A mans a man for aw that?
Ye see yon birkie ca’d a lord,
Wha struts, an’ stares, an’ a’ that;
Tho’ hundreds worship at his word,
He’s but a coof for a’ that.
For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
His ribband, star, an’ a’ that,
The man o’ independent mind
He looks an’ laughs at a’ that.
You see that fancy dressed poser called a lord
Who struts and stares and all that
Although hundreds worship at his word
He is but a fool for all that
For all that and all that
His fancy style and all that
The man of independent mind
He looks and laughs at all that
A Mans A Man – Robert Burns
What do you think of the poetry of Rabbie Burns, Scotland’s national Bard?
At times in the past, I hated it. Sitting at school being forced to learn it by wrote and how to pronounce these old Scots words and to understand their meaning.
It was pretty dull and dry and certainly not a labour of love, when you’re 12.
Back then I resented being forced to learn this crap, it meant nothing to me.
The only entertainment was listening to Mr Linus in P7 at Saint Constantine’s Primary School Govan, getting excited as he enacted every line from Tam O’Shanter.
My old dad would often and still does quote the wisdom of Bums.
E.g. A rose by any other name still smells as sweet.
My brothers and I would look at each other as if to say .. What the F**k is he talking about?
In our house, you dare not curse in my father’s presence, even today, he’s old and frail but a stern look quickly lets you know what he thinks of any industrial language.
But the years change us, experience gives us wisdom and a perspective to look at life differently from our younger selves.
“What a gift the lord to gie us, tae see ourselves as others see us.”
Do you ever look back at yourself and think, look at the state of my clothes or my hair, which were the height of fashion at the time and think what a plonker.