Sunday, January 25, 2009

A' The Best, Robbie

Today is Robbie Burns Day, celebrated with great enthusiasm not only in Scotland but by the Scottish diaspora around the world. It is also the 250th anniversary of the poet's birth, so I thought a tribute was in order.

Burns is well known as a womanizer; he loved the lassies, but did he spank them too? First of all, I had to do some research on that word. In the Scottish language, spank is "skelp".

Skelp - a slap, a smack, to run, to hurry, to skip or trip.
Skelpie-limmer - female scolding. A hussy.
Skelpin - walking smartly, resounding.
Skelping - slapping, spanking.
Skelpit - hurried.

from the Scots Language Centre, where it was word of the week in September of last year,

The skelp might be administered on the buttocks, earning teachers the unflattering nickname of 'skelp-dowp'... but the preferred skelp was on the hand with tawse.
I discovered only minor references to spanking in Burns' poetry. I have taken the liberty of replacing Scots words with English , for the convenience of the Sassenachs (anyone who is not Scottish).

The first is in his Address to the Devil. Here, the word is used in the true sense:

Hear me, Old Hangman, for a while,
And let poor damned bodies be;
I'm sure small pleasure it can give,
Even to a devil,
To spank and blister poor dogs like me,
And hear us squeal!
The second is in the poem Tam o'Shanter, where it is used to mean hurrying:
Well mounted on his gray mare Meg,
A better never lifted leg,
Tam spanked on through mud and mire,
Despising wind, and rain, and fire;
Let's not forget the part of the anatomy most often chosen for our favourite activity. The buttocks are "hurdies", as in the Address to the Haggis, commonly recited at Burns Night suppers:
The groaning platter there you fill,
Your buttocks like a distant hill

Here's a parody on Burns' most familiar poem, from Dave at Anime OTK.

TO A BOTTOM (with tribute and apologies to Robert Burns)
A poem recited by a strict but loving uncle as he looks down on his 18 year old niece Jenny’s pale, pink, bare buttocks across his lap.

Wee, sleekit, cowerin, tim'rous beastie,
O, what a panic's in thy breasty!
Thou need to shiver away sae hasty
Wi' squirmin' rap!
I mon slap ye so hard and hearty,
Wi' leathern strap!

I'm truly sorry your ill-mannered action
Has broken our social union,
'an justifies that ill opinion
Which makes thee submit
to me, thy erstwhile good companion,
an' friend complicit!

I see your buttocks laid bare an' waste,
An' the hard strap comin fast,
so uneasy here, beneath the blast,
Thy cheeks must dwell,
Till, thwack! the cruel leatherin' is past,
an' the pain's like hell!

That wee bit cigarette ye smoked in bed,
Will cost thee monie a sore stripe red!
Now thou's turned out, for a' thy trouble,
wi' buttocks fully bare
To thole the leathers hard weary stroke,
An' thrashin' rare!

But Jenny, thou art not the one alain,
proving pleasure may be in vain:
The best laid schemes of mice and men
Gang aft agley
An' leave you nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!


Jean said...

Thanks for the tribute to a great poet

Terpsichore said...

thanks...learn something new every day... :-)

dwcmike said...

Lassie, ye did well.
T'is a braw nichte moon lichte nichte tonichte, so y're awricht, good nichte.
Glad also you made the lassie 18 years old...

dwcmike said...

one last thought... were you first attracted to Robbie because of the the name BURNS?

Hermione said...

Jean - My pleasure.

Terps - So do I!

Mike - Yes, I thought that little adjustment was a good idea.

And to answer your question, I've known about Burns as long as I've been attracted to spanking, so who knows?


ronnie said...

Thats was a good post Hermione, thanks enjoyed reading it.
To be honest I had forgotten it was Burns day.

SmilingDevil said...

I had no idea yesterday was Robbie Burns Day. I should have celebrated with a scotch!

Hermione said...

Ronnie - It's hard to forget in Canada!

SmilingDevil - It's not too late to have a wee dram!