2000 – “The Millennium”

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Bard’s Oration 2000 

The Millennium

 

T’was on an Autumn night last year

A summons – the members had tae hear

The AGM – it’s time is come

The last afore the millennium

But alas, my cronies on this date

Ah said I would be rather late

A statement made withoot compunction

For I had tae attend anither function

 

I arrived in time for my free supper

Haggis & Neeps –whit a topper

Then settled down mid welcome greeting

Tae hear the rest o the BBC meeting

Ae main feature was Burns nicht toasts

An while I have nae right tae boast

I really felt this was the richt occasion

For a very special bard’s oration

 

Lasses were mentioned, so were guests

Recitals promised an a the rest

But would ye believe nae consideration

Tae a Millennium Bard’s oration

I thocht tae masel have I done wrang

Has it been missed oot for a sang

For tho last years speech had got a plaudit

Dave Russell had failed tae understand it

 

Ah lookit around for inspiration

Or anither members contribution

Would anyone wi’ enlightened wit

Tell the Committee, they’d missed a bit

Wee Max aye blabbers at the show

But found that early he had tae go

Instead o making remarks quite fitting

He was needed for babysitting.

 

Then Glenbrook began tae huff and puff

Aboot schools poetry an sic like stuff

Yet McCaig, a man for a occasions

Didn’t mention the Bards Oration

I looked in vain tae the wise auld owl

Jim Tait that is, naebody’s fool

But even he, of tinkling laugh,

Concentrated on photographs

 

Young Grant was there, ready tae speak

Wi wine in hand, and through a cloud o reek

Blethered aboot yon Federation

But never spoke o the Bards Oration

Ken, oor cashier wha’s guid wi figures

A clever chiel, a man o letters

Drappit a wee in high estimation,

When he forgot the Oration 

 

The Secretary was heard tae quote

As he raised his heid fae making notes

O the supper arrangements ye hae the gist

An’ that’s the end o ma Toast list.

In vain I sought for an interjection

That micht bring aboot a quick correction

But before a solution cam tae ma croon

The Chairman banged his hammer doon

 

Later wi’ him ah took a cup

And said “The Bard’s Oration – Whit’s up”

An a at once he began tae back pedal

Saying Damn – Ah Forgot, wi getting ma medal

Weel, weel, ah thocht there’s a thing

I’ll complain, I’ll gie the PF a ring

But there again that’s no go

For he’ll dae as normal and mark it “No pro”

 

Then fae above there came a call

Jimmie dinna fash yersel

The Committee forgot – that’s nae surprise

They are no like me, Organised

Says I, is that the Lord ah hae tae thank

Nay, nay – it’s me, wee Willie Shanks

I wish Id been wae ye on that nicht

Masel or Eddie wad hae kept them richt.

 

Sae carry on and pen some verse

An’ mind noo, Jimmy – dinna curse

Ye canna blame them for nae mention

For they always act wi’ the best intention

Weel, withoot Committee delegation

On this nicht o celebration

Let me briefly try tae sum

Some points fae the past millennium

 

A thousan’ years o’ pain and strife

A thousan’ years o’ death an’ life

A millennium oft sad tae seen

But sometimes there, baith joy and glee

Days that were fu o grief and pain

Like Lockerbie and Dunblane

Slaughters that hurt ye tae the quick

Scots lost at Passchendaele and Dunkirk

 

Inventions far too much tae mention

Like the telephone and television

Politicians lost their reputation

Maistly through unlawful conjugation

Colonies that were hard tae keep

Experiments that produced Dolly the Sheep

An when ye think they’re busy as bees

They are on holiday – thae MSPS

 

Poets aye, and writers too

Thaur hae been many guid and true

Scotland gave the best they’d got

McGonagall and Sir Walter Scott

Bravehearts like the Bruce and Wallace

Met untimely deaths of course

An even men o lowly station

Made the world proud o’ a Scottish nation

 

Craftsmen, artisans they cad them

McIntosh, Hogg, and tar macadam

Industries through the country wide

Mining, and shipbuilding on the Clyde

But lest ye think I’m narrow minded

Such criticism twad be unfounded

For in science there was an almighty boon

When the Clan Armstrong stepped on the moon

 

In fitba terms there were some frowns

When Hibs went down tae Division 1

But things were on the up and up

When the Jambos won the Scottish Cup

An for Scottish rugby, it wad dae nae harm

Tae see a team tak anither Grand Slam

That’s jist a snatch o some things grand

Connected wi’ a sporting Scotland

 

A recent poll was held ye ken

Listing the virtues of lasses an men

An’ in this warld o mony turns

The pick o the Millennium – Robert Burns

Aye we’ve seen disasters, been through wars

Got topless pop stars, and gay bars

But in his time oor Bard did say

He’d live tae fecht anither day

 

An fecht forever, a that I’m sure

For the love of Burns works will endure

An’ certes we can predict

Cronies, we’ll hae mair Burns nichts

We’ll hae mair fun, we’ll hae mair tears

This nicht or in the coming years

An ma wish tae a for the next Millennium

Enjoy it a lads, while ye can

 

So noo I’ve had ma yearly say

Here, or live fae the USA

And you, ye Lords o the creation

Ne’er again forget the Bards Oration

Help me brithers, glass in hand

Wi’ a flourish baith sincere and grand

Tae yir feet, wi michty cheer

An’ toast the next 1000 years

 

Jimmy Johnstone

January 2000