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Burns lyric query - 'And All That"

DigiTrad:
COMIN' THRO THE RYE
COMIN' THROUGH THE DYE
COMIN' THROUGH THE RYE
MY LOVE IS LIKE A RED, RED ROSE
NOW WESTLIN WINDS
SILVER TASSIE
THE GALLANT WEAVER


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Westerly Winds/Now Westlin Winds (Burns) (35)
The.Slave's.Lament (Burns) (12)
Have ye heard o' the tree o' France? (4)
Origins: Coming Through The Rye (20)
Lyr Req: The sodger wi' his bandoliers (5)
Lyr Req: To Daunton Me / To Dawt on Me (R Burns) (20)
Lyr Req: Comin' through the rye (parody) (7)
Red, Red Rose query (32)
Lyr Req: Comin Through the Rye (modern) (9)
Tune Req: My Love Is Like a Red Red Rose (R Burns) (22)
Lyr Req: I gave it to the weaver/Gallant Weaver (4)
Lyr Req: Original lyrics to some of Burns songs (13)
(origins) Origins: Silver Tassie (12)
Lyr Add: Peri-Periwinkle (Robert Burns?) (10)
Tunes for Robert Burns Songs - online and others (10)
Help: To a Mouse, on Turning Her Up ... (R Burns) (8)
Lyr Req/Add: The Gard'ner wi' His Paidle (R Burns) (4)
Lyr Req: Soldier's Return (Robert Burns) (5)
Lyr/Chords Req: Robert Burns (4)
Robert Burns tunes/Scot dialect pronounce (6)
(A man' a man) For all that (11)


michaelr 17 Dec 10 - 10:37 PM
Smokey. 17 Dec 10 - 11:24 PM
michaelr 18 Dec 10 - 01:02 AM
maeve 18 Dec 10 - 02:00 AM
maeve 18 Dec 10 - 02:39 AM
Van 18 Dec 10 - 02:45 AM
maeve 18 Dec 10 - 02:48 AM
BobKnight 18 Dec 10 - 08:00 AM
GUEST,Jane Ann Liston 18 Dec 10 - 08:03 AM
maeve 18 Dec 10 - 08:04 AM
GUEST,johnmc 18 Dec 10 - 08:53 AM
Marje 18 Dec 10 - 09:08 AM
GUEST,johnmc 18 Dec 10 - 09:37 AM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 18 Dec 10 - 10:38 AM
Marje 18 Dec 10 - 11:16 AM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 18 Dec 10 - 11:43 AM
Marje 18 Dec 10 - 11:57 AM
michaelr 18 Dec 10 - 12:14 PM
Jim McLean 18 Dec 10 - 03:45 PM
Joe_F 18 Dec 10 - 08:02 PM
GUEST,johnmc 19 Dec 10 - 10:57 AM
GUEST,Allan Con 19 Dec 10 - 11:26 AM
Van 19 Dec 10 - 04:04 PM
Marje 19 Dec 10 - 05:55 PM
michaelr 19 Dec 10 - 06:29 PM
maeve 19 Dec 10 - 06:36 PM
Joe_F 19 Dec 10 - 11:42 PM
Marje 20 Dec 10 - 04:54 AM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 20 Dec 10 - 02:35 PM
Van 20 Dec 10 - 05:58 PM
GUEST,Allan Con 20 Dec 10 - 06:12 PM
BobKnight 20 Dec 10 - 06:12 PM
Van 20 Dec 10 - 06:48 PM
Van 20 Dec 10 - 06:57 PM
Effsee 20 Dec 10 - 10:43 PM
Jim McLean 21 Dec 10 - 08:16 AM
Jim McLean 21 Dec 10 - 08:45 AM
GUEST,Allan Con 21 Dec 10 - 09:59 AM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 21 Dec 10 - 11:29 AM
Marje 21 Dec 10 - 12:15 PM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 21 Dec 10 - 12:33 PM
GUEST,guest 21 Dec 10 - 01:55 PM
Jim McLean 21 Dec 10 - 03:22 PM
GUEST,Allan Con 21 Dec 10 - 04:10 PM
Marje 22 Dec 10 - 04:45 AM
BobKnight 22 Dec 10 - 05:38 AM
Van 22 Dec 10 - 05:44 AM
Marje 22 Dec 10 - 06:29 AM
GUEST,Allan Con 22 Dec 10 - 06:42 AM
GUEST,Allan Con 22 Dec 10 - 07:14 AM
Van 22 Dec 10 - 08:19 AM
GUEST,Allan Con 22 Dec 10 - 08:51 AM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 22 Dec 10 - 11:42 AM
GUEST,guest 22 Dec 10 - 12:28 PM
GUEST,Guest: Maurice Mann 22 Dec 10 - 12:53 PM
GUEST,Allan Con 22 Dec 10 - 05:36 PM
Van 22 Dec 10 - 06:45 PM
GUEST,Allan Con 23 Dec 10 - 04:45 AM
Jim McLean 23 Dec 10 - 05:03 AM
BobKnight 23 Dec 10 - 05:26 AM
Marje 23 Dec 10 - 11:35 AM
GUEST,Allan Con 23 Dec 10 - 12:14 PM
michaelr 23 Dec 10 - 12:49 PM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 23 Dec 10 - 01:50 PM
michaelr 23 Dec 10 - 03:56 PM
Marje 24 Dec 10 - 03:44 AM
Jim McLean 24 Dec 10 - 05:10 AM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 24 Dec 10 - 07:08 AM
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Subject: Burns lyric query
From: michaelr
Date: 17 Dec 10 - 10:37 PM

