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  • The origins of the Scots language - in English
    The origins of the Scots language - in English An introduction to the tongues, peoples and events that shaped the earliest history of the Scots language.


    Production/Animation: Laura Bowles

    Script: The FITS team (Rhona Alcorn, Vasilis Karaiskos, Joanna Kopaczyk, Bettelou Los, Warren Maguire, Benjamin Molineaux)

    Voiceovers: Rhona Alcorn (Scottish English) and Hamish MacDonald (Scots)

    Scots Translation: Derrick McClure

    Music: “Pentland Hills” by James Oswald (in arrangements by Alistair Hardie and David Johnson) performed by Alistair Hardie.
  • Minding Our Language - Ulster-Scots  (Part 1)
    Minding Our Language - Ulster-Scots (Part 1) Tim McGarry investigates the origins of the Scots & Ulster-Scots language.
  • Minding Our Language  - Uster-Scots (part 2)
    Minding Our Language - Uster-Scots (part 2) Comedian Tim McGarry continues his investigation into the origins of the Scots & Ulster-Scots language.
  • The Guid Scots Tongue - Robert McNeil
    The Guid Scots Tongue - Robert McNeil Program four in the series Story of English follows the thread of the Gaelic tongue as it is practiced by the Scottish, following the influx of the Scots into Ireland beginning with the reign of James I, and the subsequent influence of Scottish influence on English. This episode of the series contains footage of the Robert Burns Literary and Debating society, including a toast and a rendition of {&"Auld Lang Syne."} Other Scottish accents are highlighted in Ireland. Appalachian English and Southern English are featured, as the Appalachian accent is considered by some to be a direct descendent of the Scotch-Irish who immigrated to America. Robert McNeil hosts.
  • Scots Language - West Central Dialect
    Scots Language - West Central Dialect The day we’re goin tae be talkin aboot West Central dialect spoken in the region o ginger boattles, the Falls o the Clyde, an Burns
  • Robert Burns - The Soldiers Return [Ian Bruce]
    Robert Burns - The Soldiers Return [Ian Bruce] The Soldiers Return
    Written By: Robert Burns
    Performed By: Ian Bruce

    This is a poem that Robert Burns wrote. My dad and I really like it, but it was kinda hard to understand with the Scots spelling and phrases in it. So, I took it, and modified it into more understandable English. (I'll add the rest of the English lyrics later)

    For anyone who is interested, the link below this line is a site all about Robert Burns:
    That specific link will send you to a page with the track listing and the names of all the singers of all 12 albums Landmark recording has released about Burns, all 368 of his songs. This song was taken from Volume 2, so you can scroll down to there if you want to.

    The song tells about how a soldier is returning home from a war, and meeting up with his old girlfriend. He changes his voice to trick her, and she soon realizes it's him.

    Below are the lyrics in both the original Scots-English and, as mentioned above, a modified version set to normal English that my father and I came up with. English lyrics will be in brackets, (like this).

    When wild war's deadly blast was blown,
    (When wild war's deadly blast was blown,)
    And gentle Peace returning.
    (And gentle Peace returning.)
    Wi' mony a sweet babe fatherless,
    (With many a sweet babe fatherless,)
    And mony a widow mourning,
    (And many a widow mourning,)
    I left the lines and tented field,
    (I left the lines and tented field,)
    Where lang I'd been a lodger;
    (Where long I'd been a lodger;)
    My humble knapsack a' my wealth,
    (My humble knapsack all my wealth,)
    A poor and honest sodger.
    (A poor and honest soldier.)

    A leal light heart beat in my breast,
    My hands unstain'd wi' plunder;
    For fair Scotia hame again,
    I cheery on did wander.
    I thought upon the banks o' Coil,
    I thought upon my Nancy;
    I thought upon the witching smile,
    That caught my youthful fancy.

    At length I reach'd the bonnie glen,
    Where early life I sported;
    I pass'd the mill and trysting thorn,
    Where Nancy aft I courted.
    Wha spied I but my ain dear maid,
    Down by her mother's dwelling?
    And turn'd me round to hide the flood
    That in my een was swelling!

    Wi' alter'd voice, quoth I, Sweet Lass,
    Sweet as yon hawthorn's blossom,
    O! happy, happy may he be,
    That's dearest to thy bosom!
    My purse is light, I've far to gang,
    And fain wad be thy lodger,
    I've served my king and country lang:
    Tak' pity on a sodger.

    Sae wistfully she gazed on me,
    And lovelier was than ever;
    Quote she, A sodger ance I lo'ed,
    Forget him shall I never.
    Our humble cot and hamely fare,
    Ye freely shall partake o't;
    That gallant badge, the dear cockade,
    Ye're welcome for the sake o't.

    She gazed - she redden'd like a rose -
    Syne pale as ony lily;
    She sank within my arms and cried,
    Art thou my ain dear Willie?
    By Him, who made yon son and sky,
    By whom true love's regarded,
    I am the man! and thus may still
    True lovers be rewarded.

    The wars are o'er, and I'm come hame,
    And find thee still true-hearted;
    Though poor in gear, we're rich in love,
    And mair we'se ne'er be parted.
    Quoth she, My grandsire left me gowd
    A mailin' plenish'd fairly;
    Then come, my faithful sodger lad,
    Thou'rt welcome to it dearly!

