To the Immortal Memory.
By Robert MacKay aka The Caithness Violinist
From a Caithness Courier c. 1943.
We who appreciate the Bard
Must show this day our deep regard
To Robert Burns, poet and peasant
Although no more with us he’s present.
Let’s sing his songs with mirth and glee,
As Scotsmen should you will agree;
Let ‘Tam O’Shanter’ then be given
Followed by ‘To Mary in Heaven.’
To Rab we owe a debt unpaid,
Let’s pay it now, each man and maid,
Give all the honour that you can
To Robert Burns, the poet man.
His name shall live, though we may die,
Through time and through posterity,
The name of Burns, will ever be
Sacred to Scots, where’er they be.
This tribute inspired by the Caithness Violinist.
His fame has spread o’er all the earth,
A son of humble parents he,
But by his wisdom, worth and wit,
He’ll live for all posterity.
None handles now his facile pen,
Or rouses up our Scottish pride,
Another Burns must rise again,
To wield the pen he’s laid aside.
But who, or what, or where is he,
That could portray on parchment scroll,
The poems and songs that seem to me,
The essence of the poetic soul.
Such was our Bard Immortal Burns,
Such was the man, the Poet and Brother.
Though centuries unborn returns,
I fear we’ll never get another.
ANITHER SONG FOR ROBIN !
Dedicated to the Northern Burns Society
By C Sinclair.
Anither song for Robin, auld Scotland’s lyric king,
Wi’ loyal he’rt that’s throbbin’, to his memory we’ll sing.
Far had we been without him, for his songs hev blest wur days,
We as bairns aye heard aboot him, when wur mithers sang his lays !
O there’s non’ hev sung lek Robin
Ower the world fond he’rts are throbbin,
As the home-songs aye, keep bobbin ,
And his lyrics charm life’s day !
Deep in the he’rt o’ Scotland lies the thrill o’ "Auld Lang Syne,"
And "Scots Wha Hae" through centuries in homeland lore will shine,
"My Ain Kind Dearie" ne’er will fade, while youth an’ maid aspire,
To reach the haven o’ their dream an find their soul’s desire.
We’ve listened while he charmed us wi’ "The Banks o’ Bonnie Doon"
"Lea Rig" and "John Anderson" he cannily did croon.
"A Man’s a Man" and "Duncan Gray" will aye be to the fore,
"The Bonnie Lass o’ Ballochmyle" we’ll evermore adore !
Full weel he plied his shuttle as the matchless songs he wove,
Rich threeds his soul did kittle, these he twined in songs o’ love.
Nor a lover need hev bother in the wooin’ o’ his dear,
He fae Robin’s mint micht gether, and the love’licht clear !
"When man to man wad brithers be" in that he did foresee,
The nations, then at heids an thraws, set in felicity,
A world transformed by kindness, and the graces it commands,
The life, as ‘twas intended would thrive in distand lands !
Wha’s this I see among the fields of Ayr,
Sae blithely singin’ be it foul or fair?
A plooman – ay, but sharely something mair,
Sae sweet he sings.
It’s maist o’ humble folk, an floors an’ things –
A cottar, fieldmouse, daisy – that he sings,
But thro his sangs a wealth o’ passion rings,
An’ simple love.
He lo’es the lassies and in lichter moods,
Tells sweetly o lang walks thro’ fields and woods,
He’d lichtsome barter a’ his wardly goods,
For love o’ them !
Nae preacher he, nor claims a saint tae be,
But aye he praises honest piety,
And hates pretence, and mocks hypocrisy,
Wi’ biting scorn.
Wi’ patriots fire, tae Caledonia’s praise –
Her grandeur, glory, worth – he tunes his lays.
In mony a noble verse glad homage pays,
Wi’ native pride.
But higher still his aspirations rise :
He dreams o’ warld-conjoinin’ bonds and ties
O’ brotherhood. Wi’ pleading voice he cries
For peace on earth.
