Stamps issued in 1996 to commemorate the bi-centenary of Robert Burns death, depicting some of the Bards’ greatest and most loved works. Donated by past president G. Grant.
The Stranger and the ‘Alamo’. ( A ‘Spirited’ Tale)
Ae nicht, ‘twas no’ that lang ago,
Twa month syne, or it micht be three,
As I gaed on the road tae the ‘Alamo’,
A stranger stops, an’ says tae me,
“My fiere, I trust that you will pardon me,
Gif I delay you on your way,
But whaur now wad the best pub be,
In this auld toon o’ Paisley?”
“A stranger ye are indeed,” says I,
“In mair than yin wey that’s made plain,
Ye’ve a manner and speech o’ a day lang gane by,
But your request sir, has no’ been in vain,
Come awa’, on wi’ me, it’s no’ very far,
Doon the street, through the Park, on we wended,
And when we arrived at the ‘Alamo’ bar,
Says I, “your search for ‘the best pub’ has ended!
There’s ‘atmosphere’ here, and great company too,
First– rate service, civility, guid cheer,
There’s daffin’, and laughin’, and some micht get fu’,
And why no’? sure they’re here for the beer!
But, apairt frae the drinking in this special pub,
Whaur guid fowk spend the hours, free o’ care,
We’ve a weel kent, and Federated Burns’ Club,
Och!, there’s nane like it in these pairts, I’m shair”.
“Aye”, says the stranger, with a pensive-like smile,
“In this pub, I see a’ men meet as brithers,
Lang may they continue, and build a’ the while,
Their Club, as an example tae ithers,
For there’s mony a gathering o’ gey orra folk,
That ca’ themselves ‘ kindred tae Burns’,
Their shams and their knavery wad “mak a’ sow boak”,
Yet they catch ‘ fortunes’ smiles’ as she turns”.
“Now, I give you a Toast, ‘Tae the pub, and your Club,
May they prosper, and earn Fortune’s fame,
For within sic a place as this frien’ly wee pub,
Scotias’ Bard would indeed, ‘feel at hame’,
“I maun leave ye a’ now, I’ve a lang road to gae”,
Said the stranger, donnong his coat, worn and shabby,
“But, keep mind o’ me, for we will a’ meet again some day,
My name, Sir?, och!, just ca’ me ‘Rabbie’!!!
Written by past president Bill Williamson.
THE ALAMO BURNS CLUB www.alamoburnsclub.org.uk
Stories, Jokes & Anecdotes and many other items of interest!! Page 1 of 5
Tae a Curry
(With apologies to Rabbie)
Fair fa’ ye, suspicious-looking mess!
What’s in ye? I cannae really guess
What yer reekin mass may contain;
Or which new biological group
Cold evolve from yer primordial gloop
And would it have a brain?
If yer veg are fried beyond all taste
Just add a touch o’ curry paste
And serve wi’ pilau rice;
How a touch of Madras sauce
Transforms the blandest main course
To one of zest and spice.
My Big Kilmarnock Bonnet
When I resolved tae lee the ploo’, I said tae fermer Broon
The money ah hae workit fur, wid ye kindly lay it doon,
This efternin ah mean tae be in Glesga toon by hauf past three,
I,ve been ower lang a gawky in the country.
Wi’ ma big Kilmarnock bunnet as I run tae catch the train,
I’ll never forgat the trick that wis played on me by Sandy Lane,
Says he ma freen when ye get tae the toon spear ye fur Katie Broon
She bides et number eighty street in Glesga.
When ah stepped aff the Glesga train, the first young man ah met,
Ah speared tae him quite sevely could you show me eighty street,
Wi that he dauded me on the lug, he said “Dae ye tak me fur a mug
Young man yer gaun tae meet yer match in Glesga.”
Ah met up wi a bonnie lass dressed in a stripped frock,
She speared tae me quite cheerily “Is that you Jock”
Yer big Kilmarnock’s awfy plum come on an staun me a daudle o’ rum
An I’ll show ye the muckle street o’ Glesga.
Noo the lassie in the stripped frock and her neighbour Katie Bane
As long as I live and hope tae dee I’ll never see them again.
They Left me wi’ my breeks and shirt, my big Kilmarnock covered wi muck
Wi rowin the muckle streets o’ Glesga.
© 2008 Alamo Burns Club.
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A Vision of Burns
In thinking ower, whit I should dae,
(Or rather, whit I’d like to say),
To Mark our visit here today,
I really find,
That, naething new, in ony way,
Comes tae my mind.
So here, you ha’e a novel theme,
A nicht wi’ Burns, was it a dream?
Ae nicht when musing a’ my lane,
A tap cam’ to my window pane
And, keekin’ oot, in blashin’ rain,
I saw a form,
The figure o’ a man, quite plain,
Amid the storm.
Wha he could be I failed tae guess,
I was bamboozled mair or less,
Was’t a puir body in distress?
Some ghost or wraith?
I felt right nervous, I confess
And dreaded skaith.