    For gold the merchant ploughs the main,
    The farmer ploughs the manor;
    But glory is the sodger's prize,
    The sodger's wealth is honour.
    The brave poor sodger ne'er despise,
    Nor count him as a stranger:
    Remember he's his country's stay,
    In day and hour o' danger.
  • 'Auld Lang Syne' by Robert Burns
    'Auld Lang Syne' by Robert Burns BACKGROUND
    "Auld Lang Syne" is a Scottish poem written by Robert Burns in 1788 and set to the tune of a traditional folk song (Roud # 6294). It is well known in many English-speaking countries and is often sung to celebrate the start of the new year at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Day.

    The song's (Scots) title may be translated into English literally as "old long since", or more idiomatically, "long long ago" or "days gone by". The phrase "Auld Lang Syne" is also used in similar poems by Robert Ayton (15701638), Allan Ramsay (1686-1757), and James Watson (1711) as well as older folk songs predating Burns.[2] In his retelling of fairy tales in the Scots language, Matthew Fitt uses the phrase "In the days of auld lang syne" as the equivalent of "Once upon a time." In Scots syne is pronounced like the English word sign.

    My photographs were taken in the last few days of 2008. The moon at the end of the fim was the last moonlight before we entered 2009. This year marks the 250th year since the birth of Robert Burns.

    Auld Lang Syne

    Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
    And never brought to mind?
    Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
    And auld lang syne?

    For auld lang syne, my dear,
    For auld lang syne,
    We'll tak a cup of kindness yet,
    For auld lang syne!

    And surely ye'll be your pint-stowp,
    And surely I'll be mine,
    And we'll tak a cup o kindness yet,
    For auld lang syne!

    We twa hae run about the braes,
    And pou'd the gowans fine,
    But we've wander'd monie a weary fit,
    Sin auld lang syne.

    We twa hae paidl'd in the burn
    Frae morning sun till dine,
    But seas between us braid hae roar'd
    Sin auld lang syne.

    And there's a hand my trusty fiere,
    And gie's a hand o thine,
    And we'll tak a right guid-willie waught,
    For auld lang syne


    auld lang syne - times gone by
    be - pay for
    braes - hills
    braid - broad
    burn - stream
    dine - dinner time
    fiere - friend
    fit - foot
    gowans - daisies
    guid-willie waught - goodwill drink
    monie - many
    morning sun - noon
    paidl't - paddled
    pint-stowp - pint tankard
    pou'd - pulled
    twa - two

    Robert Burns forwarded a copy of the original song to the Scots Musical Museum with the remark, The following song, an old song, of the olden times, and which has never been in print, nor even in manuscript until I took it down from an old man". At the time it was fashionable to claim someone else's work. It was "traditional"; therefore, one should take Burns' statement with mild scepticism. Some of the lyrics were indeed "collected" rather than composed by the poet; the ballad "Old Long Syne" printed in 1711 by James Watson shows considerable similarity in the first verse and the chorus to Burns' later poem. It is a fair supposition to attribute the rest of the poem to Burns himself.

    There is some doubt as to whether the melody used today is the same one Burns originally intended, but it is widely used both in Scotland and in the rest of the world.

    Singing the song on Hogmanay or New Year's Eve very quickly became a Scots custom that soon spread to other parts of the British Isles. As Scots (and other Britons) emigrated around the world, they took the song with them.

    Canadian band leader Guy Lombardo is often credited with popularizing the use of the song at New Years celebrations in America, through his annual broadcasts on radio and television, beginning in 1929. The song became his trademark; in addition to his live broadcasts, he recorded the song more than once, first in 1939, and at least once later, on September 29, 1947, in a record issued as a single by Decca Records as catalog #24260.

    However, earlier newspaper articles describe revellers on both sides of the Atlantic singing the song to usher in the New Year:

    "Holiday Parties at Lenox" (Massachusetts, USA) (1896) The company joined hands in the great music room at midnight and sang Auld Lang Syne as the last stroke of 12 sounded and the new year came in.
    "New Year's Eve in London" (London, UK) (1910) Usual Customs Observed by People of All Classes The passing of the old year was celebrated in London much as usual. The Scottish residents gathered outside of St. Paul's Church and sang Auld Lang Syne as the last stroke of 12 sounded from the great bell.
  • Scots language: A cultural heritage
    Scots language: A cultural heritage Andrew Martin, Curator of Modern Scottish Collections talks about attitudes to Scots language today and why it's an important part of Scotland's heritage.
  • Scots language: Many things, Many places
    Scots language: Many things, Many places Modern Scottish Collections Curator, Andrew Martin introduces a collection from Shetland.
  • Scots language: Burns, songs and ballads
    Scots language: Burns, songs and ballads Modern Scottish Collections Curator, Andrew Martin on why Scots is the perfect language to conjure up an atmosphere.
  • Andrew Martin, Modern Scottish Collections Curator on Scots language
    Andrew Martin, Modern Scottish Collections Curator on Scots language Andrew Martin, one of the Library's Curators of modern Scottish collections, showcases a series of items which show the vibrancy of Scots language today.