Lang years hae gane sin’ mortal Robbie passed
Ayont oor ken; but, destined aye tae last,
His spirit lives, his voice still speaks tae vast
O may his presence fill this hall this birthday nicht;
O may he shed his winsome, cheerin, fairy licht
On a’ oolr he’rts, an gie’s ance mair a p[assin sicht
O’ Scotland ever dear!
The toast by C. Begg 1950.
Chairman, an cronies at ma haun,
A sair mis-shanter’s me befaun,
For hire fornent ye A maun staan
Tae Toast th’ Lasses;
Th’ blyth an bonny, din an thrawn
So chairg yer glasses.
It’s no but A feel honoured tae,
But fient a thing hae tae say
So A’ll just chaunt a hammel lay
In Robbie’s verse,
Ma tribute, albins, A may pay
Tho’ geven wersh.
Pandora, who hes weel been ca’d
A foosum, interferan’ jaud,
Flang back her box-lid, wi’ a daud,
An, och-an-nay !
Loot out upon th’ warld a chaud,
O dool an’ wae.
An Eve, when a’ th’ warld was young –
Th’ limmer should hev got a roung !
Clan fell for Auld Nick’s slicked toung –
Th’ buck depicts it !
An’ feckless Adam first got stung –
An’ then evictid.
Far a’ th’ evils man is heir
We hev tae thank that thowless pair,
An’ but for them – just think od – where
Wad ye be noo ?
In bliss ye only could compare
Wi getting foo !
But ‘Dora, as ye mind nae doot,
Sat thingan how she came tae do’t
Heard in her box the faintest toot
O’ a wee voice
Rev up the lid an’ let Hope oot
Th’ world t’ rejoice.
An Adam hadna time tae pass
Th’ rosy apple ower his lass
Afore ke kent his Evie was,
Richt weel worth seean
An love between a land an lass
Cam in tae bean !
So tho the Lassies brocht us wae
Still for them there is this to say !
The price wis no ower high tae pay
For what their thore is.
Resplendant Hope and Love’s sweet way –
Life’s greatest glories !
So here’s tae them wha rule our life,
Tae ma mither, sister, sweethe’rt, wife
Th’ source or bliss, th’ cause o’ strife!
Wha nane surpasses,
So – while ‘guid spirits’ here is rife –
I gie – The Lasses.
An just afore A sit me doon –
An faith, it cann be ower soon –
A couple wi ma rustice rune,
Ma ragged wheath,
Th’ Provost o’ th’ tppn
Miss Bessie Leith.
WE’RE KAITNESS FOWK FOR A’ THAT.
A new song to an old lilt.
From the JOG 1923
Is there a fyarter fae ‘e north
Fa hides his birth an a that,
An blushes ‘cause his faither’s hoose
Is thecked wi straw an a that ?
For a that, an a that
Wir modest crofts an a that,
E foosum trosk, we pass him by –
We’re Kaitness Fowk an a that !
What though we toil in fishin boats,
Howk tattie fields an a that,
Or drive a cairtie till e hills
A man’s a man for a that !
For a that, an a that –
Wir herrin nets an a that,
Despise fa will wir canny ways
We’re Kaitness Fowk for a that.
Ye see yin shither dressed in spats,
Fa scorns his nest an a that ?
Though florin in a motor car,
He’s no a man fort a that !
For a that, an a that,
His honours, blunt, an a that,
Till hiz he’s jist a blostin feel –
We’re Kaitness Fowk for a that.
Oh, southern lands hev richer fields
Wi floorags, trees an a that,
I wudna gie a tattie bleem
O Kaitness soil, for a that !
For a that, an a that,
Here’s til wirsels for a that !
Though up or down, though far or dear,
We’re Kaitness Fowk for a that !
My sincere thanks to a great freen who keeps sending me such wonderful Caithness Verses !
A few names of authors still to be found - can anyone help here?