Thanks, David. As I've written elsewhere, I'm attached to Burns mainly because of his songs. Here's something I came across on YouTube, a friend and fine musician playing, if you click on the right track, a version of "Coming Through the Rye" for singer Eddie Reader, but also showing where his heart lies by, despite all the background noise, getting lost in "Of A' the Airts" in a corner of my favorite pub in Scotland.
Prince Charles is visiting an Edinburgh hospital. He enters a ward full of patients with no obvious sign of injury or illness and greets one.
The patient replies:
"Fair fa your honest sonsie face, Great chieftain o the puddin race,
Aboon them a ye take yer place,
Painch, tripe or thairm,
As langs my airm."
Charles is confused, so he just grins and moves on to the next patient.
The patient responds:
"Some hae meat an canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it,
But we hae meat an we can eat,
So let the Lord be thankit."
Even more confused, and his grin now rictus-like, the Prince moves on to the next patient, who immediately begins to chant:
"Wee sleekit, cowerin, timrous beasty,
O the panic in thy breasty,
Thou needna start awa sae hastie,
Wi bickering brattle."
Now seriously troubled, Charles turns to the accompanying doctor and asks "Is this a psychiatric ward?"
"No," replies the doctor, "this is the serious Burns unit."
'Ah, Bertie. You know your Shelley.'
'Oh, am I?'
Looks like liver, tastes like toothpaste! That's the stuff!
Tremendous performance, John. And I found out by accident that it is also really good with the YouTube sound all the way down and Wagner playing in the basement.
I actually felled a phaisant in an oaten feelde this fa', and damned if Fenian dinna track him doun. Good job, Jonno.
That was no haggis, that was a ham!
Photographs on Flickr:
Robert Burns's Address to a Haggis
I just watched it again. This morning I was coaching Alfred Nichol, who has to read Tae a Mouse to the Newburyport Litfest. My grandmother was a Chisholm and a Buckley, so she taught me Scots. I don't do it as well as John does, but I'm 220 years removed from my homeland. How tall are you John? You appear to tower a good head higher than either your haggis bearer or the piper. My favorite definition of a gentleman: a man who knows how to play the pipes but chooses not to.
Haggis Thread: The Sequel
Burns Day is tomorrow, January 29. Today I am teaching Burns to 1200 kids in a great Catholic high school. And all of the kiddies will be seeing this remarkable YouTube of our John Beaton performing Address to the Haggis at a Burns Supper in Qualicum Beach, British Columbia, where John ended up settling down after he was uprooted from the Highlands. The Scottish burr is so thick, the performance so grand and exaggerated, that it will be helpful to you to have text in hand. Here it is with a translation:http://www.robertburns.org.uk/Assets.../toahaggis.htm
This amazing performance was linked at Accomplished members last year, and the responses are a riot. Now gae bow yer froisty pows in memorie o' Rabbie Burns. Tim
:) That was me, impersonating Tim! ...Alex
& I moved this thread from the Accomplished forum to launch this year's Burns Day.
I'm all screwed up, here. Burns Day is Jan 25 (It was originally celebrated Jan 29). Doesn't matter for Shanley High School. We chose Friday, Jan 28, when I teach (i.e. sing! cringe) Rabbie Burns to six high school classes. Then Monday Jan 31 I teach six units on the basics of iambic pentameter. Then judge the annual Poetry Out Loud competition in the school auditorium. Poor kids. It will be good to have John riding wing, and I hope you'll all enjoy visiting or revisiting his Burns Dinner at Qualicum Beach, BC.
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