Is there for honest poverty                                        
That hangs his head, and all that?


I can sort of glean the meaning, but as a sentence, this doesn't make sense to me. Can anyone help?


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: Smokey.
Date: 17 Dec 10 - 11:24 PM

That's not the whole sentence -

"Is there for honest Poverty
That hings his head, an' a' that;
The coward slave-we pass him by,
We dare be poor for a' that!"


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: michaelr
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 01:02 AM

Yes, but that's no help.


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: maeve
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 02:00 AM

michaelr- Yes the language is challenging- due even more, I think, to the structure than to Scots words and expressions that may be unfamiliar. I wonder if this link's English translation will give you a starting place? A Man's a Man...English translation It's a poem/song about brotherhood.


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: maeve
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 02:39 AM

A brief analysis in thoughtful discussion


Some thoughts on the poem


Here's a couple of stanzas spoken, from the above site.

Regards,

Maeve


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: Van
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 02:45 AM

Basicly the gist of the song is that whether you are a lord or a peasant you are of equal worth.


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: maeve
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 02:48 AM

Good morning, Van. I suspect michaelr got that already. The first stanza is less accessible. My first link (posted a few minutes ago) offers a workable and thoughtful understanding of it.


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: BobKnight
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 08:00 AM

Na, Na forget the "cower'd slave" bit. The next line shows that to be false. "The cowerd slave, we PASS HIM BY". This is a song about equality, would Burns promote the idea that the week cowering slave should be abandoned. No, he meant that those who cow-tow like slaves to men of rank and money deserve our disdain.


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: GUEST,Jane Ann Liston
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 08:03 AM

The introduction to Tevye's 'If I were a rich man' (Fiddler on the Roof) starts by expressing the same sentiments:

'Lord, you made many poor people. I realise, of course, it's no shame to be poor' (though he then goes on to say 'but it's no great honour either!')


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: maeve
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 08:04 AM

Nice addition, BobKnight. Thanks for furthering the discussion.


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: GUEST,johnmc
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 08:53 AM

At a very basic level I would render the line as:

Surely no one who is poor through no fault of their own should feel/exhibit shame.


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: Marje
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 09:08 AM

I understand what the verse is saying but now that michaelr has pointed it out, I can't get my head round the syntax of those first few lines. It's not the language that's the problem - it still doesn't make sense to me in English translation.

It's that "Is there...?" that is the problem. Is there ... what? It's got no subject. If I try to rearrange the sentence, whether in Scots or in English, I can't make total sense of it. The best I can find is a suggestion by a Guest in an old Mudcat thread:

"Is there anybody who, just because he's poor, hangs his head?
We walk past such a coward slave -- WE dare to be poor (we're poor and we're proud)"

So if that's the meaning (and it seems very plausible), maybe there's some archaic contruction like, "Is there who ...?" used in the sense of "Is there anyone who...?"

Marje


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: GUEST,johnmc
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 09:37 AM

No doubt you have heard of ellipsis in poetry, Marje ?


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 10:38 AM

There's certainly a "problem" with the first lines even to modern-day Scottish people, but then, language does change and evolve over time. "Is there", without anything more, was quite acceptable usage in Burns's day for "Is there anyone who". I'll offer first an expanded version of what I'm pretty sure RB was getting at in these lines, prefacing it by stating that I recall reading (somewhere) that an earlier draft of this reads, "Where's he [that] for honest poverty &c".

"Is there [anyone who], because of his being poor, hangs his head? By this, I don't mean those who are literally slaves - that's another thing entirely, so we "pass by" this question.* We dare, we are prepared, we are not ashamed, and are even proud to be poor."

