Burns Supper in Bute: Ben the Hoose


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