Document 1766

Scots Tung Wittins 115

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Nummer 115
Juin 2003

Keep a guid Scots Tung in yer heid an in yer hert! But mind an uise it tae!


Eydently uphaudin the Scots Leid Campaign
e-mail: [CENSORED: emailaddress] Ph. [CENSORED: phonenumber] Stravaiger Ph. [CENSORED: phonenumber]

© Copyricht for awthin written in this wittins blat bides wi R. Fairnie. The Scots Tung Wittins can be fotie-copied in hail or in pairt athoot limit o nummers an this hauds guid an aw for ony pairt o the wittins blat that's furth-set in ony ither publication.

Scots Tung Quaich Steys at Campie
FOR the saicont year rinnin, Campie Primary Schuil in the Honest Toun, haes won the Scots Tung Quaich. Wi entries frae six primary clesses, Campie haed bi faur the biggest entry in this competition for 2003.

But it wisna juist the nummers that makit Campie staund oot for they war weel aheid wi quality forbye. This shawed itsel in the fack that forbye takin the 2003 quaich, the same schuil fendit twa jynt rinners up as weel.

It wis Rachel Valentine (P7c) that won the Scots Tung Quaich for her schuil wi a clever wee poem cried "Rabbie Burns Talkin tae an Englishman". Rachel wis a gey close rinner up last year but bears the gree aw tae hersel this year. Forbye winnin the quaich for the schuil tae keep for anither year, she will be gien a miniature quaich tae keep for hersel alang wi a buik an a certificate written in Scots. Rachel's winnin poem is set oot ablow

Rabbie Burns Talkin tae an Englishman

Ah say moose and you say mouse,
Ah say hoose and you say house,
You say bright and ah say bricht,
You say night and ah say nicht.

Ah dinnae think ye've got a clue,
Just whit ah'm tryin tae say tae you,
Yer tryin tae chynge the way ah speak,
Ah think ye've got an awfy cheek.

If ye speak yer ain way
An ah speak mine,
Ah think that we will get on fine.

An that is where the story ends,
So ah'll stey freends
And you'll stay friends!
[NOTE: a drawing here in original]

The twa jynt rinners up wis Andrew Marshall (P6a) wi a poem cried "Fitba" an Samantha McGuff (P6b) wi a poem cried "The Weather Kin Be Awfy Cauld"
Andrew an Samantha will baith be gien a buik an a certificate written in Scots.
Thae twa poems is prentit ablow as weel.


Fitba is a rare wee game,
I like tae play ma best,
It gets me far away frae hame
An puts me tae the test.

I stoat an bounce the ba
An kick it in the air,
Up an doon against the dyke
Till ma wee legs are sair.

Ma breeks they get a' dirty
Wi mud an grass that's true.
Ma mither says I'm clarty
But what's a lad to do?
[NOTE: a drawing here in original]

The Weather Kin Be Awfy Cauld

The weather kin be awfy cauld,
Winds howlin roond the young and auld.
A roarin fire gaun up yir lum
An a boul o kale tae fill yir tum.

Neeps and tatties fur yer tea,
Tattie scones and barley bree.
Scottish food is far the best.
Gie me mare and toss the rest.
[NOTE: a drawing here in original]

The presentation o prizes will tak place at 9am on Wednesday 25 Juin when Mr Alan Blackie, Director o Education for East Lothian, will present the quaichs an certificates tae the students.

Matthew Fitt, o the Itchy Coo series o Scots language readin buiks for schuils an author o the kenspeckle "But n Ben A-Go-Go", will present a copy o "The Hoose o Haivers" tae the winner an twa rinners-up. Itchy Coo is a feckfu publishin imprint that specialises in Scots language buiks for schuils an ordinar readers.

Pauline Cairns o the Scottish Language Dictionaries will present the schuil wi a copy o the School Scots Dictionary alang wi an interactive Electronic version o it on CD. The ither schuils that taen pairt will be sent a copy o the SSD an the tap three entries frae ilka cless will get a certificate in Scots.

A Prayer Frae the Hert
A walin o faimly prayers bi Adam Scott o Upper Dalgleish taen frae the Book o Scottish Anecdote frae 1874.

"For Thy mercy's sake - for the sake of Thy poor sinfu servants that are now addressing Thee in their ain shilly-shally way, and for the sake o mair than we daur weel name to Thee, hae mercy on Rob. Ye ken yoursel he is a wild, mischievous callant, and thinks nae mair o committing sin than a dog does o licking a dish; but put Thy hook in his nose, and Thy bridle in his gab, and gar him come back to Thee wi a jerk that he'll no forget the langest day he has to leeve."

