For the uninitiated, those two lines are from a song commemorating the most famous Edinburgh derby of all time – New Year's Day, January 1973. Hearts nil, Hibs seven. The next two lines are: Singing glory to the Hibees, they're the team that we all love.
They have a special resonance right now. "With the angels high above" was the message that accompanied the wreath we got for my good friend Billy.
Billy was a great Hibby. A proud, stoic supporter, he ran a West Lothian Hibs bus for many years. He was of a generation that had seen three League championships. Two European semi-finals. The Famous Five and Turnbull's Tornadoes. Victories against Barcelona and Real Madrid. He counted himself fortunate to have seen both Willie Hamilton and Gordon Smith play for the Cabbage, a privilege denied to me because I was born too damn late.
Billy died the Sunday before this year's Scottish Cup quarter-final, away to Ayr United. His funeral was on the morning of the game. Hundreds packed St Joseph's in Whitburn and bade their sad farewells. After the service, many of us got into cars, on to trains, boarded buses, and made our way down to Somerset Park. "It's what Da would have wanted," said his son, Billy Jr, to me. "And ye ken he'll be there, too."
I think in a way he was. My old dad was there in spirit, too, and he's not even dead. He's had three coronary episodes watching the Hibs: League Cup final '93, Tynecastle '94, on the way home from a Falkirk game not long after. He's scared to watch now, even on the telly (me too, but I try to be brave). But my old dad's never seen the team he's followed all his life lift the Scottish Cup – the gods cheated the Famous Five year after year – and he's desperate to toast the bonny lads when they finally do. Americans might call it closure.
My Hibs-supporting tour of duty is coming up for half a century now. I have seen my share of triumphs – three League Cup wins, the aforementioned seven-nil derby, the exhilarating Tornadoes, Sauzee and Latapy and Six-two. But, with apologies to Hector Nicol (ask a Hibby), the Scottish Cup isn't in the bag yet.
We've come close, right enough. I was but a babe in arms when Joe Baker's team was denied by Clyde in the final of 1958. Barely into my teens when Dixie Deans twisted the knife with a hat trick in a 6-1 win for Jock Stein's Celtic in their pomp. Just into my twenties when Colin Campbell was too (expletive deleted) honest to go down in the box when fouled by Peter McCloy in the first of the three finals against Rangers, in 1979. Just over two weeks later, I felt 20 years older when Arthur Duncan had the misfortune to head an own goal deep into extra time in a second replay to snatch the trophy from the great Eddie Turnbull once more.
I was there for those 1970s finals. As the world must know – our neighbours certainly do – there have been plenty of other times since when we have been socked in the face by the greasy pie of fate. Alex McLeish built a fine team anchored around a former captain of France, the imperious Franck Sauzee, and the artistic genius that was Russell Latapy. We reached the semi-final in 2000, but were defeated by injury and a workmanlike Aberdeen team which went on to be crushed by Rangers in the final.
The following year, we cruised into the final – only for Latapy to be banished after one nocturnal transgression too many in the days leading up to the big event and Sauzee to be crippled by injury sustained in the last league game of the season (a game he should never have played in). Martin O'Neill duly completed his first treble as Celtic manager.
Tony Mowbray inherited the "golden generation" – such outrageous talents as Scott Brown, Kevin Thomson, Garry O'Connor and Derek Riordan – and bottled two semi-finals in a row, in 2005 and 2006. John Collins's mutinous villains, fresh from an exhilarating League Cup final the month before, managed to make it a hat trick from hell when capitulating to a relegation-doomed Dunfermline Athletic in 2007.
And there's the nub. Footballing gods, geniuses and prodigies alike . . . they have all contrived to let down generation after generation of Hibs fans in this oldest of cup competitions. We have gone to the well year after year, and gone home empty. And sadly, too many family members, friends and well-kent faces are no longer with us as we continue the quest. Could this current motley crop of loan signings, journeymen pros and battered academy graduates finally be the ones to settle the scores of the greats?
The fervent hope amongst Hibs fans is that destiny is playing its hand, dictating that a century-plus of pain is finally to be ended by the vanquishing of our greatest rivals. If it happens, I'll be visiting a fair few hostelries in Leith tonight, and thinking of Billy, and of Davie (died 1999), of Kenny (2010), and of many, many more.
Maybe it's too fanciful to say I'll be singing to the angels high above. But many a Hibs fan will be thinking of them tonight.