Document 1812

Scots Tung Wittins 161

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Nummer 161
Aprile 2007

Keep a guid Scots Tung in yer heid, hert an mooth!!

[NOTE: logo here of the dot Sco in original]
Scots Tung WITTINS

Eydently Campaignin tae Uphaud the Scots Language
Ph. [CENSORED: phonenumber] Scots Tung wabsite: Stravaiger Ph. [CENSORED: phonenumber]

Sic A Parcel O Rogues In Oor Nation
"The best thing that cuid kythe for the Scots
language the day wad be for the UK Government
an the Scottish Executive
tae be chucked oot........"
WHAUR the Scots language is concairned in the UK's 2nd report tae the Framework Convention For The Protection of National Minorities, it micht juist as weel be invisible. Whit references there is tae the Scots language haes been a copy an paste job oot o a 1995 Scottish Office scrieve cried the Scots Language Factsheet. Deed, they hinna taen the bother tae mak ony historical corrections whaur they include in their report (Para 158) Scottish Language Dictionaries an Dictionary of the Scottish Tongue as twa sindry Scots language organisations when in fact, the Scottish National Dictionary Association an the Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue haes amalgamated intae the Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Yin o the sair mistaks that kythes whan ye blin-like copy an paste frae the bygane athoot giein the job the respeck an attention that it cries oot for.

Juist like the 1995 Scots Language Factsheet, Para 156 o the report threaps that the Executive recognises, respects an celebrates the Scots language an agane, juist as it says in the same Factsheet, Para 157 threaps that the Executive's National Guidelines on English Language 5-14 year aulds advocates the inclusion o Scots an Scots literature intae the schuil curriculum. Howanever, whit it disnae threap is that the Scottish schuil curriculum isnae a prescriptive yin sae that the SE can only advocate or advise. It cannae gar ony o thae suggestions on onybody an sae, for aw that thae suggestions haes been in place bi baith Conservative an Labour/Lib-Dem governments syne 1995, naethin haes chynged in Scottish Education.

It's interestin tho that the abuin non-prescriptive Scottish schuil curriculum excuise haes ne'er been explained wi regaird tae the prescriptive application o baith the English an Gaelic languages in Scottish schuils. This wad suggest that there an easy wey roond the non-prescriptive curriculum excuise gin the will tae dae it is there an therefore, it maun be the will o past an praisent Scottish governments an thair civil servant advisors tae deliberately haud back on giein oot ony yuissfu help tae the Scots language.

The question is, "Whit for?"

Professor Joe LoBianco, an expert frae Australia on the survival o Minority languages, said efter a visit tae Scotland that, when a government talks a lot aboot uphaudin a minority language but disnae dae onythin positive tae support it, then thon government daes in fact hae a secret agenda for thon language an that's tae juist leave it alane an howp that it dees oot on its ain frae neglect. Whaur Scots is concairned, the abuin Report wad seem tae faw richt intae this category an the Professor's theory wad seem tae be a braw guid description o it.
In Para 378 o the abuin Report, the Scottish Executive, in defence o whit it hisnae duin for Scots, says that it is committit tae introducin a national languages strategy in airly 2007, tae guide the forderin an uphaud o Scotland's languages. Awbody kens, a draft form o this strategy haes raicently been pitten oot for consultation an, whaur the Scots language is concairned, the words haes been copied an pasted direct frae the abuin mentioned Report sae that the proponed strategy disnae say onythin that isnae in the Report.

The Scottish Executive, in its repones tae the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities an noo wi thair proponed National Language Strategy, insults the intelligence o the Scots nation bi pittin forrit the same waffle an smokescreen politicians haes been hidin ahint syne 1995. It disnae hae an never haes haed ony intention o giein ony worthwhile help tae the Scots language nor tae the fowk that cries it thair mither tung.

The best thing that cuid kythe for the Scots language the day wad be for the UK Government an the Scottish Executive tae be chucked oot o the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages an the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, ower no makin ony serious maucht tae cairry oot thair commitments tae thae twa agreements whaur the Scots language is concairned.

Words Fowk's Herts Kens Best
WRITIN in the Kirk's Life & Work magazine for Februar, kenspeckle Scottish Magazine columnist o the year, Ron Ferguson, speirs if it's no time for kirk congregations tae hear the kirk services an God's word in their ain language, Scots. He gies a wee bit o the history o hou oor God cam tae accidentally speak tae us in English insteid o in oor ain language like He daes wi awbody else. He threaps that it wis an awfu peety that there hidnae been a Scots owersettin o the Bible at the time o the Scottish Reformation, a time whan the new prentin presses wis comin intae yuiss an the fowk haed a hunger for lairnin. Haed there been yin, oor cultural story micht hiv been telt a different wey.

As it wis, for aboot 450 year aw the bibles in Scotland cairryin God's words wis aye written in the English language an it wisnae or the hinnerend o the 20t century that His words wis richtly chynged intae Scots in the likes o the WL Lorimer New Testament in Scots an Jamie Stuart's Glasgow Bible.

