252 years young the day!
That reminds me. Prince Charles was on a visit to Crosshouse Hospital, just outside Kilmarnock a couple of years ago. One of the Hospital big wigs was accompanying him round the wards, steering old Charlie clear of the wasters, winos and swine flu sufferers that were using up valuable bed space. Walking into one ward, The Prince stopped at one of the first beds and asked the young man how he was feeling. The bedridden patient replied;
“Wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim’rous beastie,
O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty
Wi bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an’ chase thee,
Wi’ murdering pattle.”
Charles mumbled something under his breath, smiled at the distressed patient and walked on. He stopped at another bed and asked the next patient how he too was fareing. The patient looked up and shouted out,
“My curse upon your venom’d stang,
That shoots my tortur’d gooms alang,
An’ thro’ my lug gies monie a twang
Wh’ gnawing vengeance,
Tearing my nerves wi’ bitter pang,
Like racking engines!”
Somewhat shaken, Charles walked on. Stopping at the last bed he looked at the patient. Being the future King and all, it was only polite of him to ask this patient how he too was progressing. With a froth of the mouth patient number three barked out,
“When Chapman billies leave the street,
And drouthy neebors neebors meet,
As market-days are wearing late,
An’ folk begin to tak the gate;
While we sit bousing at the nappy,
An’ getting fou and unco happy,
We think na on the lang Scots miles,
The mosses, waters, slaps and styles,
That lie between us and our hame,
Whare sits our sulky, sullen dame,
Gathering her brows like a gathering storm,
Nursing her wrath to keep it warm.
This truth fand honest Tam O Shanter,
As he frae Ayr ae nicht did canter:
(Auld Ayr, wham ne’er a town surpasses,
For honest men and bonie lasses.)”
A visibly bemused and perturbed Charles turned to his guide and inquired, “Where are we man? Is this some sort of mental ward?”
“No Sir,” came the reply. “This is the severe Burns Unit.”
You can have that one for free….
Here‘s lo-fi acoustic folk Scottish supergroup-of-sorts The Burns Unit doing a brand new song called Tupperware Pieces for last week’s Marc Riley show on BBC 6 Music. S’a cracker. (I stole the mp3 from Peenko – ta!)