Jan. 25th, 2011

sheenaghpugh: (Vogon poetry appreciation chair)
- though sometimes I think it would make even better sense to celebrate on the day of his funeral, because it seems somehow very appropriate that his last child was born that very day - "John Barleycorn rose up again,
And sore surprised them all".

Anyway Burns Night it is, so here's the poem where he promises he'll stick by Jean Armour when her baby comes. (For once in his life he was actually trying to do the right thing and marry her, but her father wouldn't have it.) The "creepie-chair" is the penitential stool in church, and groanin maut is whisky for the midwife. But the key line is "O wha will tell me how to ca't?" - who will give it a name?

O wha my babie-clouts will buy?
O wha will tent me when I cry?
Wha will kiss me where I lie?
The rantin' dog, the daddie o't.

O wha will own he did the faut?
O wha will buy the groanin maut?
O wha will tell me how to ca't?
The rantin' dog, the daddie o't.

When I mount the creepie-chair,
Wha will sit beside me there?
Gie me Rob, I'll seek nae mair,
The rantin' dog, the daddie o't.

Wha will crack to me my lane?
Wha will mak me fidgin' fain?
Wha will kiss me o'er again?
The rantin' dog, the daddie o't.

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sheenaghpugh

December 2011

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