A Lad o Pairts – –

Jack is late again – –

I love the Scots language and never miss an opportunity to explain the difference between Scots and English.

There’s one Scots phrase – a lad o pairts – that describes perfectly a particular old friend. It means someone who is excellent at many different skills.

Davy Lockhart was a lad o pairts – an acclaimed artist, fiddle player and poet. He was a central member of my old folk band ‘Heritage’ and traveled all over Europe with us from start to finish and always carried his paints and brushes in an inherited old WW2 kit bag along with his fiddle.

Hanging on our living room wall is my favorite Lockhart painting. It’s his take on the ancient story of Persephone as a Scottish lassie wearing a Kilmarnock bunnet.and with a rather thoughtful Pluto.

Shortly after he finished it he stumbled across a poem by Elspeth Buchanan who had been a student at Edinburgh College of Art at the same time as him. It is in Scots and on the same subject – a perfect match!

Persephone by Elspeth Buchanan

When I was there I gied Hell a richt red up,

Put a spoke in Ixion’s wheel,

Shone up Tantalasus’s tassie,

Telt Orpheus there’s nae lookin back.

I suin pit the peter on Cerberus,

That tyke wis jist needin telt,

Lets me bye noo, baith in an oot,

Wi oot worryin ony o his heeds.

Coorse Hades himself wis fair bumbazoolt,

Never kent that Hell could be that tidy.

Och! Niver mindit the puir brute,

A wee bit houghmagandie an a clean sark eence a week –

He’s weel content.

But ye ken whit mithers are, siccan a tuzie!

Nebody guid eneuch for her dochter.

Sae deilkens, it’s up bye

Tae gie her a haun wi her spring cleanin –

An suffer a hauf year o her flytin,

An I maun board the ferry back tae ma ain guidman,

Whaur he sits fidgin fain –

Neen the waur o sax months taiglement.

3 thoughts on “A Lad o Pairts – –

  1. Hi Jack and Wendy, I have followed your blog for years, ever since a friend gave me Wendy’s book “The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap” when I opened my own independent used bookstore in northern Utah (which unfortunately is no longer). I came to visit on my “way through” southern Virginia in 2016 and visited with Jack (Wendy was away); he steered me to a lovely campsite for the night. Loved both the bookstore and the book (and the campsite). Fast forward one or two years later and I tried (but was unable) to join you both on one of your wonderful sounding tours to Scotland (which I understand may now be on permanent hiatus). Now I am preparing to go to Scotland for my first visit; we hope to take in some music at the Orkney Islands music fest in May….How do we choose which act(s) to choose. Any suggestions? Also…one or two (more if you wish!) sights, sounds, tastes we should not miss….I trust your judgment more than ANYthing I might hear or read. Thank you so much in advance. BTW, yours is the one and only blog I have ever followed and I have never regretted it! Sincerely, Kathy Gantz PS: Please REPLY ALL so that I can get this on my new email as well…Thanks

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