anthems are now most used at major public events like football and rugby matches and it should be up to the public to decide what their anthem is.

A spokesman said: "These issues are best decided by the public and not by politicians."

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