Friday, January 26, 2018

D'ye no ken?

Robert Burns
25 January 1759 - 21 July 1796

So the evening just passed, last night to those reading this early upon the morning of the 26th of January, was Burn's Night in many locales and a thing I did celebrate when I was a younger man. There was the eating of fine food, not to mention the lovely haggis which, accompanied by the skirl of the pipes, would start the evening. (I think we might have said the Selkirk Grace beforehand, it was lo these many years ago, and my mind wanders to think of it...)
The Selkirk Grace
Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it,
But we hae meat and we can eat,
Sae let the Lord be Thanket!
Did I not mention the fine whiskey that was consumed as well? The sassenachs call it "Scotch," we Gaels just call it whiskey. Burns Night isn't the same without a wee dram, for the cold of the night dontcha know?

Now Robert Burns is the national poet of Scotland and some (especially those wearing kilts) would say that he was the greatest poet who ever lived. But I'm letting my Gael show, aren't I?


I've been too busy the past cuppla and I've only time for this wee sma' post. How about a bit oh Burns and some pipe music? (Look away Buck, look away!)

Scots Wha Hae, or, Robert Bruce’s Address to His Troops at Bannockburn

Robert Burns

Scots, wha hae wi’ Wallace bled,
Scots, wham Bruce has aften led,
Welcome to your gory bed,—
    Or to victorie.—

Now ’s the day, and now’s the hour;
See the front o’ battle lour;
See approach proud Edward’s power,
    Chains and Slaverie.—

Wha will be a traitor-knave?
Wha can fill a cowards’ grave?
Wha sae base as be a Slave?
    —Let him turn and flie.—

Wha for Scotland’s king and law,
Freedom’s sword will strongly draw,
Free-Man stand, or Free-Man fa’,
    Let him follow me.—

By Oppression’s woes and pains!
By your Sons in servile chains!
We will drain our dearest veins,
    But they shall be free!

Lay the proud Usurpers low!
Tyrants fall in every foe!
Liberty ’s in every blow!
    Let us Do—or Die!!!


  1. Like it when read to me, hard to read myself. We have a Priest who uses poetry in every sermon. I've told him I need him around when I see a poem for he makes it more enjoyable.

    1. It does take a certain lyrical bent to read poetry. I'm comfortable with a few poets, Burns is one, Frost is another. I can't say that with all poets though.

  2. I had a wee dram of 18 y/o Glenfiddich Small Batch my son gave me for my birthday. What did you have?

    1. A 90 minute church business meeting. Hence the short(ish) post.

    2. That was good for a chuckle! So, I'm guessing they didn't have any Adult Recreational Beverages to honor your ancestors on Burns Night?

    3. No, they didn't, more's the pity. One of my fellows did point out that a local dining establishment would be celebrating Burn's Night on Saturday, at $80 a plate. I, being a frugal chap, demurred.

    4. " I, being a frugal chap, demurred"

      In other words...A Scot. :-)

  3. A nice bit of music.

    Thanks for the post.
    Paul L. Quandt

  4. Cadence in recited works is very important. Burns got that.

    So do the good translations of the Snorri Sagas, the ones that pay attention to what is said and how it's said.

    ee cummings or the rest of the 'modern poets,' not so much.

    One of the most powerful things about a real Latin Mass is the canting (non-musical chanting) of the Mass itself. Really drums it in, gives it power and majesty and mystery.

    It is why Rabbis employ Cantors at synagogues. The flow of the words imparts power.

    As to Burns himself? Good stuff tae read. Good for tae head. Good for tae soul.

    Hmmm, maybe that is the reason I don't dig much modern stuff, it doesn't touch the soul like the old stuff does.

    1. If poetry doesn't touch your soul, what's the point?

      My two cents.

  5. There is just no such thing as too many bagpipes. Nice.

  6. "It does take a certain lyrical bent to read poetry"
    Sarge is lyrically bent. Duly noted!

    1. Proof - I am definitely bent. Some would say that I ain't right in the head!

    2. Skip - that name rang a bell. Stay tuned.

  7. After a 90 minute church business meeting I would think you would need a "wee drop"...after you got home of course.
    And I agree with Anne. :)

    1. I went straight to bed. Though a drop would have helped me sleep I'll bet!


Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

NOTE: Comments on posts over 5 days old go into moderation, automatically.