Document 1038

Ye canna beat the Irish for a freenly welcome - April 18, 2005

Author(s): Robbie Shepherd

Copyright holder(s): Robbie Shepherd


Here I am from Paddy's land A land of high renown The Bold O'Donahue - traditional Irish folk song MAN, bit I wis fair looking forrit tae the nicht if nae the flight. Last Wednesday nicht fun me on stage recordin a Scottish dance music programme for Radio Scotland fae the Fort Royal Inn ootside Cullybackey, bit a feow mile fae Ballymena in Co Antrim.

Fit made it sae special wis that it wis the verra first time we hid been on sic a prottick in Northern Ireland in aa the eers o the programme, an that gyan back lang afore I took ower as presenter a 24 eer syne.

I dasht near didna mak it, sma thanks tae the taxi firm, fa blam't the crashin o its computer, syne a haud-up in Rosemount, for gaurin's swyte at the door o the BBC at Beechgrove an by masel wi rage phonin ma producer, fa hid gin ower the day afore, tellin him he micht hae tae dee the job emsel.

Syne I thocht o the tyraneesin I hid tae pit up wi cis I wis tae be on the Aiberdeen-Belfast direct that's nae lang startit up. "Myn an wind up the elastic band, Robbie" an "Tak yer bilins wi ye tae sook if ye dinna wint yer lugs dirl't" wis bit twa o the comments.

Naething tae fear there. It wis a gran hurl on a sleek aeroplane an I wid recommend the service tae onybody.

THE nicht itsel exceedit aa expectations an ye canna beat the Irish for a freenly welcome - "come into the parlour, sure, an make yourself at home".

The affair wis organis't bi the Maine Valley Accordion and Fiddle Club an they took Colin Dewar an's band across fae Scotland at their expense.

The band includit Dennis Morrison, o Aal Meldrum, on piana an, fleein ower wi me, happy memories were reca'd o Paddy McGarr an the Gallowglass.

Tae the great regret o's baith, the recent death o Paddy cancelled some o the faimily's proposed trip up fae the sooth o Ireland tae be we's an for me, tee, the trip cam ower late tae renew the acquantance o the legendary fiddle player Sean McGuire, fa died a three wikks afore.

I hiv tae gie credit tae Dr Sean O'Neil an's committee at the Maine Valley Club on wirkin sae hard an presenting sic a gran case tae get a £ 5,000 grant fae Awards For All, Northern Ireland, "to help promote the accordion and fiddle music of Europe, in particular Scotland, England and Ireland". Tak note, ye official billies in wir ain country that turn up yer nibs at oor dance music.

NAE only wis I fair teen on wi Colin an's band an the smashin guest artists, Matt McGranaghan on fiddle an folk singer/entertainer, Tom Sweeney, bit I wis tae see for the first time a new dance performed, specially devised bi Rob Sargent, o Dores, ca'd Robbie Over the Waves.

A maist apt title ye maun admit for the jobbie I dee an for oor trip tae Ireland, as wis the great tune Colin Dewar wrote for the dance, The Doric Mannie.

Oh, the Doric wisna neglectit ower er either, as I hid aye the ither news o fowk wi north-east connections, includin Iain MacIntosh, fa eest tae wirk for Jack Olding an hid been a freen o Jock Smith, o Alford, throwe motorbike racin.

Es brocht back tae me a vision in black leather as Jock took teerin by the village o Dunecht fin I wis at the skweel wi's racin bike flat oot for the toon.

Oh ay, an at a helluva slower pace cam the teacher crunkin her wye tae Skene Central Skweel, wi us coorse nickums shoutin: "Ay, Mickey Doo, ye're towerin." Fit wye that expression, dinna speir at me, bit it's stuck aa es eers.

THE accompanist tae oor special Irish guests wis Patsy McCabe an that name wis tae gie a bit o a reid face tae oor producer at rehearsal in the efterneen.

In comes es lad in's 50s or early 60s an Ken wid speir at him if he wis connectit tae ony o them on stage.

"I'm yer accompanist for Matt and Tom." Noo haein heard afore that Patsy wis tae be daein the job, Ken said: "Oh what's happen't to Patsy? I thought she was to be doin that." "I'm Patsy," cam the wither't reply.

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Cite this Document

APA Style:

Ye canna beat the Irish for a freenly welcome - April 18, 2005. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 25 June 2024, from

MLA Style:

"Ye canna beat the Irish for a freenly welcome - April 18, 2005." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2024. Web. 25 June 2024.

Chicago Style

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "Ye canna beat the Irish for a freenly welcome - April 18, 2005," accessed 25 June 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 1038

Ye canna beat the Irish for a freenly welcome - April 18, 2005


Text audience

General public
Audience size 1000+

Text details

Method of composition Wordprocessed
Year of composition 2005
Word count 770

Text medium


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 14

Text setting


Text type



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