Two other things which may be of interest; it's been several times pointed out that some of the thoughts in this song (about "ribband, star, and a' that") correspond closely to ideas in Thomas Paine's "Rights of Man", and indeed the lines about "A prince can mak a belted knight...&c" evidence Burns's familiarity with the works of many English poets - something about "earls and knights are but the breath of kings/An honest man's the noblest work of God", which I think is Pope.   Secondly, the expression "an' aw that" (anglice, "and all that") is in common usage in contemporary Glasgow, at least. There are, by the way, other examples of verses set to this air, sometimes by Burns:

"I am a Bard of no regard wi' gentle fowk, an aa that,
But, Homer-like, the glowran byke frae toun tae toun, I draw that"

(A character in "Love and Liberty"/"The Jolly Beggars", as it has been retitled) sings that he, like Homer, draws the ordinary people to listen and to gaze upon him as he wanders from town to town). Hope this has been of some use, as well as some diversion.


*[as well, I suppose, as the more obvious image of "passing by" a slave, or perhaps a mendicant)


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: Marje
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 11:16 AM

Yes, I know what ellipsis is, John, but I've never come across an instance like that ("Is there... who...?"). And thanks, person with strange Gaelic name, for confirming what I thought. Burns is so familiar to us in some ways that it's easy to forget how long ago he lived and wrote - only a century later than Shakespeare, who uses all manner of vocabulary and syntax that seems strange to us now Much of the language Burns used is not only Scots, which may be unfamilar to the English ear, but archaic Scots.

But I think we've got this one pretty well sorted now, for a' that.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 11:43 AM

That's me, Marje! ("The Dark, Slender Laddie", sometimes regarded as a way of describing a pint of Guinness, but actually - in the original Eighteenth-century song - a kind of demon, or spirit, of drink itself) I think Burns would really be TWO centuries after Shakespeare, by the way, though I can see how poets like Milton and Marvell and Dryden and Rochester &c, themselves around a century before Burns, have got significant similarities to Shk.

I'd intended something here about the ambiguity of the line, "It's comin yet, for aa that" at the end of the song, at least as I see it, but alas my time here has run out for today,

ABCD


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: Marje
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 11:57 AM

Woops, sorry about my sloppy grasp of history/maths. I seem to have overstated my case, so thank you, Mr Guiness.

Anyway, even if Burns is halfway back in time between us and Shakespeare, that still makes it unsurprising that the meaning of his language is not always obvious to us. But he won't get away with any of that fancy ellipsis stuff now that Mudcat are on to him.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: michaelr
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 12:14 PM

ABCD, your explanation makes sense to me. Thank you and all contributors!


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: Jim McLean
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 03:45 PM

I have always thought this poem/song is pretty well pure English and have never found a problem with understanding. I am amazed that there has been any confusion/misunderstanding it what this poem says. Speak the words out loud, it's all there. If you are a non native English speaker I can understand trying to do a literal transation may be a problem but poetry cannot be translated word for word, and this is poetry.


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: Joe_F
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 08:02 PM

For the ellipsis of an indefinite antecedent to "who", cf. "Be good, sweet maid, and let who will be clever". Short for "let her who will be clever be clever".


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: GUEST,johnmc
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 10:57 AM

At the risk of thread "drift", I would like to add that I heard on the TV some time ago a Burns expert reciting a poem in what he told us was Burns's native Ayrshire accent/dialect and even to someone who admires Burns it was really quite hard to like it. It has always been the case that there is ambivalence about Scots dialects amongst Scottish people: some find Burns on the page very powerful and worthy of emulation, and yet, at the same time. regard,say, a Glasgwegian accent as risible.

   Anyway, it is good to see him the subject of debate.


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: GUEST,Allan Con
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 11:26 AM

The various dialects of Scots were pretty much ostracised from the education system for about a century - and the former language of state was dismissed by some as bad or incorrect English . In recent decades it has officially gained some acceptance again but prejudices die hard. The Glaswegian dialect has suffered worse than the older more conservative dialects like my own Borders Scots, or Shetlandic or the Doric of the north-east. Even the prelude to the SND (ie Scottish National Dictionary) dismissed Glaswegian as 'hopelessly corrupt' and refuted that it was even a dialect of Scots at all. In more modern times it is now generally accepted as so.


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: Van
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 04:04 PM

There is little ambiguous about "it's coming yet for a' that" if you read the following lines
"That man to man the world o'er
Shall brothers be for a' that".

Perhaps the dog ate that part of your edition of Burns' poetry or perhaps you have little understanding of his politics.


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: Marje
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 05:55 PM

I don't think in this case it was ths Scottishness of the language that was perplexing some readers of the poem/song. it was just that first line, which is no less perplexing in English.

To get back to the language issue: I can't see, Joe F, that "let who will be clever" is a similar ellipsis. It's quite normal for "will" and "want" to be used elliptically, even in modern English, e.g. "I will if you will" or "You can try it if you want". It's not normal at all to say "Is there who understands Scottish?" or "Is there who agrees with me?" I do understand it now it's been explained, but I'm not in the least surprised that the question was asked in the first place.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: michaelr
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 06:29 PM

Thank you, Marje. Yes, it was only the first line that had me scratching my head. It has been explained satisfactorily by ABCD.

