Document 621

Dipper: 09 - Mid-winter Spring

Author(s): Dr James A Begg

Copyright holder(s): Dr James A Begg


Inspired by hearing a Blackbird singing "it's hert oot" in the 'wee smaa oors' during a night-call on the 9th January 1985, when the rest of Europe was suffering the coldest spell of winter weather for years!

Tho heraldin the birth o Spring,
Frae Ayr's Auld Kirkyaird echoes ring –
- Whit is it Blackie, maks ye sing
This Januar nicht?
Why's yer pow no tuckt aneath yer wing -
- It's juist no richt!

Altho the wather's unco saft,
An Westlin wins yer feathers waft,
Rousin ye up wi gentle draught
Tae warble free,
- (I ken damn-fine Auld Davie's daft!)
But so are ye!

There's ten-fuit snaw-wraiths doun in Kent,
An it's muckle waur on the Continent,
Cruel Winter's wrath is no yet spent,
I'm vext tae say,
An I hae nae dout it's his intent
Tae grup us tae.

The Finns thole fifty d'grees o frost
An doun on the Riviera Coast,
Whaur sunshine's aye their proodest boast,
They sit an freeze;
While up in Ayr, as warm as toast,
Ye tak yer ease.

- Auld Davie's gyte, fou weel I ken,
I caum him doun a wee while, then
I heize him up an cairt him ben
Tae's touslt bed;
A wee word syne wi his auld wife Jen,
Then oot I tread.

At hauf-past fower it's dreich an dreary,
The Auld Kirkyaird luiks awesome, eerie,
I'm crabbit, haur-asleep, an weary,
- When aa at yince,
A sang bursts forth sae blythe an cheery,
Frae Music's prince.

As gowden notes frae gowden bill
Come floatin throu the darkness still,
I clean forget the nicht's cauld chill,
As hame I gang;
Enchauntit by the magic spell
O Blackie's sang.

muckle waur/much worse

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APA Style:

Dipper: 09 - Mid-winter Spring. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 21 July 2024, from

MLA Style:

"Dipper: 09 - Mid-winter Spring." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2024. Web. 21 July 2024.

Chicago Style

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "Dipper: 09 - Mid-winter Spring," accessed 21 July 2024,

If your style guide prefers a single bibliography entry for this resource, we recommend:

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


Information about Document 621

Dipper: 09 - Mid-winter Spring


Text audience

General public
Audience size 1000+

Text details

Method of composition Handwritten
Year of composition 1985
Word count 323
General description Anthology of prizewinning and other Scots poems, and short stories in Ayrshire Scots.

Text medium

Other Audiocassette

Text publication details

Publisher Luath Press
Publication year 1991
Place of publication Barr, Ayrshire
ISBN/ISSN 0946487227
Edition First
Part of larger text
Contained in The Dipper an the Three Wee Deils: Tales and Poems in Ayrshire Scots
Editor Authors: Dr. J. A. Begg and J. Reid
Page numbers 18-19

Text setting


Text type



Author details

Author id 623
Title Dr
Forenames James
Initials A
Surname Begg
Gender Male
Decade of birth 1940
Educational attainment University
Age left school 17
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation Medical Practitioner
Place of birth New Cumnock
Region of birth S Ayr
Birthplace CSD dialect area Ayr
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Ayr
Region of residence S Ayr
Residence CSD dialect area Ayr
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Clerical Officer, NCB
Father's place of birth Sandbank
Father's region of birth Argyll
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Arg
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Primary Teacher
Mother's place of birth New Cumnock
Mother's region of birth S Ayr
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Ayr
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
Danish No No No No A little
English Yes Yes Yes Yes Home, socially, at work
French Yes Yes Yes Yes Holidaying in France
Norwegian No No No No A little
Scots Yes Yes Yes Yes Home, socially, at work