Tuesday, 25 January 2011

'Slainte' For Burns Night..........



Hullo ma wee blog,

More poetry I'm afraid.........

It's Burns night tonight and the Lovely G and I will celebrate it with the traditional meal of Haggis, neeps and tatties in memory of Scotlands national poet, Robert Burns who like me is an Ayrshire lad. It's rare that tradition tastes so good. {and lets you have a dram at the same time.}

Thanks Rabbie!

Here's a couple of versions of one of Burns greatest works, 'A Man's A Man'. It's a song that highlights Burns' strong political and moral sensibilities as it seems the song was written in support for the revolution then taking place in France. What seems probable is that Burns was influenced by Thomas Paine's 'The Rights of Man' as both works deal with ideas of liberty, equality and universal human rights.

This was the song chosen to be sung at the opening of the devolved Scottish Parliament in 1999. I think Rabbie would have approved not only that it was chosen for such an occasion but that works like this are still revered and updated for inclusion in concerts such as above. He did love a party did Rabbie!

Is there for honest Poverty
That hings* his head, an' a' that;        {hangs}
The coward slave-we pass him by,
We dare be poor for a' that!
For a' that, an' a' that.
Our toils obscure an' a' that,
The rank is but the guinea's stamp,
The Man's the gowd* for a' that.       {gold}

What though on hamely fare we dine,
Wear hoddin* grey, an' a that;         {coarse material}
Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine;
A Man's a Man for a' that:
For a' that, and a' that,
Their tinsel show, an' a' that;
The honest man, tho' e'er sae poor,
Is king o' men for a' that.

Ye see yon birkie*, ca'd a lord,     {fellow/man}
Wha struts, an' stares, an' a' that;
Tho' hundreds worship at his word,
He's but a coof * for a' that:           {fool}
For a' that, an' a' that,
His ribband, star, an' a' that:
The man o' independent mind
He looks an' laughs at a' that.

Then let us pray that come it may,
(As come it will for a' that,)
That Sense and Worth, o'er a' the earth,
Shall bear the gree*, an' a' that.   {take priority}
For a' that, an' a' that,
It's coming yet for a' that,
That Man to Man, the world o'er,
Shall brothers be for a' that.

Robert Burns 1795.

9 comments:

TWD said...

Okay. That one completely lost me. As did the description of your dinner of "Haggis, neeps and tatties." I know what haggis is, and I'm guessing that tatties has to do with potatoes. As for neeps, I haven't a clue.

You Scottish folks have a different word for EVERYTHING. ;)

TWD

Alistair said...

Hullo TWD - sorry for the confusion. Neeps = Turnip {Tur-neeps}


But you're right we do seem to have a word or expression for most stuff...

Scottish Nature Boy said...

Hi Al - Happy Burns Night to you and G - great choice of poem (an' a' that!). As the lovely O is out tonight, we'll be doing the haggis thing on Saturday night instead, with some pals. Have a great evening and a wee dram on me (I may have one myself tonight - rare for a school night but, hey, it's Burns Night!)...

Alistair said...

Jings, it was fine too.......

dbs said...

I love neeps! Happy Burns Night!

The Scudder said...

A guid choice of poem ma man .,.,
We do the Burns night down at the golf club every year which can turn out to be quite a night !!
However I'm afraid this year I'm banning myself .,., can't take that much booze nor haggis ( which I love btw ) on this damned medication .,., very sad .,., hic !

Alistair said...

Scudder - I hope you find other ways of enjoying your Burns supper.

As you once commented 'a Scudder's a Scudder for a' that' so I'm sure there's a way - there's certainly a will.....

Rebecca S. said...

"That sense and worth over all the earth, Shall bear the gree an 'a that" is still a prayer for today! My parents always attended Burns Night when I was at home - probably still do. I celebrated in my heart since I have a fair bit of Scotch blood!

Alistair said...

He did see the heart of the matter that's for sure...

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