Document 1035

The kilt, oor ain identity, jist gets mair popular - March 28, 2005

Author(s): Robbie Shepherd

Copyright holder(s): Robbie Shepherd


It's proud I am bearing The tartan I'm wearing The Tartan - Bell/McKellar FORGET the score - naebody expectit wir fitba team wid be fit tae beat the Italian billies - bit sittin in ma cheer on Setterday nicht bi the TV, I sens't the pride o playin for yer ain country wis showin through, nae heids doon, an the team backit sae weel bi the magnificent Tartan Army.

I cwidna agree mair wi oor manager, Walter Smith, that the first step on the wye tae credibility wi him in chairge wis teen oot there in Italy.

Ay, the tartan tee wis the stamp, wi thoosans o faithfu supporters takkin tae the streets o Milan bringin a lowe tae the hairt - men an loons in aa shapes an sizes, as Rab the Rhymer describit in the Kilt Society Ball: "There wis hairy knees an bauld knees an fite an feelin caul knees, nae tae menchin stracht legs and bow legs an couldna-stop-a-ewe legs." The kilt, oor ain identity, jist gets mair an mair popular, speecially mang the young at waddins an the like.

SO FIT'S es tae me noo? Jist a wikk or so afore Scotland taks the warl stage wi Tartan Day in America, the nae-sae-learned chiels o Cambridge University decide that students be bann't fae weerin kilts an toushties o tartan at their graduation ceremonies.

Ban the kilt? Haivers: the kilt wis worn sae proudly in war an peace ower the centuries. Sodgers in World War II were dubbit the Ladies fae Hell bi the Germans, such wis their presence, and in times o peace the kilt properly worn brings messages o gweedwill aa ower the globe.

Oh, I widna expec a loon tae mairch doon the hallaa't quarters o Cambridge University for's cappin in a rig-oot like the Tartan Army, wi a "See You, Jimmy" wig, muckle socks like melodeons wrappit roon's queets an big sklappers o beets for aa the warl like Wee Alickie, o the Green Final.

We're nae that gypit in the frozen north an ere's naething smairter than a weel riggit kilt ootfit, richt doon tae the matchin laced brogues.

There ye hae yer pride o bein Scottish, a pride o haein wir ain identity.

I hae been on the platform eence or twice at graduation ceremonies at Aiberdeen University an it's gran tae see the prood kilters comin up the aisle alongside fowk fae foreign pairts in ither gear.

It wis only last simmer that Cambridge University wis coortin oor brainy young loons an quines tae boost their puir recruitin record north o the border an noo, haein gotten them there, they try tae squeeze the Scottishness oot o them.

Fit for? Sadly, it's pairt o the overaa erosion o fit we haud dear tae oor hairts - oor ain culture. Ower the eers, TV his been waaterin doon programmes stumpit "made in" and "made for" Scotland, in news an in entertainment, an es at a time fin ithers are maakin great efforts tae stem the tide an gie mair awareness tae oor traditions.

I WIS doon at the Royal Scottish Academy o Music an Drama (RSAMD) es last wikk recordin a radio feature on a project tae dee wi grade exams in traditional music - ay, traditional music.

A lot o's myn on the tyauve sittin at the piano as bairns, heids doon ower scales an pages o black notes like tadpoles, learnin the theory o classical music wi the object o passin the different grades.

At the academy, wi Brian McNeill, o Battlefield Band fame, as the heid o music an Katherine Campbell, dother o local radio's Colin Campbell, as project manager, they are rinnin a pilot scheme tae grade students in wir ain music.

We hae come a lang wye fae the sma bourachies o traditional singers an musicians at festivals back in the 1950s an the RSAMD courses on traditional music are bit ae source o learnin.

Oor ain Aiberdeen University an its Elphinstone Institute are ither fine examples.

I some doubt ye needna enrol for a course like that at Cambridge University, bit at least lat wir identity be recognis't there at graduation times.

FINALLY, a story for Easter Monday in mair humble surroondins. The loon takkin piana lessons cam hame ae day an said tae his mither: "Mam, I think my teacher maun be afa religious." "Fit wye's at?" "Weel, he keeps pittin his heid in his hands an sayin 'Oh, My God.'"

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The kilt, oor ain identity, jist gets mair popular - March 28, 2005. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 19 April 2024, from

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The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. 2024. Glasgow: University of Glasgow.


Information about Document 1035

The kilt, oor ain identity, jist gets mair popular - March 28, 2005


Text audience

General public
Audience size 1000+

Text details

Method of composition Wordprocessed
Year of composition 2005
Word count 765

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Text publication details

Publisher Press and Journal
Publication year 2005
Place of publication Aberdeen
Part of larger text
Contained in Press and Journal
Page numbers 12

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Author details

Author id 897
Forenames Robbie
Surname Shepherd
Gender Male
Decade of birth 1930
Educational attainment University
Age left school 15
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation Freelance Broadcaster
Place of birth Dunecht
Region of birth Aberdeen
Birthplace CSD dialect area Abd
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Bridge of Don
Region of residence Aberdeen
Residence CSD dialect area Abd
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Shoemaker
Mother's occupation Housewife


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes
Scots Yes Yes Yes Yes