My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose – Updated

It’s Burns Night the night! It is inaw! In Scotland (and beyond) we celebrate Burns Night to remember the life of the poet Robert (Rabbie) Burns, who was born on January 25, 1759.  Perhaps you don’t think you know of this poet? If you’ve ever sang Auld Lang Syne at the break of the New Year, then you will have echoed the words written by Rabbie’s fair hand.

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One of Burns most famous poems is ‘A Red, Red Rose’. As it’s written in old Ayrshire language, I’ve rewritten in the tongue locals would write today. Much of the poem remains unchanged. Apologies to true Burns fans – this is just a bit of fun 🙂 Here is the original Burns poem.

Red, Red Rose: Updated

O my Luve’s like a red, red rose,

That’s newly sprung in June:

O my Luve’s like that Weller song,

A brilliant, nice wee tune.

 

How braw you are, my gorgeous chick

So into you am I,

And I will luve you still, my burd

Till a’ the sea runs dry

 

Till a’ the sea runs dry ma burd,

And the rocks melt wi’ the sun;

And I will luve you still, my burd

While the world’s clocks still turn.

 

A’ the best, my only luve!

A’ the best fir a while!

And I’ll come back fir you, ma luve,

I’d walk ten thousand mile!

Robert Burns was born in Alloway, Ayrshire, not far from my hometown, and much of the language is familiar to me. This is old Scottish though, and I do have to consult Google for some help with translation occasionally! Hugh MacDiarmid, Scotland’s other national poet, pointed out that most celebrating Burns night didn’t even understand Burns language “No wan in fifty kens a wurd Burns wrote.”  Hugh doesn’t appear to have been a fan of Burns.

Whatever he may have thought, the celebration of Robert Burns continues today. There has been a rejuvenation of support for true Scottish poetry in recent years. When I was at school we rarely, if at all, studied Scottish poetry. Nowadays our schoolchildren annually recite Scottish poems – both traditional and modern. The funny thing is, for 50 weeks of the year they are told to speak politely, cut out the regional dialect, speak nicely! However it all changes for a fortnight when they’re asked to speak more colloquially – be more Scottish.  This year Scotland is giving all new born babies a book written in the mother tongue Welcome Wee One, by our poet laureate, referred to as a makar, Jackie Kay. Watch this space; perhaps future visitors to Scotland will have a (more) difficult time understanding a word we say 😉

For more information on Robert Burns visit here.  I’ve linked to a romantic Burns poem written for Bonnie Lesley, a girl from my hometown.

5 thoughts on “My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose – Updated

  1. Thanks. There are a lot of websites out there who translate the poems for you. I’m glad you found it useful. I should be eating Haggis, Neeps (Swede) and Tatties (potatoes) tonight in celebration, but instead I had Tomato Soup and bread 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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