St Andrew’s Day 2018

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 29th November 2018.

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Photo of Peter Chapman Peter Chapman Conservative

Like the other members who have spoken,

I am pleased to speak in today’s debate, which celebrates Scottish culture, ethnic origin, heritage and inclusiveness. I am delighted that this year’s theme is make someone’s day

. From across the chamber, we have heard stories of members’ backgrounds and experience; I would like to share my Doric culture by reciting a poem by a Mr George Dunbar, about a party that was held on St Andrew’s night. The huge amounts of food and drink that were consumed on the night are amazing, and I hope that my reading of the poem makes the day of at least some members.

I have always said that there are some great poems written in the Doric: the best stand comparison with anything that has been written in the English language. Unfortunately, the poem that I am about to read is not one of them. [


.] I am using it today because it focused on St Andrew’s night. On another occasion, I might be able to give members some of the real quality stuff that has been written in Doric. When I recite a poem, I usually do it from memory—I learn the poem. Unfortunately, I have not had time to learn “St Andrew’s Night”.

When bauld St Andrew’s nicht cam’ roon

A core foregethered i’ the toon

Tae hae a rant or lilt a tune,

An’ teem a jovial jorum.

They suppit kail an’ gweed kail brose,

Whilk needs nae praise in rhyme or prose,

Till faces low’t like reidest rose,

Or kaim o’ cockalorum.

Comes cock-a-leekie gweedly fairin’,

An’ haddies sweet, an’ caller herrin’,

There was eneuch for a’, an’ sparin',

As fest as thrapples store ‘em.

Syne cam’ the haggis, het an’ reekin’,

Its spicy guff ilk nose was seekin’,

An’ nae a tongue had room for speakin’

Till nippies swack did score ’em.

The rossen breist o’ some fat nowt

That aft ’mang juicy girss did rowt,

The dell a ane o’ them wad flout,

But scowft what was afore ’em.

Noo sheep’s heid roon the table creeps,

Alang wi’ birsled tattles, neeps,

An’ whang o’ ither stuff in heaps;

Some winnert whaur they’d store ’em.

Wi’ feesant here, an’ peertricks there,

Stoot mealie puddens an’ tae spare,

Ye wad’ a’ thocht some had nae ser’,

Sae he’rty they did lower ’em.

Neist rich plum duff an’ aipple tairt,

An’ trumlin’ tarn sae sweetly ser’t

Gart ilka chiel pray tae be spare’t

Tae form the happy quorum.

Some noo made wye their teeth tae pyke,

Some crackit nilts an’ jist sic like,

While tongues were bizzin’ like a byke,

Wi’ naething noo tae bore ’em.

Wi’ sang an’ news the ’oors sped by,

While pleasure beamed in ilka eye,

An’ care gaed wannerin’ wi’ a sigh

Ayont aul’ Cairngorum.

A deoch-an-dorris, nane may doot,

Was quaff’t afore they daunert oot,

Whaur shone the meen’s sharp-nibbit snoot;

Some swore they saw a score o’

An’ so wi’ sang an’ he’rtsome cheer,

Wi’ auld acquaintance aye sae dear,

They heild St Andrew’s nicht, this ’ear,

As ithers did afore ’em.

I hope at least some members enjoyed that, and that some could understand it. I need little encouragement to speak Doric, and I rarely do an after-dinner speech without doing a poem or a bothy ballad.

It is great to see such vibrant and varying Scottish culture in the chamber today. The debate has been a great opportunity to express and display our wide variety of culture and experiences of St Andrew’s day.

I will touch on another part of our shared culture. Part of our shared culture is our flag: the saltire is the flag of Scotland. Ahead of St Andrew’s day tomorrow, it is important to get behind the

#E veryonesFlag campaign. It is not a flag that belongs to one political party, one belief or that pushes one agenda or political persuasion. It is everyone’s flag.