But by all means, everyone feel free to keep making snide comments. Wouldn't be Mudcat otherwise, now would it?


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: maeve
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 06:36 PM

I'm glad there were helpful replies, also. I've quite enjoyed most of the thread, michaelr. Thank you for posting the query.


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: Joe_F
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 11:42 PM

Marje: I don't understand your objection. It's not normal to say "Is there who will be clever?" either.


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: Marje
Date: 20 Dec 10 - 04:54 AM

Ah, I see what you mean, Joe - you were pointing out that "who" in your example stands for "her who" or "whoever" (whereas I thought you meant the omission of words after "will".)

But I'm still not quite buying it. It's easy for a modern speaker/reader to understand your example as "Let whoever will...", whereas the Burns example doesn't follow that pattern, and leaves the reader scurrying through the rest of the verse looking for something to follow "Is there..?" It's then tempting to read the word "who" as if it relates to "poverty", which just adds to the confusion.

And your recent post shows that the two constructions aren't the same. But now I know what the Burns song really means, I can sing it with my head held high. (Well, I might if I ever get round to learning the rest of it).

Marje


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 20 Dec 10 - 02:35 PM

For "Van" (19th December).   

I was in a bit of a rush, and "ambiguity" wasn't right; I'd have been better just leaving this thought until later (like now). Anyone who knows anything worthwhile about RB will recognise what his political position, with regard to egalitarianism &c, was. What I mean is this: While the last verse, beginning

"Then let us pray that come it may,
As come it will, for aa that..."

is clearly optimistio in expressing, very powerfully both in words and in the internal rhymes of the first and third lines, the conviction that "Man to Man, the Warld owre, shall brithers be, for aa that", the words "for all that" can be taken in two different ways. The most obvious is to see them as just colloquial ("an' aa that" is, as I mentioned, an often-heard expression in Glasgow, and probably elsewhere in Scotland too), just the words that are required by the structure of the verses and the name of the air. But, bearing in mind the times when RB was writing, and his own persecution by "the Powers that be", can they not also bear the sense "For all the things that have opposed, still are opposing, and will continue to oppose, this future state of Egalitarianism and Internationalism"? "For" in the sense of "Despite". Rather than "ambiguity", perhaps I should have written "richness" or something; given that there are only two kinds of Ambiguity (when it's intentional and when it's not), I suppose the better word would have been "Irony". Hope that makes things clear; by the way, I'm quoting from memory, not from any edition (dog-eaten, dog-eared, or no), so the spellings I've adopted are just how I sing the song.


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: Van
Date: 20 Dec 10 - 05:58 PM

An Buachaill

As you no doubt know there are so many versions of Scots that it is easy to misunderstand one another. I live in Kent and people expect that if you are Scots you speak like Rab Nesbitt. Being from The Borders that's unlikely.

When the Scottish Parliament opened I lived near Edinburgh and went into town to see the opening ceremony. when the great and the good had gone into the Assembly rooms I headed to a pub called The Hebrides. As the woman MSP started singing A Man's a Man slowly the whole pub joined in and by the end a few tears had been shed.

I would prefer it as an anthem rather than Flower of Scotland, but that's another argument.


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: GUEST,Allan Con
Date: 20 Dec 10 - 06:12 PM

Burns uses the "for a' that" line ending on more than one occassion. Some seem to date "Is There For Honest Poverty" to 1795 which is the same year that he wrote the "Ballads On Mr Heron's Election 1795" This has seven verses whic all use the same device and fit the same tune etc. Verse one is

Whom will you send to London town
To parliament and a' that?
Or wha in a' the country round
The best deserves to fa' that?
For a' that an a' that
Thro Galloway an a' that
Where is the Laird or belted knight
The best deserves to fa' that

He didn't just use the device and verse type for political thought. A decade earlier he wrote the lyrics actually titled "For A' That" which starts off

Tho' women's minds like winter winds
May shift, and turn, an a' that
The noblest breast adores them a'
A consequence I draw that

For a' that an' a' that
And twice as meikle's a' that
The bonnie lass that I lo'e best
Shall be my ain for a' that

SO I think it is likely that his use of "an a' that" in the song in question is just him using a familiar device, verse structure and rhythm etc rather than reading anything else into it. There may well be other instances as I didn't look through the whole canon. He also often uses the device where he says "man" at the end of various lines. I'm not sure if he was the first to use these? He very possibly wasn't!


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: BobKnight
Date: 20 Dec 10 - 06:12 PM

Van - the woman singing at the opening of the Scottish Paliament wasn't an MSP - she is Sheena Wellington, a well known and highly respected traditional singer from Dundee.


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: Van
Date: 20 Dec 10 - 06:48 PM

My mistake, I thought she was both.


