Oor Ain Bards

WALCUM oul freens, this week A wus up tha toon whun A rin intae twa oul cretters wha admitted tae readin ma bletherins ivery week. Weel “lawny kitty,” A thocht “A hae follaers an no yin bit twa o’ thum.”

Kenny Rodgers maun haed it richt whun hae said, ‘”thurs sim yin fer ivery yin.”

Ay, A dae ma best tae entertain ye’s ivery week, whyles lukkin bak an whyles lukkin forward. Bit tha mere A’m jist an oul bletherer that haes nae pretensions haes oanythin else, thur’s yin thing A dae lik tae dae ivery noo an again. An that’s tae point folk tae thon wha ir gifted scrivers o’ tha hamely tongue; poets, writers an historians hoo hae an eloquent command o’ tha language. Folk that use oor ain leid tae it’s fu advantage. That ken hoo tae wurk it’s humour, it’s tone, it’s instinctive affinity wi rural life.

An nane better thon tha Bard o’ Ballycarry, James Orr (1770-1816). Orr wrote in English an Ulster-Scots an wus tha maist weel ken’t o’ tha Ulster Rhymin Weavers.

Lik maist o’ tha country poets at that time haes wurk is near aa aboot, daily leevin and tha study o’ rural practices, wi tha odd verse oan tha natural world, fluers, fowl an tha lich.

Amang haes best an maist weel ken’t poems is, ‘To The Potatoe’. In tha first verse Orr ootlines tha importance o’ tha staple.

I ledge we’d fen gif fairly quat o’

The weed we smoke, an’ chow tha fat o’;

An’ wadna grudge to want the wat o’

Wealth-wastin’ tea;

But leeze me on the precious Pratoe,

My country’s stay!

Hooaniver ma favourite verse cums near tha een. Tha halesim, domestic scene fair lapes fae tha page an wae can near smell tha scons es the’ cool.

Sweet in the mornin’’, after dashlin’,

Thy daigh is, pouther’t owre wi’ mashlin;

Creesh’t scons stan’ pil’t on plates, or brislin’

A’ roun’ the ingle,

While a fand Wifie fast is fislin,

A tea-cups jingle.

Tae nixt time lang may yer lum reek an yer spicket dribble. Fer mere oul bletherins oor tae fin oot mere aboot tha Rhyming Weavers ye can tak a wee gleek at www.lowcountrylad.blogspot.com