Thoughts on Rabbie Burns

W, The Man, and I, for all our prospective great roadtrip in Scotland, will not go south of Edinburgh or Glasgow, hence missing Ayrshire and much of Robbie Burns. Hope to acquire a copy of some of his poems.

In 2009, STV had a series and public vote about the the greatest Scot of all time, and Robbie Burns narrowly beat William Wallace (of Braveheart, for those who only know Scottish history through contemprary film, formerly me, too!).

Rabbie was a man of many parts, reasonably well educated by his farmer father, quite the lover of several women, father of 12 in the end, poet, lyricist, and collector and adaptor of Scottish folk music. When doing better than he had ever done before, he died following a tooth extraction complicating his rheumatic heart disease, as it tends to do…..these days we cover that with plenty of penicillin. And, so he died at 37, leaving 12 children, who since have produced descendants who amount to 600 today.

I love it that he wrote variously in Scottish, English and a light Scots dialect.

It seems to me, with all the persecutions that the Scots have suffered, that they are very staunch and sentimental about their heroes.

Several of Robbie Burns poems have become immortalized in song. Full of imagery with this lassie coming throught he rye into town. Ilka lassie….every lassie. Swain….a young man, especially a young man who is in love.

I think Burns was a hopeless romantic, which back in the day, earned him his numerous children. I cannot pick up any angst from those women of the past toward him regarding his temporalness in their lives, though he did end up with Jean Armour who bore him nine children three of whom survived to adult life. Thank God we don’t have to bear this heavy loss of children today in the lucky countries.

There are so many Scots versions of My Love is like a Red Red Rose, but this one by Bryn Terfel, a Welshman, makes my skin tingle and a tear fall….

I am hopeless at parades (ANZAC the worst) and bands, so if we encounter any, especially Auld Lang Syne, I might need carrying off due to noisy blathering. It will be a remembrance of Scots family, my parents and their trip to Scotland auld lang syne!

Burns original Scots version

Auld Lang Syne….the old long since

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne*?
CHORUS:
For auld lang syne, my jo,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak’ a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
And surely ye’ll be your pint-stoup!
and surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll tak’ a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
CHORUS
We twa hae run about the braes,
and pou’d the gowans fine;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
sin’ auld lang syne.
CHORUS
We twa hae paidl’d in the burn,
frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
sin’ auld lang syne.
CHORUS
And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere!
and gie’s a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak’ a right gude-willie waught,
for auld lang syne.
CHORUS

English translation

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne?
CHORUS:
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
And surely you’ll buy your pint cup!
and surely I’ll buy mine!
And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
CHORUS
We two have run about the slopes,
and picked the daisies fine;
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,
since auld lang syne.
CHORUS
We two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun till dine†;
But seas between us broad have roared
since auld lang syne.
CHORUS
And there’s a hand my trusty friend!
And give me a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.
CHORUS

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wkatydid

Living in The Gap following growing up in Brisbane. Also lived in Nambour, Mt Isa, Cairns, Beaudesert, Ipswich, qualifying as a "Queenslanda". Retired and loving growing extended family, sub-tropical gardening, cooking, reading, politics, aquaerobics, family genealogy, sewing, knitting, film, IT, all things Mac, Pinterest, Goodreads, State of Origin.......

7 thoughts on “Thoughts on Rabbie Burns”

  1. Cathy if I’d known you two were going to Scotland I would have suggested you visited my aunt in Ayr. She would have put you up and has zillions of connecting personal and historical. In fact my grandfather in retirement was one of the hosts (or whatever the name was) at Rabbie Burns cottage and also Culzen Castle (well worth a visit if other readers so over). Dad lives in St Andrews (where I was born) and is another place well worth a visit. I also recommend the lochs up higher (where Monarch of the Glen was filmed). A feel a touch of nostalgia reading your blog despite having no wish to live in Scotland as I love Australia and happily call it home.

    1. Thanks so much for your comment, Susan. As Jen suggests, we might have to have a second trip. It is tightly coreographed. We will be having a brief St Andrews stop, already to toast my parents, but will toast you, too, now!

  2. One more comment – pleas excuse the typos and irritating auto-corrects in my above message. Hope it doesn’t reduce the quality of your blog!

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