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St Andrew's Day Options
Posted: Friday, November 29, 2019 11:11:01 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 34,221
Neurons: 225,144
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom

Saint Andrew's Day
Posted: Saturday, November 30, 2019 11:47:16 AM
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Joined: 4/1/2018
Posts: 1,450
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Location: Beroun, Stredocesky, Czech Republic
Lang may yer lum reek.
Posted: Saturday, November 30, 2019 1:17:21 PM

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Joined: 7/8/2010
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(St Andrew’s Day under the Southern Cross)

GOD bless our land, our Scotland,
Grey glen an’ misty brae,
The blue heights o’ the Coolins,
The green haughs yont the Spey,
The weary wastes on Solway,
Snell winds blaw owre them a’ —
But aye it’s Hame, lad,
Yours an’ mine, lad,
Shielin’ or ha’.

It’s Hame, it’s Hame for ever,
Let good or ill betide!
The croon o’ some dear river,
The blink o’ ae braeside.

God bless our land; it’s yonder –
Far in the cold North Sea:
But ‘neath the old Saint’s glamour
It’s calling you an’ me:
Your feet tread Libyan deserts,
Mine press the wattle’s bloom,
But to-night we stand together
Among the broom.

It’s Hame, it’s Hame for ever,
Let shore or sea divide!
The croon o’ some dear river,
The blink o’ ae braeside.

God bless our land. We dream o’t —
The days aye brakin’ fine
On the lang, lane glints o’ heather
In the glens we kent langsyne.

Ay, we are Reubens, rovers,
‘Neath mony an alien star,
But flaunt the blue flag o’er us,
Pipe up the ” Braes o’ Mar,”
And steppe and nullah vanish,
And pomp and pelf and fame —
It’s gloamin’ — on a lown hillside,
An’ lads, . . . We’re . . . Hame.

A bit ott for my taste, but hey...

Mary Symon (1863-1938)

Read in English

Mary Symon wis born on 25 September 1863 at Dufftown, whaur her faither became provost an wis a foonder o Pittyvaich Distillery. She bidit maist o her years at Pittyvaich Hoose, gangin tae Mortlach Public School an then tae the Edinburgh Institute for Young Ladies whaur she wis taucht bi James Logie Robertson. Yaisin the pseudonym ‘Hugh Halliburton’, Robertson scrievit several warks in Scots includin modrenised versions o Dunbar an owersettins o Virgil’s ‘Horace’.

Mary Symon graduatit frae St Andrews University. In the early 1920s her poetry wis imprentit in Hugh MacDiarmaid’s ‘Northern Numbers’, a magazine at the hert o the modrenist renaissance in Scottish literatur. Her ainly collectit warks, ‘Deveron days’, wis imprentit in 1933. She wid become best kent fir her Scots poems anent the First Warld War, notably ‘The Glen’s Muster Roll; the Dominie Loquitur’ an ‘The Soldiers Cairn’ which baith deal wi the eftercome o war on a rural community.

The ‘Scotland’s War’ online project comments: ‘… in Dufftown, Banffshire there was a spinster in her fifties, whose verse, written during the war and in Scots, caught the public’s imagination and is among the finest war poetry in capturing the grief and loss of that period. Her name was Mary Symon. Her war poems are of national importance.’ Mary Symon deed at Pittyvaich in 1938.

Lear mair aboot Mary Symon (1863-1938)

As the Great War fell in an age jist afore the advent o mass communications in radio an cinema, it wis a conflict that wid witness a muckle increase in imprentit poetry. The feck o this wis imprentit in newspapers, bi baith accomplished poets an in the haund o enthusiastic novices. This phenomenon o war poetry wis widespreid ootthrou Europe. In the pages o daily jurnals as weel as in imprentit collections, France an Germany wid likeweys see a by-ordinar increase in prentit verse.

Wilfred Owen, Rupert Brooke, Siegfried Sassoon an Robert Graves are mindit amang the better kent poets. In Scotland E A MacKintosh, Charles Hamilton Sorley an the bardachd o Gaelic poets, sic as Donald MacDonald o Baile Sear in North Uist, wid add tae the significant canon o verse frae the First Warld War.

Dundee’s Joseph Lee, wha focht at Aubers Ridge, Neuve Chapelle an in the heavily susteened losses at the Battle o Loos, scrievit verse maistly in English, but alsae in Scots, which he sent tae the ‘People’s Journal’ an ‘Dundee Advertiser’. Lee continuit tae send verse tae the Dundee papers eftir he wis takken preesoner-o-war at Cambrai an haudit captive at Karlsruhe. As seen in ‘Sword and Pen; Poems of 1915 from Dundee and Tayside’, editit bi Hilda D Spear an Bruce Pandrich (Aberdeen University Press, 1989) these twa jurnals wir eydent in prentin verse frae the front, whiles generally heezin up themes o Scottish patriotism an sacrifice.