Than lo! A rap cam tae the door,
Thinks I, this seems an unco splore,
But, walkin’ briskly ower the floor,
The sneck I drew,
Then, there a face I’d seen before,
Cam’ into view.
Cauldrife he looked, says I “Come ben,
And sit ye doon at the fire- en’,
Your honest face, I seem tae ken,
But canna name ye,”
Quo’ he, “Upon my book and pen,
I couldna blame ye”
“Guidman” says he , ye may not know it,
I’m Rabbie Burns, auld Scotias poet,
Come back tae pey a debt, I owe it,
Tae some aul’ cronies,
I’m on my way, respect tae show it,
At “Souter Johnnies”.
I stood, dumfounert, in a fricht,
I scarcely could believe my sicht,
An’, geed my specs a wee bit dicht,
Syne speered, “Why is it,
That ye ha’e waled this toosie night
Tae pey your visit?”
“But, a’ the same, I’m pleased tae see ye,
Altho’ I havena much tae gie ye,
Come! Gi’es your crack, an’ hoo’s a’ wi’ ye,
In your sojourns.
Man! I never thocht in life tae see ye,
Great Rabbie Burns.
There’s no’ a drap in my decanter,
Tae drink the health o’ ‘Tam o’ Shanter’,
But, let us ha’e your crack and banter,
The night is lang,
An hours’ confab wi’ “Rab the Ranter”
Will no’ gae wrang.
“Weel, weel” says Burns “I’ve come tae see,
What modern bodies think o’ me,
If I have, by posterity,
Been right acclaimed,
And prove, a poet needs tae ‘dee’,
Before he’s famed.
At this I said, “Tak’ this frae me,
Your fame has traivelled ower the sea,
And wheresoever Scots folk be,
Your very name,
Brings memories that will never dee,
And thochts o’ hame”.
Burns, wi’ a twinkle in his e’e,
Gied a bit hotch, and winked at me,
“The times are muckle changed,” said he,
“since I was here,
Things are nae what they used tae be,
On that I’m clear”.
“Sma’ wonder, folk are noo tee-total,
Wi’ whisky at seven poun’ a bottle,
Diluted stuff, no’ worth “a dottle”,
As maist folk think,
The price itsel’s enough tae throttle,
Ony crave for drink!
“The very roads are smooth as ice,
What wad ha’e been macadams’ price,
Tae mak rough country tracks sae nice?
I’ll no’ surmise,
On them I’ve cowpit, aince or twice!
That’s nae surprise!”
“Then, a’ this bizzin’ in the air,
Big airyplanes that g’aur me stare,
And motors scootin’ everywhere,
I ha’e tae jink,
I’m nearly pushioned, I declare,
Wi’ their fell stink.”
“In fact, wi’ a’ thae novelties, I’m weary,
The warl’ has turned tapsilteerie,
The auld days seemed tae me mair cheery,
When folk took time,
Tae, sing and jest, tho’ whiles gey waery,
Or string a rhyme.”
I speered if he had met the de’il,
He said he had, an’ kent him weel,
And ne’er had met a finer chiel,
Than “Nicky Ben”
Wha was nae mair a ‘ne’er dae weel’,
Then ither men!
He also said, “For some time past,
‘Auld Clootie’s Forge’ is oot o’ blast,
And that, his trade was now owercast,
Just like oor ain,
The ‘Brimstane Job’ was done at last
He said, quite plain.
“His foreman stoker, ‘Holy Wullie’,
Wha, at the job, was unco skilly,
Is noo living up wi’ a jaud in ‘Killie’,
Ca’d Peggy Bole,
He ‘Got the seck’, and noo that ‘Billie’
Is on the dole.”
His hot plate, wi’ the grill on tap,
An’ a’ his graith, he’s selt for scrap.
Tae J. McGinn, a “Killie” chap,
A man o’ metal,
Wha, in some cupula will pap
Ilk pot and kettle!
I then asked Rab, just for a lark,
Whit had become o’ “Cutty Sark”,
Quo’ he, “Wheesht frien’ come , keep it dark,
Your modern flirts,
Noo pose and preen I may remark,
In shorter skirts!”
Said he,”I ca’d on Poosie Nancy’,
The ‘Jolly Beggers’ met in fancy,
I joined aince mair in some Scotch Dansey,
Amang the tinkers,
And reveled in tales o’ necromancy,
Frae auld time drinkers.”
“Syne staff in haun’, I daunered roon,
The banks and braes o’ bonnie Doon,
An’ peyed a visit tae Ayr Toun,
Sae neat and trig,
And viewed Ayr’s gurglin’ waters broon
At the Auld Brig”.
“Nae further gane than yestermorn,
I viewed the fields whaur grew the corn,
And the auld cot, where I was born,
In Fifty nine,
Aince a clay biggin’ grey, an’ forlorn,
But now, my shrine!
“I’m prood tae ken, that, gathered there,
And guarded, wi’ right zealous care,
Are our bit ‘Dresser’ and the chair,
On which I sat,
Jeans’ crockery and earthenware,
And auld ‘kail pat’”.
