my life as a crocheter & knitter & working mom

Friday, January 25, 2008

Beloved Rabbie

Today is Robbie Burns's birthday. Rabbie is how it sounds in a nice warm, Scottish burr. Rabbie is the poet of Scotland. He wrote in the vernacular and captured a lot of folk tunes and poems (Auld Lang Syne being one example). He wrote on the early cusp of the Romantic era. He was sort of a contemporary of William Blake. He was a rake and poor and tried very hard to live his ideal of the Scots farmer. Like Wordsworth, he tried to work as a taxman, but was unsuccessful at that as well. He was dissolute and died young. However, his celebration of all that is Scots, from the cuisine through the history, lives on.

The Banks of Doon is one of my favorites. He published it in many different versions. The one I studied starts, "Ye banks and braes o bonny doon/how can ya bloom so fresh and fair". I prefer it to this one, mainly because of the first line.

I also like To a Mouse, just for the line, wee sleekit beastie.

I cannot read his poems aloud in my own dialect. I have to try to slip into a burr, just to do it justice. Of course, to talk in my native dialect, I'd have to slip my hick on.

Tomorrow, we go to the annual Burns dinner at Argyle Fish and Chips (home to the Piper's Cove, made famous by Mike Myers on SNL). They'll have Highland dancers, pipers, and an actor to do the traditional recitations. We'll have haggis and fish and chips and I'll be bringing my son, wee Angus (what, it is his middle name) closer to his heritage.

I envy my husband his Scottish family history. My family's been where they are for so long, NW Vermont is my heritage for the most part. The fact that we could walk in the town where his grandfather was born, on a different continent, was special. That and being able to justify a bagpiper at my wedding.

Hopefully, the sweater will be done in time. I'm on increase 22. It's going down to the wire.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the links! I was able to find the rest of the words to "Robert Bruce's March To Bannockburn," which I sometimes find myself singing.

I borrowed much of a Scottish history from my 1st husband, as mine has been where they are so long they are American before anything else. I hope you had a great time at the Burns dinner!