"Dinna forget poor Jamie, wha's far away frae amang us the night. Keep Thy arm o power about him, an O, I wish Ye wad endow him wi a little spunk and smeddum to act for himsel. For if Ye dinna, he'll be but a bauchle in this world, and a back-sitter in the neist."

"We're a' like hawks, we're a' like snails, we're a' like slogie-riddles; like hawks to do evil, like snails to do good, and like slogie-riddles that let through a' the good and keep the evil."

"Bring down the tyrant and his lang neb, for he has done muckle ill the year; and gie him a cup o Thy wrath and gin he winna tak that, gie him a kelty."

Scots Tung WITTINS
On the wab.
The Scots Tung Wittins can be vizzied or doon-haunnelt an prentit (noo in PDF format forbye) frae the wabsteid o:-
The Scots Speikers Curn, Glesca.
Wabsteid backin:-
A hard copy o STW is sent free o chairge tae aw maimbers o Scots Tung ilka month.
Maimbership subscreivins is £5 (Scotland/UK)
Peyed ilka September.
£6 (Ireland/EU) $14 (Americae)

A Wycelike Janny
THE follaein sign wis seen postit on the door o the janny's office in the South Bridge Education Centre (Infirmary Street) Edinburgh. It wis written bi the janny hissel an sent in bi Heather Thom, a Scots Tung maimber:-

I know you have come from near and far,
So please don't ask me if you can park your car,
For it's no for me to gie a yea or nay,
Even if it's a rainy day
So if your car is auld, or new and sleek
Just take it oot and park in the street.
. Brian
The Janny

Matthew Fitt's
"Kate O'Shanter's Tale and Other Poems"
A review bi Irene Brown
OWER twa year syne, A haed the privilege, thanks tae the generosity o writer Matthew Fitt, o readin his areddie kenspeckle tho no yet published poem, Kate O'Shanter's Tale. This poem is noo pairt o the eponymous first collection o Matthew Fitt's raicently published work.

Oot o the 35 pieces in the buik, 31 is written in Scots an, tae quote Des Dillon's review o Matthew's novel, But n Ben A-Go-Go,"Easier to read than Shakespeare, and twice the fun"

Kate, alang wi ithers the likes o Pedro Puddock is gret fun tae read but there mair tae this collection nor a licht read an a lauch. Matthew's topics is braid-reengin. For example, six o his poems taks in ongauns that taen place near Prague the time o the Saicont Warld War. He pynts oot a wee bit o the history in English afore re-tellin the ongauns in Scots in the form o his poems an throu sindry vyces. Ma ain favourite oot o this group is The Baxter's Van.

Like aw guid writers, Matthew haes the gift o writin aboot the ordinar an in daein this he shaws us the extrae-ordinar an the universal. A fund this mair particular in the bit Ken whaur a series o comments anent the warld an the warld o Dundee is met quite joco wi the words, "eh, eh ken".

His passion for the Scots leid is evident in the easy wey he expresses it an in his imaginative uiss o form. [He only uises the „standart habbie' the twae times, in can ye dig wir new assembly? (p.20) an in a cauld second at Bulovka (p.43)]

In spite o this, he disnae see Scotland or the Scots throu rose-tintit glesses in his poetry. For example, in No a country, he pits thegither a string o clichés the likes o,

"a hauf thrappled tongue"

"a butcher's parcel o countries an regions"

that comes tae the conclusion,

"still no a country yit"

An in an address tae the Scots Pairlament in the abuin mentioned "can ye dig wir new assembly?, he warns,

"us douce Scots folk we hae been kent tae bauchle chances."

The buik is opened wi a dedication tae Craig an Charlie Reid, itherweys kent as The Proclaimers, an the buik's first poem is cried Proclamatioun, that sums up the Scots cringe factor wi the lines,

"naebody ah'm tellin ye naebody speaks like yon."