“These humble chattels I possessed,
At thousands now, ha’e been assessed,
And pilgrims frae baith east an’ west,
Such relics view,
Not knowing how much I was oppressed,
When these were new,”
“Tae me, memorials one by one,
Have been erected since I’ve gone,
In polished granite, marble, stone,
All deftly carved,
While I, despised, my worth unknown,
In life, nigh starved.”
“If half their value had been wared,
On me when living, I’d been spared,
The sleepless nights, my partner spared,
Might ne’er hae been.
Nor I, Laiin Dumfries Kirkyaird,
When life was green.”
“Before I left this mundane sphere,
I prophesied, wi’ vision clear,
To ‘Bonnie Jean,’ as death drew near,
And I neglected,
That, when had flown twice fifty year,
I’d be respected.”
“Tae sum up a’, my mind’s relieved,
Tae ken how much has been achieved,
An’ that, some notions I conceived,
For mankinds good,
Ha’e been, at long and last believed,
He, rising said, “Tis wearin’ late,
It’s time, I think, tae tak the gate,
I’ve had a rest, at ony rate,
At your fireside.
And, man canna’ as I somewhere state,
‘stem time nor tide’ “.
Wi’ that, the clock upon the wa’
Cart me start up, by chapping ‘Twa’,
I found my visitor awa’,
The hearthstone cauld.
But what that nicht I heard and saw,
Has noo been tauld!
This is how Sir Walter Scott (who was 16 when he met him) described Burns:
Burns was a notorious ladies man. For example, in 1785 he fathered an illegitimate child, Bess Paton, on his mother's servant while courting a woman, Jean Armour, who would later become his wife. Jean bore him twins in 1786 but her father would not consent to their marriage. Later that same year, Burns was making plans to emigrate to Jamaica with Mary Campbell (immortalised as 'Highland Mary'). Whilst Burns was finalising the emigration arrangements, Mary died. The cause of her death was unclear but it has been suggested she may have died in childbirth. There were further flirtations before he married Jean Armour in 1788. She bore him nine children of which three survived to adulthood. All those unmarried girls dropping their knickers for him! He must have been quite a guy.
Burns Statue at the Fountain Gardens, Paisley. (in winter!)
Some hae meat and canna eat, And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat, Sae let the Lord be thankit.
The Mausoleum dedicated to Burns.
The interior of the ‘Burns House’ where Burns died on 21st July 1796, and his wife ’Bonnie Jean’ continued to reside until her death in 1834.
Not until 25th January, 1966 did the British postal authorities commemorate Burns, this year being the 170th anniversary of his death. The stamp designs are based on Skirving's chalk drawing (4d value) and the Nasmyth portrait (1/3).
The first stamps to commemorate Robert Burns were issued by the Soviet Union in 1956, on the 160th anniversary of the poet's death.
Three years later, the 40 kopek brown-and-blue stamp was overprinted "1759 - 1959" and issued in commemoration of the bicentenary of his birth.
Also in 1959, Romania issued the above stamp as part of a series on cultural anniversaries.
Burns House, Dumfries.
Archie was in poor health. He asked his friend Sandy if he would pour a bottle of whiskey over his grave if he should die one of these days.
Sandy said, 'Sure'n I'll be glad, laddie, but would you mind if I passed it through my kidneys first?'
A woman woke her husband in the middle of the night and told him "there is a burglar downstairs in the kitchen and he is eating the cake that my mother made for us."
A man who hated his mother-in-law got three wishes from a genie.
The government is sneaky. They raise the tax on alcohol, then make sure that the country is in such a mess that you drink more
Wife: What do you mean coming home half drunk at this time of night?
It first occurred to me that our marriage might be in trouble when my wife won an all expenses paid trip for two to Hawaii - and she went twice.
If you gave every human on earth an equal portion of dry land (including uninhabitable areas), everyone would get a plot of land roughly 150 metres by 150 metres.
In the 1700's beer was drunk with every meal. It was purer than water, but by the middle of the century tea began to rival alcohol and there was a significant fall in the death rate caused by alcohol related diseases.
Tam o'Shanter might never have written if Burns had not met Captain Grose.
Grose was in Scotland collecting material for his forthcoming book. The Antiquities of Scotland. Burns took to this fat, jovial man and asked him to include a sketch of Alloway Kirk, where Burns father was buried, in the publication. Grose, who was interested in the supernatural, agreed but on condition that Burns pen a story on witches. The result was Tam o'Shanter which was reputedly written in one afternoon on the banks of the river Nith.
There are two statues in George Square, Glasgow which represent Scottish Poets. One is to Thomas Campbell who was so famous that he was buried in Poets Corner in Westminster Abbey, London.
Burns had 12 children of whom 9 were to Jean Armour. Of the other three, the first, Dear Bought Bess, was to Elizabeth Paton, and was brought up by Burns mother. She returned to her own mother after Burns died.
Tae a Fart
(with apologies again to Rabbie)
Oh whit a sleekit horrible beastie