Wee Willie Winkie - the Real Story - Excerpt 2 from 'The Guid Scots Tongue'
This is the second excerpt from Robert Kemp’s 1950 series of radio broadcasts about the Scots language. At a school, our scholar of Scots - Jean - converses with a retired dominie or schoolmaster.
She hears the original version of Wee Willie Winkie - the dominie scorns the watered- down version rendered into English in the nursery rhyme books as “Are all the children in their bed? For its past eight o clock.”
In 1950, Robert Kemp wrote a series of radio plays about Scots. They were about a young legal secretary called Jean Fitzpatrick traveling around Scotland studying the Scots language. Listeners followed Jean as she developed her knowledge of Scots vocabulary and pronunciation, and discussed its cultural influence, history and future.
The series was broadcast weekly on BBC Scotland and featuring Scots actors and other speakers of the language, including, in one episode Robert’s wife Meta, a native of an Aberdeenshire fishing village.
The manuscripts of the Guid Scots Tongue, as well as many of the other talks on Scots history and culture which Kemp wrote, can be found in the National Library of Scotland, special collections room, AC 7622, Boxes 19 and 19A.
How 'snowflakes' form blizzards - Boston, March for Our Lives.
Boston, March 24. Her voice breaking and shaking with anger, a survivor of the massacre at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School addressed the crowd on Boston Common; “We are not special, we are not particularly articulate”. Leonor Munoz’ message was that she was an ordinary teenager at an ordinary school on an ordinary day and that what happened to her could happen in any high school on any main street in any town in America.
The fun and anticipation of a teenage Valentine’s Day - she said a little about that - ended when she went outside in response to a fire alarm to be told “Code Red: Run”. Leonor’s older sister Beca, a student at Northeastern University spoke too - she received a text from her sister that day saying “Active Shooter on Campus - Do Not Call”. For the crowd of thousands on a grey end-of-winter afternoon clustered around the Common, straining to hear the speeches, that is the text, as one mother’s handmade sign said, that nobody ever wants to receive. Everyone can relate to what is becoming an all-too-ordinary story.
Teacher and former Marine Graciela Mohamedi told the crowd: “The opposition will call you snowflakes. But do you know what in Massachusetts we call thousands upon thousands of snowflakes rising on a wind of change? We call that a blizzard!’
At Harvard’s school of government today, a lunchtime talk “Brexit's Impact on the Future of International Security: A Conversation with Sir John Sawers”. The British former security chief and diplomat (you may remember him as the spy who appeared on Facebook in speedos) outlined some of the risks Brexit poses to international security. Answering a question, he reassured the international audience that there was no immediate threat of Scotland becoming independent as Scottish nationalism “is on the wane” - the result of the SNP “poor record” in administration.
Time for Britain's Two Major Parties to Split Over Brexit?
Imagine the two main parties of the British political system as two massive, heavy velvet curtains, a little moth-eaten, frayed. People are swinging on them and they are on the point of ripping. With a long, tearing sound, part of each is about to come crashing to the floor.
Like other cities, Boston has many fewer independent bookshops than it once did. But there is one still standing among the boutiques of Newbury St, the smartest shopping street in town. Trident Booksellers has been there since 1984 and it seems to be still going strong.