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.