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: Van
Date: 20 Dec 10 - 06:57 PM

Allan Con

Perhaps my problem for Being Scots but it was a comomon expression where I am from. Burn's country as it is known. It amounts to everything that it entails or whatever ensues. For the English among you it is like the comedian who's name escapes me for the moment who used to say "wotever".


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: Effsee
Date: 20 Dec 10 - 10:43 PM

Van...Mr.Rab C. Nesbitt to you if you don't mind!


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: Jim McLean
Date: 21 Dec 10 - 08:16 AM

Burns wrote a song called "For a' that. an' a' that" in 1789 for Johnson's Scots Musical Museum. It is a humerous song beginning "Tho' women's minds, like winter winds ..." except for the first two lines of the chorus (For a' that, an' a' that, an' twice as mickle a' that) which are taken from an old song to the same tune. (From William Stenhouse's Illustrations to JSMM).
Interestingly enough, and pertinent to the original posting here, Stenhouse gives the first verse to the song in question as "O wha, for honest poverty, Wad hang his head as' a' that? ...."


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: Jim McLean
Date: 21 Dec 10 - 08:45 AM

I should have named the old tune/song was a Jacobite 'effusion' in Loyal Songs, 1750, beginning "Though Geordie reigns in Jamie's stead.." and is reprinted in Ritson's Scottish Songs, 1794. The chorus is:
For a' that, an' a' that,
An' thrice as muckle's a' that;
He's far beyond the seas the night,
Yet he'll be here for a' that.


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: GUEST,Allan Con
Date: 21 Dec 10 - 09:59 AM

Yes Van sorry I wasn't very clear in what I was referring to. I was agreeing with An Buachaill's first suggestion that it is just an expression - rather than the second possibility that there was some deeper meaning in to why he used that expression.


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 21 Dec 10 - 11:29 AM

johnmc (19th Decr) must be very glad that there's still more debate arising from the original query; and, Jim McLean, it would probably have been in Stenhouse that I read the alternative way of the first line. Wish I'd been in the pub to which Van refers on the occasion, though I do have some reservations about the way this song has been appropriated by (that phrase again) the "Powers that be" for this occasion; for heaven's sake, don't the MSPs have to swear allegiance to the Queen? There was, nevertheless, something amusing in seeing Prince Charles listening to Burns's contempt for "tinsel show and aa that", for those who strut, and stare, and aa that, or how a Prince (i.e. a monarch generally) can dispense titles and dignities and aa that, marquises and dukes and knights and aa that and aa that - but "a honest man's aboon his might..." -- And all without a trace of comprehension on his lang-nebbit Norman face as line succeeded line, rattling in their ranks like sans-culottes!

But, to really set baudrons amang the doos, what about the question of a National Anthem, raised by Van earlier? Scots, wha hae a name for being practical, might reflect that only "when this country takes her place among the free nations of this Earth, then, and not till then", let a decision be made.


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: Marje
Date: 21 Dec 10 - 12:15 PM

Aw come on, Charles isn't Norman! His Dad is of Greek and Danish extraction, and his Mum part German on her father's side, but Grannie Liz the QM was a Scot, albeit a posh one. He's certainly something of a mongrel, like many of us, and a stranger to both the Scots and the Gaelic tongues,but there's not much Norman about him or indeed any of the Royals.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 21 Dec 10 - 12:33 PM

Fair enough! I was more concerned about appearance than genealogy; look at some of those Mediaeval portraits of the Henrys and Edwards, and tell me if there isn't the same kind of long, thin, whippet-like look about their faces as we see with Charlie and his siblings (except the broader-faced, bulkier one, Andrew. I understand from an article in the Guardian many years ago he's never been seen in company with someone the name of Lord Glenconnor).


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 21 Dec 10 - 01:55 PM

ABCD- interesting that you should bring up the name Glenconner in a
Burns related thread. These Glenconners are the descendants of a
Tennant, Auld Glenconner, from the name of his farm, who was a friend
of the Burns family.
Auld Glenconners descendants made a fortune from chemicals at their
factory in Glasgow and bought into the landed gentry.
Lord Glenconner was a very close "friend" of Charlies aunt Maggy. Are
you hinting at a closer connection?


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: Jim McLean
Date: 21 Dec 10 - 03:22 PM

I wrote this in the 1960s .. what a pedigree! (melody the wearing of the green)

Chorus:
Oh it is the greatest mix up,
That I have ever seen,
His father is a German and his mother is a queen.

He is the prince of Wales although he's England's future king,
And his granny is the daughter of a Scotchman's highland fling.
His aunt in Holland is the niece of Norway's royal pair
And if they all died in their beds he'd be the Belgian heir.

His father's mother came from Greece, his aunt's Bavarian,
Himself he wears the tartan of the Royal Stewart clan.
His second cousin's Danish, at least what he thinks
For surely Queen Victoria must be the missing link.

