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Thread: For A' That

  1. #1

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    For A' That

    First 2 lines of A Man's a Man ....

    Is there for honest poverty
    That hings its head an a that?


    What exactly do they mean?

    Been bugging me for ages, ken.

  2. #2
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    Re: For A' That

    Here Burns is telling us that although a man be poor and a hard worker, he is still a man. Burns has no time for either the
    servile creature who always hangs his head or for the would-be high and mighty person who bought such power.

    hings = hangs

    We have a book "Understanding Robert Burns" at http://www.electricscotland.com/burns/index.html

    Alastair

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  4. #3

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    Re: For A' That

    Still maks nae sense tae me. The language is not a problem. It is a question which I can't understand. "is there for honest poverty, that hings its ..etc.

    But I will survive without this knowlege.

    The best rendering of this song that I have heard is by Paolo Nutini - pop, but a cracking performance:



    At school many many years ago, we were given the task of writing an appreciation of Tam O' Shanter. I wrote reams on it and in red ink the next day from the teacher was "I don't think Robert Burns had this in mind when he wrote the poem!"

    But I can still recite most of it, with a better understanding now.

    Aye, jist so, ken!

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  6. Re: For A' That

    I'm totally confused!!! This young man's name sounds Italian, but his voice with its burrs, etc., sounds Scot. Just what nationality is he??? I never heard of him previously to this video. Thanks anyway, Joan

  7. #5

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    Re: For A' That

    Like you Joan, I had never heard of the lad. Now from the following two links, I wonder how I missed the the name....

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paolo_Nutini

    http://www.paolonutini.com/

    Ranald

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  9. #6

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    Re: For A' That

    Joan, Ranald,

    I only first heard of Paolo about a year ago - he was mentioned on the Forum of my home town website.

    Joan,

    I started school in the in Scotland 50's and there were lots of Italians in the small town of 6000 people. All were café owners and some of the children were in my class. Some are still there today. Some of the parents spoke with an Italian accent and some with a Scottish accent. The latter's parents must have come to Scotland pre second world war, presumably to escape the regime of Mussolini. It is odd that they were all café people. Elsewhere in Scotland, some were POWs that never went back.

    Down here in SW France, there are many 3rd generation Italian families, this time all farmers. With the carnage of the two wars, France invited Italians in and gave them farmland. All around me there are Italian names, but when you get to the third generation, the mother language generally gets lost.

    Other well known Scottish Italians are Tom Conte (Actor), Dario Franchiiti (Indy car Champion in USA), Paul Di Resta (Formula 1 Driver).

    But we don't have an Italian mafia in Scotland, as far as I know!

    And I don't like spaghetti! Give me haggis any day.
    Last edited by Tarquin; 10th October 2011 at 13:41.

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  11. Re: For A' That

    Hi, Tarquin...I should have put two & two together......You see, my maternal grandparents were English & emigrated to the USA, long before they had children. Having done some genealogy, & having several cousins over in Great Britain, one still there in Aberdeen, we found that some of OUR relatives were Italian. One whose name was "something like" Mossimo, changed their names during war to grandparent's maiden name, which sounded more Brit. Mussolini caused a lot of name changes! Another relative's name was Emilio Canetta, & of course he was Italian.

    I've always had people tell me that I looked like I came from the Mediterranean area!! Not so much anymore, though. Joan PS: I also have French Huguenots in my genealogy!!! They left in the 1600-1700's.
    Last edited by FriedaKateM; 10th October 2011 at 15:43. Reason: mis-spelled word!!!horrors!!

  12. #8

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    Re: For A' That

    Mediterranean look in women = dark eyes, jet black hair tanned complexion. Is that you? I'm mid way between the Med and the Atlantic so we have all sorts here.

    What is your Scottish connection?

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    Re: For A' That

    Many Italians came over after the WWI - and yes into the cafe / ice cream / chip shop areas. I don't know if a lot came over to escape Mussolini.
    I have a couple of Paolo's tracks. We came back 4 years ago when I think he was 'breaking through' and I heard more of him then. Maybe I don't hear so much because he is not played on the radio stations that I listen to.
    I seem to recall something about him taking up music and singing because he had a stammer.

    Sandy

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