Ron minds the time he wis meinister o St Magnus Cathedral an whiles wad yaise texts frae baith Lorimer an Stuart. The picter that bides in his heid frae thae days wis hou he cuid sense richt awa the meisure o congregational attention loupin up whan the Scots texts wis yaised. This is a ferlie that Scots Tung can weel identify wi. Whaur it haes haed experience wi advertisin an Scots language posters, it haes aye noticed hou weel the Scots texts grips the ee for Scots isnae whit maist fowk is expectin tae see but whan they dae see it an recognise it for whit it is, the same kinna feelin comes ower thaim as whan bumpin intae a lang lost auld freend.

Scots Tung WITTINS
On the wab.
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StAnza, a Scottish Celebration o Warld Poetry
Report bi Scots Tung's Stravaigin Reporter (Owerset intae Scots bi the Editor)
IT'S a gey surreal experience tae be in St Andrews durin StAnza, Scotland's poetry festival. I jalouse it's the Scottish poetry warld's vairsion o Cannes wi aw thae kenspeckle faces aw melled intae ae sma place, tho there wis nae sign o the bling that's threapit tae be in Cannes. StAnza, is noo in its 10t year an as pairt o its celebrations the organisers makit it a 5 day ongaun insteid o the usual fower. I wis canny eneugh tae tend for twa o thae days an tho StAnza featured poets frae aw the airts o the warld, I taen particlar tent o the Scots souch in the program.

In the sma scale grandness o St Andrews Pairlament Ha, a warld premiere wis hauden o Drift Rain on Moorland Stane. It wis gien an innin in croose Scots bi StAnza's Drew Clegg. This suite haed been commissioned bi the Music Centre o the University o St Andrews. Richard Ingham, a visitin jazz professor, haed a chance meetin wi Aimée Chalmers, editor o The Singin Lass, bi Marion Angus. The ootcome o this wis the production o the suite written tae accompany 16 o Marion Angus' poems. The poems wis read bi Aimée Chalmers an the music played bi the Heisenberg Ensemble, directit bi Richard Ingham. As the music swee'd "in an aroond" the poems, the souch chynged tae chime wi the souch o the words. This reinged frae the discordant for The Stranger; strang, sudden even soonds like the pangs o emotion for Jealousy; slaw waltzing an chirrupin for the wistfu, ironic view o Spring's comin in Turn of the Day an the repeatin , triumphant blawin o "the hindmaist trumpet's blast" in The Lane Kirkyaird. The unique ongaun wis highly chairged. The effeck on the appreciative audience wis amazin, movin some tae tears. There's ettles tae record the piece.

I wis moved tae tears masel durin yin o the Dead Poets Sessions whan Janet Paisley read poems bi Violet Jacob. Appropriately for the Festival's theme, Homelands and Exile, she includit The Howe o the Mearns, a poem aboot a young man bidin in England an yearnin for his nor-east hame whaur he howps tae see oot his hinnermaist days. Paisley aptly yaised the metaphor o waves tae descrive Jacob's frequent yuiss o lang lines follaed bi cutty yins. Tae shaw the reinge o Jacob's wark, frae comic an mischievious tae deeply movin as weel as her abeility tae pit Scots intae the mooth o her characters, the program includit Change o Deils, Last of the Tinkler, Rejected, an Wild Geese. Her rendition o The Whustlin Lad, that tells the tale o the fly dochter pretendin tae be kind tae her mither whan she really wants time wi this „cheery, cheery' whustlin lad, brocht back evidently happy memories tae the Chair, Colin Will, that intrigued us aw! He went on tae tell the audience that he'd been privileged tae see the botanical paintings, donatit tae the Royal Botanical Gairdens in Edinburgh, duin bi Jacob the time she wis in India. Paisley spake o the importance o readin a poem oot lood. It can be ower easy tae skim ower words. Tae gie words a vyce is tae gie them life. She telt us hou whan in Barcelona, she wis tae hiv read frae Jacob's wark. A chynge o dates makit her readin impossible, sae at the 11t oor she haed tae learn a Catalan wumman tae read in Arbroath Scots! Paisley hennered the audience that if a Catalan wumman can dae it, sae can you!

Janet Paisley read frae her ain wark later on that day as pairt o the Voices of Scotland program. As wi Drift Rain on Moorland Stane, it wis gien an innin in articulate Scots bi Drew Clegg. He spake o "the power o the leid" an speirt the mischievious rhetorical question, "Is Scots a language or a dialect?" answerin hissel an the audience succinctly wi "languages hae lexicons; dialects hae glossaries". Willie Hershaw wis the first reader an telt o a student that approached him efter a readin in Scots tae speir him hou lang he'd been writin in Gaelic! Hershaw read a walin o his wark frae ower the years, includin frae his latest pamphlet Fifty Fife Sonnets Course and Fine. This wis the first time I'd haed the privilege o hearin Willie live. The blateness an thochtieness that's weel seen in his poetry is in his presence an aw. He writes strecht frae the hert an I awn up tae anither guid greet durin his readin o Black Watch, Clear White Licht an Beds. He spake o the Scots' fear o parochialism if they yaise Scots. It's the last thing on Hershaw's mind. There a series o miniature pamphlets cried Poetry for All that's been brocht oot in the US bi a man that believes poetry shuid be free an Willie Hershaw's bonnie poem A Leid caaed Love is in yin o thaim:-

Mak your leid come fae your hairt
it's no your creed, it's no your airt
for you're the ain maun tak the pairt
tae mak your leid be love.

