Ma freen wis a big shoat gowfer
Noo fawin doon tae an auld loafer
Wha cam tae Bute tae retire the green
Whaur he’d won the Bennie at seeventeen.
Waaker Cup an Scottish Champ,
Noo he shuffles aboot like ony tramp
Wance he bate the Inglish, ten nane
They looed the pro wha recitet poems fur thaim.
Lit up their wunnerfu lives at kenspeckle dinners
An made them aw feel like gowfin winners.
How borin, tae live yer lives
Wi ten caurs up yer castle drive
A bank o yer ain and fower ‘wives’!
But when he cam here, did he get asked tae spout?
Niver a squeak! No near a shout.
Borin Burns Suppers is aw the rage here.
Gawn jist tae pit oan yer fancy gear
Staun aboot in yer moth-eaten kilt
Sportin a sporran and a skian du hilt,
Wi yer stummick hingin aw oot
A sneeze wid blaw ye doon aboot
So folk fa asleep afore the drinkin sterts
An thur weemen look ower thur men An compare them wi Rab and then?
They dream, an wish fur honest herts.
Weel, ah said tae ma freen, wha wis poppin mair pills
Than his contractin mind could coont his ills
It wid dae ye guid tae get on yer feet again an spout.
Mibbee yer brain cells wid resurrect that died out.
Weel, he hummed an he hawed and he blithered aroon
But the lang and the shoart is he cam richt roon.
So in his hoose wan nicht we aw met up─ The fowk in he’s buildin─ tae sit doon and sup.
Twalve were invitet for chairs were nae mair.
Twa wives cried aff wha were waashin thur hair.
An Big Dougie was in the pub that day
So he changed it tae the dae afore
An forgoat tae tell some wha cam niver more.
We hud smokit salmon an the haggis cam in.
An ma freen cut its throat and said a benedicshin.
Then ah, wha niver did ane afore,
Talked the heid aff the fowk
Aboot poetry. Whit it wis and wisnae.
Wis Rab a great poet? Ah said tae them aw.
Only ye can decide that query ataw.
Fur me, he’s a genius.
Ye’ll soon ken yersel when yer host gets tae his feet.
So we aw stood and toastet oor Rabbie a treat.
An then cam ma freen an telt us Tam o Shanter.
Aboot the drunken man oan the horse at a canter
Wha stopt at the blaze in Alloway Kirk that nicht
An the lass in a hanky ye could see thru fur the licht
Dancin wi warlocks, witches, bogles an Auld Nick An Tam, arouset, cried oot: ‘Weel done Cutty Sark!’
An the hale army a witchfolk set after Tam tae the park
Chaset him alang the road fae the toon
Richt tae the auld brig gins ower the Doon Whaur disaster struck….
It wis a masterfu performance! Immortal memoree.
Niver a stop, me sittin wi a buke waitin tae prompt.
Wan thing: Ma freen, a Paisley buddy, aye moanin aboot St Mirrin,
Left oot the yin mention o Paisley!
A gran nicht wis had bae aw.
An aw sober They clumb thur stairs in high glee.
William Scott, 13.1.2017