His mother she is English now, or Scottish in Killin
Canadian in Canada or German in Berlin.
His cousin's wife is Swedish and his uncle's wife is Greek
And he himself must surely be an international freak.

King Billy was a Dutchman and King Jamie was a Scot,
But the Prince of Wales just doesn't know if he is here or not.
Our King won't come from London town nor yet from Donegal
Nor will he be from Scotland for we'll have no king atall!


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: GUEST,Allan Con
Date: 21 Dec 10 - 04:10 PM

"Aw come on, Charles isn't Norman!"

I agree. I'm not a royalist myself but I always find this suggestion that the monarch and those directly in line aren't British a bit strange. Sure they have a good mixture in there but they were born and brought up here and can trace Briitsh lineage (certainly Scots and I imagine English too) back more than a millenium or so.


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: Marje
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 04:45 AM

Just in case there's any misunderstanding, I'm no royalist either.I'm not sure, Allan, that the Royals can actually trace their direct British lineage back very far, at least only by making some sideways leaps. But I don't want to get too racist about it -as I said, most of us in these islands are mongrels anyway.

And yes, ABCD, the current dynasty does have a long-faced look - I think I'd call it horse-faced (not to their faces, you understand) but I suppose they can't help it.I doubt if there's much genetic connection between, say, Charles and the Tudors, though. Perhaps they just get long-faced because of having to spend so much of their time at boring, po-faced events. Charles, it has to be said, has tried to address this by choosing the (then) chubby-cheeked Diana as the mother of his children, so maybe the features will improve now that the Royals are importing some commoners into the bloodline.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: BobKnight
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 05:38 AM

A thread about equality, and here we are discussing the ****** royalty.


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: Van
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 05:44 AM

Marje
I take it that you have different idea of commoners than most. Diana was some sort relative introduced to Charlie boy by his granny and for someone brought in a council house would appear to be far from common as is the current royal future bride.

You should reread your history. The present royal family have no historic connections to any British/Scotish line - remember importing William of Orange? I think he was Dutch.

Still "The man of indepent mind, He looks and laughs at a' that".

Did the lord of the ilses attend the opening of Scottish Parliament, I thought it was his mum.


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: Marje
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 06:29 AM

Van, you haven't read what I said. Re-read the first couple of lines of my post and you'll see I agree with what you say on the British lineage of the royals. There are common threads that go back centuries, but they're very remote connections indeed.

As for "commoners" - well, it's all relative, but the likes of Diana and now Kate whatsername are, although distinctly posh, not of the sort of royal descent that would once have been expected for a potential queen. It's a step towards broadening the monarchy, which may be a good thing.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: GUEST,Allan Con
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 06:42 AM

"The present royal family have no historic connections to any British/Scotish line - remember importing William of Orange? I think he was Dutch."

I think you need to read up on your history a bit. The present monarch is not descended from William of Orange. Even if she had been he (William of Orange) was a son of Mary Stuart who was the eldest daughter of Charles I. William was also married to another Mary Stuart who was a daughter of James Vii of Scotland ii of England.

Suggesting the present monarch has no historic connections to the English or Scottish lineage is fantasy stuff.


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: GUEST,Allan Con
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 07:14 AM

"I'm not sure, Allan, that the Royals can actually trace their direct British lineage back very far, at least only by making some sideways leaps"

There is no great sideway leap to be made. The idea that they aren't British comes from the Hanovarian succession. The present monarch's ancestor Sophia of Hanover was declared heir to Queen Anne's throne. She was born in the Haig right enough but she was also the daughter of Pricess Elizabeth of Scotland who was born in Scotland and also happened to be the daughter of James VI of Scotland and I of England. This wsn't a great leap. Charles I was younger than Elizabeth but he was made king because he was male. Those were/are the rules but Elizabeth wasn't any less of British heritage than he was. Sophia died before taking the throne so it then went to her son George I. The present monarch can trace a single British line back more than a thousand years with only a small couple of generation blips where they lived outwith Britain. Not to mention all the other British ancestors she has.


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: Van
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 08:19 AM

Allan - the only "fantasy stuff" I have about the royal family is OFF WITH THEIR HEADS ;)

history is for those who write it. I might write a different version to you but which of us is correct? And does it matter?


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: GUEST,Allan Con
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 08:51 AM

Aye Van I agree with you about the monarchy. That is the existence of it. About the Britishness of it is not my version though. Just pointing out the facts about her ancestry. As far as we can ascertain anyone's ancestry is what they think it is of course:-) Basically her royal family line goes right back at least towards the beginnings of the first millenium in Scotland with only a handful of generations (in that line) living outwith the UK. Never mind the fact that they have all (ie monarch and close heirs) been brought up and lived in Britain all their lives.