Hear the future rings tae us
clear the future sings tae us
speir the future brings tae us
a leid for aa mankind, a leid caaed love.

Janet Paisley read next but first set the audience anither henner concairnin the Scots language. It wis tae try gaun tae Spain an tellin Spaniards they're juist speakin a dialect o Portugese! Coorse she did acknowledge that knowledge o ony language gies an innin intae the yuiss o ithers. In her poem Hameland, her Scots vairsion cuid hiv juist been aboot Scotland. Owerset intae English, the meanin turns univairsal. Coorse, thon cuid be interpretit positively or negatively aw lippenin on yer pynt o view. Like her, I cuid strangly identify wi the vyce in her Hallowe'en poem, Cried Dookin whaur a wumman chases modern day guisers for sayin "Trick or treat" an no daein a turn!

The biggest ongaun at StAnza taen place on Sunday at the Golf Hotel whaur ower the day 100 poets read thair wark. Shuirly a first for Scotland at least! Amang the Scots poets I heard wis Willie Hershaw, Maureen Sangster, Rab Wilson, Janet Paisley, Ian McDonough, Eleanor Livingstone, Colin Will, Robert Jamieson, Douglas Dunn, Robin Cairns an Jackie Kay. It wis sic a wunnerfae democratic exercise tae hae poets wi aiblins a cupple o pamphlets ablow thair belts tae get tae read on the same bill as the likes o the ae-time US poet laureate, Mark Strand (that politely chaise a braw, cutty poem) an big names the likes o Alan Spence, Alastair Reid, Gwyneth Lewis (the ae-time Welsh poet laureate) an Jackie Kay. Kay haes yin o thae vyces ye cuid listen tae for aye. Her warm an guid-willie personality shines throu her words. Nae maitter hou aft ye hear her read her poems, they aye seem sae caller. Her crack in the Byre Theatre wi the Director o the Scottish Poetry Library, Robyn Marsack, whaur she read 10 o her poems an walins frae twa works o prose, wis a delicht. The cutty story she read frae, entitelt Robin, haes guid Scots dialogue.

This year's themes wis Homelands and Exile an Poetry and the Moving Image. I've certainly been left wi rowth o ma ain movin images, haein witnessed muckle fusion o the airts the likes o Will McLean's Works with Poets an Michael Marra thon fabulous wordsmith whase music is a mell o conterin ideas that "maks somethin new". Anither polite an modest man that bides ruited in his Scottishness, but wi a muckle telescope tae scan the warld an cleek it tae his Dundee wi wit an compassion. It wis braw tae be amang thae weel kent faces in this temporary village o poets whaur the only bling in sicht wis the sparkle o thair talent. © Irene Broon

Makar's Neuk
A Parcel Of Rogues In A Nation

Fareweel to aw our Scottish fame,
Fareweel our ancient glory,
Fareweel even to the Scottish name
Sae famed in martial story.
Now Sark rins o'er the Solway sands
And Tweed rins to the ocean,
To mark where England's province stands -
Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!

What force or guile could not subdue
Through many warlike ages
Is wrought now by a coward few
For hireling traitors' wages.
The English steel we could disdain,
Secure in valour's station;
But English gold has been our bane -
Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!

O would, ere I had seen the day
That treason thus could fell us,
My auld gray head had lien in clay
Wi Bruce and loyal Wallace!
But pith and power, till my last hour,
I'll mak this declaration:
We're bought and sold for English gold -
Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!

Robert Burns (1759-1796)

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Information about Document 1812

Scots Tung Wittins 161


Text audience

Audience size N/A

Text details

Method of composition N/A
Word count 2701
General description monthly newsletter

Text medium

Leaflet/brochure (prospectus)

Text publication details

Publisher Scots Tung
Publication year 2007
Part of a longer series of texts
Name of series Scots Tung Wittins

Text type

Prose: nonfiction
Other mixed text type


Author details

Author id 95
Forenames Robert
Surname Fairnie
Gender Male
Decade of birth 1930
Educational attainment College
Age left school 16
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation Consultant Marine Structural Engineer (Retired)
Place of birth Musselburgh
Region of birth Midlothian
Birthplace CSD dialect area midLoth
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Musselburgh
Region of residence Midlothian
Residence CSD dialect area midLoth
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Fisherman
Father's place of birth Musselburgh
Father's region of birth Midlothian
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area midLoth
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Fishwife
Mother's place of birth Musselburgh
Mother's region of birth Midlothian
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area midLoth
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes At work
German Yes Yes Yes Yes In Germany to communicate with two grandsons
Scots Yes Yes Yes Yes Wherever Scots is understood