Mudcat Café message #101056 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #12515   Message #101056
Posted By: Celtic-End Singer
30-Jul-99 - 11:20 PM
Thread Name: Origin: Flower of Scotland (Roy Williamson)
Subject: Lyr Add: A MAN'S A MAN FOR A' THAT (Robert Burns)
I've heard worse. But I have to agree, never National Anthem class. You see, it's like I was saying, that song was just about what Scotland is (Glens, rivers and all that). It wasn't about what Scotland could be. A free, independent, socially just, modern European nation with liberty and equality for all. This is why the best nation anthems are those which are written after major historical events.

The Soviet anthem I mentioned is like this, written after the October revolution; it's all about the passion of that bold, new confident social philosophy which was National Socialism. The American anthem was written after a US victory over the British in a battle at Baltimore. The Irish national anthem was written after the '23. The Spanish couldn't agree to the words of their national anthem after the civil war and still don't have any, the song says so much about Spain because of that, and so on.

As far as historical events in Scotland go, the biggest won for 300 years since the act of Union was last month when the Parliament reconvened after 292 years of Westminster rule. What really moved me recently was when the SNP (Scottish National Party- Left wing independence party and official opposition to the Government in Scotland) had their way at the new Parliament's opening ceremony and Robert Burns' brilliant anthem to Scottish and internationalist egalitarianism was sung. It brought nationalist tears to my eye. I posted it below; let me know what you think.


A MAN'S A MAN FOR A' THAT
(Robert Burns)

Is there for honest Poverty
That hings his head, and a' that?
The coward-slave, we pass him by,
We dare be poor for a' that!
For a' that, and a' that,
The rank is but the guinea's stamp,
The Man's the gowd for a' that!

What though on hamely fare we dine,
Wear hoddin grey, and a' that;
Gie fools their silks and knaves their wine,
A Man's a Man for a' that:
For a' that, and a' that,
Their tinsel show, and a' that;
The honest man, tho' e'er sae poor,
Is king o' men for a' that!

Ye see yon birkie ca'd a lord,
Wha struts, and stares, and a' that,
Though hundreds worship at his word,
He's but a coof for a' that:
For a' that, and a' that,
His ribband, star and a' that;
The man of independent mind
He looks and laughs at a' that.

A prince can mak a belted knight,
A marquis, duke and a' that;
But an honest man's aboon his might-
Gude faith, he mauna fa' that!
For a' that, and a' that,
Their dignities, and a' that;
The pith o' sense and pride o' worth
Are higher rank than a' that!

Then let us pray that come it may-
As come it will for a' that-
That Sense and Worth, o'er a' the earth,
May bear the gree, and a' that.
For a' that, and a' that,
It's comin' yet for a' that,
That Man to Man the world o'er,
Shall brothers be for a' that!

hings = hangs
a'that = all that
hamely = homely
hoddin grey = course home-made woollen cloth
birkie = lad, fellow
ca'd = called
coof = fool, ninny
mak = make
aboon = above
Gude = good
maunna fa' = must not
bear the gree = bear the supremacy

I love it dearly!