Poems aboot Scots sportin heroes the likes o Chic Charnley, Liz McColgan an Jim Leighton, if no unique, is certainly rare. In writin aboot thaim, Matthew disnae juist haud thaim up but shaws his passion for thair sports as weel as a guid kennin o thair characters an thair commitment tae thair sports. He shaws an aw that Scots aften likes tae keep thair heroes in thair place, as in,

"still forget the greetin teenies
and the auld firm in-betweenies
and the kid on dixie-deenies -
charnley's fitba in the raw"
(Chic Charnley p.5)

"the lass aye pit het fit tae the road
lined wi sair and greetin faces"
(Liz McColgan p.6)

"and the chanter o the ghosties
nor the fishwives in the stand
nor the sooch o the deevil hissel
sall no himm unhool
sall naethin him daunt"
(Jim Leighton p.17)

Matthew Fitt's imagination haes gien vyce tae Kate, the lang sufferin guid-wife o the kenspeckle Tam O' Shanter. A think Burns hissel wad hiv approved o this particular 'gentle dame's' 'counsel sweet'. An aw the lave forbye.

Kate O' Shanter's Tale and Other Poems is published bi Luath Press at £6.99. Matthew-Fitt's first novel, But n Ben A-Go-Go, is published bi Luath Press an aw at £10.99.

Ridin o the Mairches
IN 1732 the magistrates o Musselburgh, accordin tae ancient annual custom, haed tae cairry oot the ceremony o Ridin the Mairches o the burgh. This particular time they war tendit bi thair vassals an the burgesses that nummert aboot 700, aw on horse an in thair best array. The trumpets an the hautboys mairched in front, then the magistrates an toun cooncil follaed bi the vassals wi the toun standart. Efter thaim cam the mony incorporations, distinguished bi thair ain respective shinin new standarts an heidit bi the maisters o the crafts. They mairched in this guid order oot tae the Links, makin a lichtsome appearance.

Howanever, while they war marshallin, an unchancie differ kythed atween the weavers an the tailors anent wha shuid hae precedency. In order tae evyte the sheddin o bluid, they greed tae submit the question afore the magistrates. The tailors airgied that, as the precedency haed fawn tae thaim in previous times bi lot, nae conter cuid noo be pitten up on that maitter. On the ither haund, it wis threapit that the weavers wis men an men haed mair richt nor tailors tae hae this honour. This black affront cuidna be taen in. Athoot waitin for the decision o authority, the weaver squadron moved oot tae tak up thair place o honour wi Captain Scott at thair heid. Adjutant Fairley, that acted in that same capacity tae the tailor squadron, aimed a clout at the captain's neb, fellin him tae the grund. In nae time the twa corps wis set tae in a fell stour wi nocht tae be seen but fechtin riders, broken heids, bluidy nebs an tuim saddles, till at lang last the plea o manheid seemed tae gaun in favour o the needlemen. They taen Scott, the hero o the weavers, prisoner an drove his company richt oot the field, e'en tho they war a guid sicht mair in nummer. It wis wi muckle difficulty that the weavers got thair standart cairriet aff the field in safety an then they lodged it in thair captain's quarters gairdit wi three huzzas. Bi this time the conquerin tailors wis weel aff the field a guid mile's distance awa.

Efter the stushie wis ower an duin wi, the weavers threapit, in defence o thair muckle retreat, that the butcher squadron haed been ordered up tae gie the tailors a haund, an they, the weavers, didna hae ony inclination tae lock horns wi thae men o bluid.

Makar's Neuk
Scotland's First Landin Strip

On Dryhope haugh, Ah had better mention
Lunardi landed his het-air balloon
Tho maist fowk had kent it was his intention
Tae gaun tae the Solway ere he put it doon.

But up in the clouds, Lunardi was fleein
An stotten alang sae blythely and free;
When the mist opened up he couldnae help seein
A glisk o St Mary's that looked like the sea.

"Sacre bleu" thoucht Lunardi, in a bit o a fankle
Thinken that maybe he was doomed tae droon.
He made a deceesion altho it did rankle
Tae let the het air oot his muckle balloon.

He came doon wi a dunt, loupit oot o the basket
Pechen awae, up the bankin he speiled,
He was seek as a paddock an sairly forjaskit
When he lairned that he'd landed in Dryhope ferm field.

An this is the story Ah aye tell the fowk
That Ah'm taken aroond on a Yarrae bus trip.
It's serious claim an nae wey a joke
That Yarrae gied Scotland its first landing strip.

Walter Elliot (1934 - )

Nixt Forgaitherin
Date tae be decidit (September)
7.30pm tae 9.00pm
Comatee Room C.
Brunton Ha, Musselburgh

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Scots Tung Wittins 115. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 23 February 2024, from

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


Information about Document 1766

Scots Tung Wittins 115


Text audience

Audience size N/A

Text details

Method of composition N/A
Word count 2413
General description monthly newsletter

Text medium

Leaflet/brochure (prospectus)

Text publication details

Publisher Scots Tung
Publication year 2003
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