• April 2017
    M T W T F S S
    « Sep    
     12
    3456789
    10111213141516
    17181920212223
    24252627282930
  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 284 other followers

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Recent Posts


  • Reviewers’ Comments

    "Great read every day. Makes me smile as Rab muses about music and his irreverent views on the EU. Tune in, you won't be disappointed."

    "Excellent 'Blog' which can be controversial at times, while maintaining it's humour. Keep it up Big Rab!"

    "Updated every day with doses of good humour, political satire, a running commentary on the progress of author's home football team and his life."

    "Pure brilliant, so it is - I never miss it, though God knows, I've tried."

    "An inspiration to start my own blog"

    "For dipping into it's better than pakora sauce"

    "Anyone who doesn't like the EU and has a soft spot for Albion Rovers can't be all bad"

    "Facile and False"

    "Populist,puerile and prosaic"

    "Utter pish! Keep it up, I love it!"

    "People may also find the Ben Lomond Free Press blog illuminating, interesting and/or amusing. It’s not mentalist as such but familiar themes emerge. I particularly like accounts of encounters with strange elementals (of course! ELEmentals!) from elfin safety. And the fact that the blog is run by someone who plays in a blues band called Harmonica Lewinsky."

  • Hit Me!

    • 1,284,440 hits since January 2008
  • Top Rated

Heid

This is a reconstructed life sized ‘heid’ of Robert Burns we encountered at Mauchline on Saturday.

P1050044

Going by contemporary descriptions and depictions of Burns, this is not what I imagined at all.

This ‘classical’ engraved image of the bard was by John Buego, a friend of Burns in 1787.

buego

This image was commissioned for the publication of Burns’s Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, published by William Creech that year.

It is said that Burns was very pleased with the print and that he wrote to Beugo to congratulate him on it. In a copy of the book given to a friend he wrote the following lines.

bard

This image by Archibald Skirving two years after Burns death, bears a striking resemblance to the Buego work.

skirving

One wonders what Rabbie would have thought of the ‘heid’ in Mauchline?

Thanks to the excellent Alexandria Burns Club Website

Bletherin’ Bitch

BELOW thir stanes lie Jamie’s banes;
  O Death, it’s my opinion,
Thou ne’er took such a bleth’rin bitch
  Into thy dark dominion!

Robert Burns writing about his friend James Humphrey.

Epitaph on a Noisy Polemic

In fact Humphrey outlived Burns by 48 years so the epitaph was written well in advance of the event of Humphrey’s death in 1844.

I was at the Mauchline Holy Fair yesterday and noticed this in the churchyard:

P1050069

Humphrey, a stone-mason from Mauchline who was employed at both Lochlie and Mossgiel.

He was interviewed by Allan Cunningham in 1834, and recalled Burns with affection, indeed he was flattered even to have been on the receiving end of his poetic dig.

Humphrey had a degree of education and would sometimes engage Burns in debate, hence the subject of the epitaph.

It was also included as one of the epitaphs in the Kilmarnock edition.

I found this on a search:

bletherin

Mauchline Holy Fair

Here stands a shed to fend the show’rs,
An’ screen our countra gentry;
There Racer Jess, an’ twa-three whores,
Are blinkin at the entry.
Here sits a raw o’ tittlin jads,
Wi’ heaving breast an’ bare neck;
An’ there a batch o’ wabster lads,
Blackguarding frae Kilmarnock,
For fun this day.

Robert Burns “The Holy Fair” 1786

There were over 70 stalls, street theatre, concerts and exhibitions.

Mauchline, where Burns lived for four years is a treasure chest of history for anyone interested in the bard. For example this is Poosie Nansie’s

In Poosie-Nansie’s held the splore,
To drink their orra duddies;
Wi’ quaffing an’ laughing,
They ranted an’ they sang,
Wi’ jumping an’ thumping,
The vera girdle rang,

The Jolly Beggars (For Love and Liberty)

In the churchyard, there were several graves bearing familiar names

The grave of William Fisher, aka Holy Willie

The grave of Mary Morrison who died when she was only 20 years old.

Oh Mary wouldst thou wreck his peace who for thy sake would gladly die
Or wouldst thou break that heart o’ his wha’s only faut was lovin’ thee
If love for love thou wiltnae gie at least be pity to me shown
A thocht ungentle cannae be the thocht o’ Mary Morrison

Burns wrote the poem/song about Mary when she was only 16.

One of the most poignant graves was that of Jean Armour and four Burns children (two sets of twin girls) who died  in infancy. The eldest of the four was not yet three when she died.

Capercaillie played an excellent version of this at the end of their one hour show:

Anyone within travelling distance should put this event in their diaries for next year.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.