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 11:42 AM

An auld wife's ...heir's no something I'd gie mysel fash owre (to adapt anither line); I care as little about the pedigrees of the hale nest o' them as I do about the bloodlines of their cuddies and dugs, but (as Van noted) it's guid to laugh at aa that, though at ither times I call to mind the image near the end of the "Haggis", about the "Rustic", the peasant -

"Clap in his waly nieve a blade,
He'll mak it whistle---
And legs, and arms, and HEIDS he'll sned,
Like taps o' thrissle"


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 12:28 PM

Gaun yersel ABCD.
Tell wis it Andra wha wis ne"r sichtit wi Lord Glenconner?


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: GUEST,Guest: Maurice Mann
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 12:53 PM

Burn's also used the "a' that" line ending in The Bonniest Lass, from his Merry Muses of Caledonia - look them up if you're not easily offended by sexual content.


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: GUEST,Allan Con
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 05:36 PM

I know this thread has drifted but as I had a wee bit time I worked out the ancestry showing the monarch's line back to the dawning of the Scottish kingdom. This is not someone impressed by aristocratic ancestry etc, or even someone supporting the monarchy, it is simply somoen interested in history dealing in facts and dispelling the ideas aired here that "the present monarch has no historic connection to any British/Scottish line" or that they "can't trace British lineage back very far"

For a start the Queen's mother is thoroughly British so the idea that someone born in Britain to a British mother and father should not be British or have a British lineage is just daft. Taking her mother aside we look at the Queen's ancestors through her paternal royal line which itself makes it at least easy to trace. Back through the generations we have

George VI, George V, Edward VII, Victoria, Prince Edward, George III............all of these people were born and raised in England. This in itself takes us back to 1738. That is almost 300 years straight off. This in itself would make it a British family of long standing by any sensible standards.

Then we have three generations where they were neither born in Britain nor had a British parent.

Frederick, Prince of Wales......born in Hanover but came to Britain as a 21 year old to join his father who had been here already for well over a decade.

George II....born in Hanover but again spent most of his time in Britain

George I......probably the most foreign on them and did not actually speak English but he still had a grannie who was a Scottish Princess so it can hardly be suggested he had no connections.

Sophia of Hanover was a daughter of Princess Elizabeth of Scotland.

Princess Elizabeth of Scotland was born in Scotland and was a daughter of James VI of Scotland and I of England.

All the remaining were born in Scotland

James VI
Mary Queen of Scots
James V
James IV (who married Margaret Tudor of England)
James III
James II
James I
Robert III
Robert II
Princess Marjorie (Bruce)
Robert I (the Bruce)
Robert de Bruce 6th Lord of Annandale
Robert de Bruce 5th Lord of Annandale
Isobel of Huntingdon (daughter of David of Scotland)
Prince David of Scotland (Earl of Huntingdon)
Prince Henry of Scotland (Earl of Huntingdon)
David I
Princess Bethoc
Malcom II (Canmore)
Kenneth II of Alba
Malcom I of Alba
Donald II King of Picts
Constantine I King of Picts
Kenneth MacAlpin King of Picts (there had been Pictish kings who had also been Kings of Dalriada prior to Kenneth but he was the first of the Dalriadan Scotti to be King of Picts)

Then it gets shady and it is best stopping here but this takes us back to 843AD when Kenneth's reign started. So not counting the monarch herself that is about 35 generations going back almost 1200 years with only 3 of these generations not actually being born here or themselves having a British parent.


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: Van
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 06:45 PM

Allan

"Then we have three generations where they were neither born in Britain or had British parents" was the point I was making. There is no direct line of descent. but for a' that is it worth bothering about, we're lumbered with them anyway.

As for thread creep it's what lets us have discussions which can't be bad.


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: GUEST,Allan Con
Date: 23 Dec 10 - 04:45 AM

"Then we have three generations where they were neither born in Britain or had British parents" was the point I was making. There is no direct line of descent."

Still don't get what you are saying just because someone isn't born in Britain it doesn't mean they aren't descended from their ancestors. I have showed the descent through Princess Elizabeth to Sophia of Hanover to her son George I. Princess Elizabeth was the eldest surviving child of James VI and was Charles I's eldest sister. Just because someone is either a younger brother or a female it doesn't mean they are any less descended from their parents than the eldest son is! What you actually said was that the present royal line had 'no historic connections to any Scottish/British line" which is what I replied too and as I have shown false.


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: Jim McLean
Date: 23 Dec 10 - 05:03 AM

I wonder why the monarchy has always taken English titles rather than British regnal numbers? We were taught the Union of the crowns took place in 1603 but that was actually a misnomer as James Succeeded dynasticaly to the Egnlish throne and became king of three countries, Scotland England and Ireland. it wasn't unitil the parliaments of England and Scotland united in 1707 that both countries became one kingdom but the English establishment carried on as if nothing had changed, hence the English regnal numbers ... James the second, not seventh, but Edward the Seventh etecera. If William succeeds to the throne he will be known as William the fifth whereas he should be William the fourth of Britain. If the Scottish people have woken up by then we should have no king atall!


