Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Newtownards Chronicle - 2nd Feb 2012

Fae tha han o a low country lad

I decided a ‘wheen’ of months ago that I was now the ‘aul dug fir tha hard road’, in fact ‘I cannae mine’ when I was ‘tha pup fir tha pad’. Experience however does teach us twarthy things. ‘Amang’ these realisations is that many of ‘tha aul sayins’ you heard as a ‘wain’ are actually astute observations, delivered with the dry wit and brevity which are the defining characteristics of the ulster-scots language. Hindsight teaches us ‘monnies a guid lesson’. Like the fact that most problems do indeed have a way of working themselves out. A sentiment that I often heard expressed in my childhood as ‘its a lang loanin wae nae turnin’.

Fireside philosophy was a integral part of most evenings at hame. Complex concepts and sage advice where proffered on a wide range of topics. Of course they were couched in old proverbs and pared by the ‘hamely’ tongue. Nonetheless themes such as the inevitability of human frailty, the fact that as you get older, everyone no matter how important, needs a ‘han’ were summed up in succinct old ulster-scots sayings such as, ‘tha king aa cums tha cadgers road’. A cadger of course is a beggar or traveling itinerant.

I leave you however with an ulster-scots translation of a concept which modern spiritual movements have sough to understand and explain for decades, the theory of karma or cosmic justice, the unseen universal force that ensures all wrong doers eventually receive their comeuppance. Or as my Granda used to say to me ‘Aye... lang rins tha hare’. Lets face it you can’t pare down a metaphysical concept much further. If you ‘hae oany aul wurds ir sayins’ which you would like to share with me please send them to
. Until next time ‘Lang may yer lum reek and yer spicket dribble’.

An Aul Han

1 comment:

  1. Hi Darren. In oor femelie it wus ayewyse 'lang rins tha fox' an if ye wur advisin a boadie no tae be daein ocht hasty, ye'd say 'Lat tha hare sit'.....