This year I have invited my teams to a virtual Burns night on Monday.
‘Please bring your favourite poem/ song/dance by Burns or any of his contemporaries or similar Scottish music. Burns was prolific and one of the joys of his work is that you can find a poem or a view from him on just about anything. If you can find his view on Brexit ‘While Europe’s eye is fix’d on mighty things’, COVID ‘Tae a virus’ , lockdown ‘Here’s friends locked doon on baith sides o’ the firth’, working from home, social distancing ‘Gin a body meet a body, catching Covid, Aye?’, face coverings ‘Fair fa’ your honest, covered face…’, well-being, hobbies, black lives, sourdough, furlough, home-schooling ‘The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley’, Teams ‘To see oursels as others see us!’ or elearning you’ll win a fab prize.’
Haggis is just haggis, a smile is just a smile.
Our virtual Burns Night featured beautiful music performances from Lauren (Wild Mountainside) and Lorraine ( The Silver Tassie), and the suggestion that we all upload pictures of our haggis dinners to Wikipedia.
During the evening a number of lost Burns manuscripts were given their first public performance. A selection is curated below:
When chapman billies leave the street
And drouthy neebors video meet
As Waitrose delivery is running late
An’ folk begin to accept their fate;
While we sat boozing at the telly
And getting fou and awfy smelly
We think na on the lang Scots miles.
The fit bit steps we tracked with smiles
That lie between us and our hame
Whare sits our sulky sullen dame
Gathering her brows like gathering storm
Nursing her Deliveroo to keep it warm.
So, Shall Distance
This tale o’ truth I shall read,
woman and mother’s son take heed;
Whene’er to drink you are inclin’d,
Or social joys run in your mind,
Think! ye may buy joys for now
But wi’ mair pox horrible and awfu’,
Three lawyers says it is unlawfu’.
We think na on the lang Scots miles,
The mosses, waters, slaps, and styles,
That lie between us and our hame in argyle house,
Ah, gentle dames! it gars me greet,
To think how many counsels sweet,
How many lengthen’d, sage advices,
The workers wish the boss, consise is.
That dreary hour she opens Teams in;
On such a night she was online in.
The storm without might rair and rustle,
Karen did na mind the storm a whistle.
Till first ae system, syne anither,
Gave up working a’ thegither,
And roars out, “Media Hopper doesnae work!”
And in an instant all was dark:
And scarcely had she Liam rallied,
When out the hellish legion sallied.
As bees bizz out wi’ angry fyke,
When plundering herds assail their byke;
As eager runs the market-crowd,
When “Catch the thief!” resounds aloud;
So Karen runs, the witches follow,
Wi’ mony an eldritch skriech and hollo.
To LISC Ah, Karen thou’ll get thy fairin’!
In ITC they’ll roast thee like a herrin’!
And KSC awaits thy commin’!
The Cotter’s Night Locked In
O Scotia! my dear, my native soil!
For whom my warmest wish to Heaven is sent,
Long may thy hardy staff of IT toil
Be blest with health, and peace, and sweet open content!
And O! may Heaven their simple lives prevent
From covid’s contagion, weak and vile!
Then howe’er crowns and coronets be rent,
A virtuous populace may rise the while,
And stand a wall of fire around their much-lov’d isle.