Friday, 29 January 2010

The People’s Poet – Robert Burns [1759-1796]

By Colin Fox from Socialist Unity January 25th [was] Burns night, that unique Scottish occasion when poetry finds itself centre stage and the life and work of an ‘Ayrshire ploughman’ is celebrated. And this year with a Westminster General Election pending we might reflect on the progressive message contained in his ‘Ballad of Mr Heron’s Election’ where Burns’ vision of a democratic and truly representative Parliament written more than 200 years ago still resonates Wham will we send to London town 
To Parliament and a’ that? 
Or wha in a’ the country round 
The best deserves to fa that? 
For a’ that and a’ that, 
Here’s Heron yet for a’ that! 
The independent commoner 
The honest man, and a’ that! A beardless boy comes o’er the hill 
Wi’s uncle’s purse and a’ that; 
But we’ll hae one frae amang ourselves 
A man we ken and a’ that 
For a’ that and a’ that 
Here’s Heron yet for a’ that 
We are no tae be bought and sold 
Like nowte and nags, and a that Then let us drink: ‘The Stewartry, 
Kerroughtree’s laird, and a’ that 
Our representative to be: 
For weel he’s worthy a’ that 
For a’ that and a’ that 
Here’s Heron yet for a’ that! 
A House of Commons such as he, 
They wad be blest that saw that.

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