A similar threid is uphaudit bi Mary Symon whan she heezes up the military cause in ‘For our Empire’. In ‘After Neuve Chapelle’ she extols the efforts o the Gordon Highlanders an the sodgers o the braider British Empire in the bluidy battle o Mairch 1915. At the same time she condemns whit she sees as the skivers, or ‘laggards’ wha hae yet tae jyne up fir military action.

‘God! Will they ever wauken, the loons that sit at hame?
While din-faced Sikhs an’ Ghurkas fecht tae keep oor shores fae shame.
Oor kin fae a’ the Seven Seas are tummelin’ to the fray,
But there’s laggards yet on lown hillsides ‘neath skies that span the Spey.’

The Military Act o 1916 wid introduce conscription first o aw tae single syne efterwards tae mairrit men. Charles Murray, scriever o popular Scots collection ‘Hamewith’ first imprentit in 1900, served wi the South African Defence Force. In Murray’s ‘Dockens Afore His Peers’, some insicht is gien intae hou the war is dividin communities on the hame front in Aiberdeenshire. The guidman o Dockenhill goes afore the conscription board tae justify the exemption o his son frae the war, aw tae continue wi the warkins on his ferm:

‘Fy na, he isna twenty yet –ay, weel, he’s maybe near’t;
Owre young to lippen wi’ a gun, the crater would be fear’t.
He’s hardly throu’ his squeelin’ yet, an’ noo we hae a plan
To lat him simmer i’ the toon, an learn to mizzer lan’.
Fat? Gar him list! Oor laddie list? ‘Twould kill his mither, that,
To think o’ Johnnie in a trench awa’ in fat-ye ca’t;’

As wis common wi mony scrievers wha documentit the First Warld War, patriotism wid gie wey tae a mair dowie muid as the horrors o scientific warfare an its toll on communities began tae be unnerstuid. J B Salmond bidit a stainch critic o the war – an society’s treatment o its sodgers – fir mony years. In ‘Any Private to Any Private, July 1917’, he scrieves frae the front:

‘Ay, gie’s ma rum. I’m needin’t sair, by God!
We’ve juist been bringin’ Wullie doun the line –
Wullie, that used tae be smairt an’ snod.
Hell, what a mess! Saft-nosed ane. Damn the swine!
They micht kill clean. I kent his auld folk fine.
Ay, he wis mairrit. Man, she’s spared a sicht.’
Here, Dave, gie’s ower that blanket. Ay, that’s mine.
I kenna, hoo I canna lauch the nicht.

(National Library of Scotland)

No offence - anyone who knows me here should know I love regional languages and dialect, and that any language is the way people use it, not to be dictated to by some elite or educated clique. If you want to show the sounds of these words to the reader you need to write phonetically - but then you end up with writing the words Scots has in common with English using simplified spelling! So why just Scots? Should everyone just transliterate their dialect, from Scots to Surrey, and simplify English spelling at a stroke! Whistle
Posted: Saturday, December 21, 2019 10:57:17 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 34,221
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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Sorry, I just saw this - three weeks later.

There's a line . . . where do we draw it? Is it true that when Scotland had a separate army, Scots was a language, but now there's a UK army, it's "the Scottish dialect".

I mean - "scrievit" isn't just "wrote" with a Scottish accent.
"Gannin" is more Scandinavian/German than English (still used in the old Northumbrian areas).
"Imprentit" - well that's not far from the Middle English inflection.
"Anent" - a bit similar to the west Yorkshire and Pennine Lancashire word for "about". Same for "kennin".
But . . . "feck"! "bardachd", "eydent" and "heezin".

Definitely some of that was English with a Scottish accent, written phonetically - but some was Scots, the language, too.

I suppose there are many modern ideas, for which there is no Scots word, but there is a word in English. And many words were ALMOST the same (both languages evolved from Anglic but English had more Saxon and Brittonic/Welsh and then Norman influence, whereas Scots had more Norse, Pictish, Cumbric and Irish/Scotii influences).

So nowadays who can tell? Is she writing in Scots with a lot of borrowed English words, or writing in English phonetically, with a lot of Scots words thrown in?
Posted: Sunday, December 22, 2019 10:18:26 AM

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Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 14,076
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I can barely understand it, but it's fun to try to read out loud. I love the accent.
Posted: Monday, December 23, 2019 3:11:48 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/17/2009
Posts: 13,031
Neurons: 605,462
Location: Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
My late mother-in-law spoke Scots as her first and only language. She said things like 'faur fornent', meaning 'much better than'; 'much better than' would have been a foreign language to her. TV has largely brought about the demise of the Scots tongue.
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