Bard’s Oration 1981

by Alex

This was the Oration written and presented by Club Bard, Willie Shanks,

on the occasion of the Club’s centenary supper on Saturday 24th January 1981.

In the village of Balerno,

a hundred years has gaen,

Since the Burns Club started,

Wi’ a wheen of stalwart men.

They gathered in the Grey Horse Inn,

On a wild bleak, winter’s night,

Ower a wee drap o’ the cratur,

In twinkling candlelight.

When a man barged in frae Currie,

Weet and white wi’ snaw,

When someone shouted “shut that door,”

He answered “Let it Blaw.”

They sang the sangs o’ Rabbie,

And quoted o’ his verse,

Sin vowed they’d hae a supper,

Tae honour him nae less.

They ca’d the Landlord tae their side,

And telt him o’ their plan,

He said “aye” maist heartily,

They agreed tae a man.

In twa weeks time aroond the board,

Sat a dozen men and mair,

Drank deep the guid John Barleycorn,

And toasted loud and clear.

Here’s tae oor honest ploughman bard,

Ill fated micht he be,

He left us a’ a legacy,

We’ll honour till we dee.

The haggis, neeps and tatties,

Piped in wi’ fervent care,

Auld Scotland’s best o’ victuals,

Guid and halesome fare.

In two years time they realised,

The Club’s name had spread afar,

Frae then they kept a record,

A’ thro the World War,

Nae doot it’s had its ups and doons,

And thocht whiles aff the rails

When burstin’ wi’ new energy

On seas, calm water sails,

Its venue’s oft’ been shifted,

Whiles been barged aboot,

But what on earth, it’s nane the waur,

O’ getting a new look.

I can see in the Club’s Bicentenary,

When men have reached the stars,

They’ll honour still oor ploughman bard,

As they look doon frae afar,

Long may oor Club continue,

Wi’ men no’ born the day,

And celebrate auld Scotland’s Bard,

In its same auld happy way.

Wm. R. Shanks