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: BobKnight
Date: 23 Dec 10 - 05:26 AM

Aye Jim, it rather annoys me that a statue of Edward the Seventh occupies a prime site on Union Street, the main street of Aberdeen, when thanks to Bruce and Wallace we never had the first six.

Mind you, the name Union Street bugs me too, as does the siting of the greatest statue in Scotland to William Wallace on "Union Terrace." He would be spinning in his grave... if he had one.


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: Marje
Date: 23 Dec 10 - 11:35 AM

I'm sure the choice of numbering is due in part to the Anglo-centric view of Britain that prevails in much of England. You will still hear people here saying that Charles or William will one day be "King of England", which irritates me.

The logical thing would be to use the highest number that applies. That's the only way of avoiding confusion arising from two people sharing one title. If there have already been, say, four King Andrews in Scotland and only two in England (or vice versa), the next King Andrew of the UK should be known as the Fifth, etc. By that system, James the first-and-sixth should have been the Sixth, Charles should one day be the Third, and William the Fifth.

But when has logic had anything to do with royalty?

Marje


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: GUEST,Allan Con
Date: 23 Dec 10 - 12:14 PM

"The logical thing would be to use the highest number that applies."

I think that is the position of the palace which they stated after the hullabaloo and legal case in Scotland in the 50s when the present monarch took the title Elizabeth II. Both Jim's and you own point about ut being Anglo-centric still stand though. One can imagine let's say william and kate's son being called Edward - but I doubt very much whether he'd ever be called David, Robert or Alexander. I wonder how the English would take to an Alexander IV?


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: michaelr
Date: 23 Dec 10 - 12:49 PM

Jeez! I keep opening my thread to see if anyone had anything new to say about the subject, but nooo...

Perhaps I should ask Joe to split all this royalty waffle off into a separate thread. I mean, really.


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 23 Dec 10 - 01:50 PM

Well, hasn't the original enquiry been fairly comprehensively dealt with, at least with regard to the syntax and sense of the opening lines? It wasn't originally a discussion about the entire work, desirable as that might be, and the royalty material seems to be partly thrown in by those wanting to cut them down to size metaphorically, if not literally, that is, in the way that Mary Stuart and her grandson were cut down to size. I know that's what I've been doing; we pay enough for the bastards, so at least let's look and laugh at them. (Don't, for heaven's sake, someone start chatting about how each year the monarch signs over the Crown estates in return for a Civil List - you really need the horse-face of Norman StJohn Stevens to do that piece of horse-shit justice).

There's plenty to be made of Burns's "A Man's a Man", such as the fact that he stated it was not a song, but "a number of good prose thoughts inverted into rhyme", but all the royalty genealogy has brought this to mind; does anyone know the origin of the line Burns quoted about "my ancient, but ignoble blood/Has crept through scoundrels, ever since the Flood"?


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: michaelr
Date: 23 Dec 10 - 03:56 PM

Well, hasn't the original enquiry been fairly comprehensively dealt with, at least with regard to the syntax and sense of the opening lines?

It certainly has, and I thank you for it.

As to thread creep - it's more like a gallop away. Oh well, That too is Mudcat.

;-)


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: Marje
Date: 24 Dec 10 - 03:44 AM

Anyway, I'm sure Burns would be delighted to think that his words had provoked a wider discussion about equality and the monarchy and a' that, more than 200 years on and among people of various countries.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: Jim McLean
Date: 24 Dec 10 - 05:10 AM

ABCD, the quote is from Alexander Pope's Essay on Man:

Stuck o'er with titles, and hung round with strings,
That thou mayst be by kings, or whores of kings,
Boast the pure blood of an illustrious race,
In quiet flow from Lucrece to Lucrece:
But by your fathers' worth if yours you rate,
Count me those only who were good and great.
Go! if your ancient but ignoble blood
Has crept thro' scroundrels ever since the flood,
Go! and pretend your family is young,
Nor own your fathers have been fools so long.
What can ennoble sots, or slaves, or cowards?
Alas! not all the blood of all the Howards.


The whole Essay is worth reading and probably indicates inspiration for Burns' song (being discussed).


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Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 24 Dec 10 - 07:08 AM

Yes, I'd thought it would be "Augustan", but didn't know whom to choose among Goldsmith or Dryden or Thomson or even Johnson, and it turns out to be Pope! Despite all the pose as thon "Heav'n taught Ploughman", RB knew as much of "polite" Poetry as any of them; and not only knew, but made, a great deal of other material, "not quite so genteel". It's been a good discussion; maybe in exactly a month's time there will be more? Aa the Best!


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