Highland Cathedral

Highland Cathedral (Scottish Gaelic: Cathair-eaglais na Gàidhealtachd) is a popular melody for the Great Highland Bagpipe.

"Highland Cathedral"
Composer(s)Ulrich Roever and Michael Korb

This melody was composed by German musicians Ulrich Roever and Michael Korb[1] in 1982 for a Highland games held in Germany.[2] It has been proposed as the Scottish national anthem to replace unofficial anthems Scotland the Brave and/or Flower of Scotland.[3] It has subsequently undergone various orchestrations and had lyrics added in English and in Scottish Gaelic.

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.[4]Highland Cathedral is Patten's favourite pipe tune, as said by himself on a BBC Asia Today programme.[5]

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.[6] The song has been performed at numerous Scottish cultural events, including Scotland's Rugby Union games.[1] It is also a popular wedding song.

It was played on 4 May 2019 at the State funeral of the Grand Duke Jean from Luxembourg at the Notre Dame Cathedral by the Band of the Irish Guards and the Luxembourg Military Band.[7]


There is only one set of lyrics registered with PRS and MCPS, written by Ben Kelly in 1990.[8] 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 VI of Scotland became James I of England and in doing so united all the land and feuding clans for the first and probably the only time.


  1. ^ a b BBC SPORT | Rugby | Six Nations | Scots fans given anthem last updated 29 January 2004
  2. ^ Dinwoodie, Robbie (2006-03-24). "Do you know the tune to Highland Cathedral?". HeraldScotland. Archived from the original on 2010-03-12.
  3. ^ "Will Scotland ever have a national anthem?". BBC. Retrieved 21 September 2012
  4. ^ Last Post & Highland Cathedral - Flag Lowering Ceremony at Government House, Hong Kong
  5. ^ The Governor's Last Farewell
  6. ^ "Spirit of the Glen". Allmusic.
  7. ^ "Leschten Äddi fir de Grand-Duc Jean vun den Irish Guards" RTL.lu
  8. ^ "Time for a new song". Electricscotland.com. Retrieved 2015-09-11.

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