Sunday, 25 January 2009

For a' that, an' a' that

A prince can mak a belted knight,
A marquis, duke, an' a' that;
But an honest man's abon his might,
Gude faith, he maunna fa' that!
For a' that, an' a' that,
Their dignities an' a' that;
The pith o' sense, an' pride o' worth,
Are higher rank than 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.
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.

Extract from Robert Burns’ "A Man's A Man For A' That" (1795) (source)


Dreich on Burns' 250th

Do I need to write why this song has come to mean more to me over the years? A revolutionary work. For a’ that. A levelling piece. An’ a that. Words that resonate the world o’er through distant Vacana and speeches in lands that had newly gained their freedom in his lifetime. So have gude faith and read and think and ponder and re-interpret one Man’s work today, on his 250th birthday. That a mere farmer, born near to where I was born, wrote words that still echo through the centuries holding their truths to be self evident. Many still wish harm on the taxman, or the lad on the pull, or the squaddie’s love. And what about the age old dilemma?

Dreich on Burns' 250th

Happy birthday, Mr Burns.

If you had difficulty with the Scots words, here’s a clip featuring Paola Nutini.