Address to an MSR
Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great MSR o’ the pipe band-race!
Aboon them a’ yet tak your place,
Jigs, hornpipes, suites:
Weel are ye wordy o’a grace
As lang’s my arm.
The spectator benches ye dinna fill,
Nae bugger cares tae hear yer trill,
And yet no band to the final goes
Unless thro’ your scores they carefu’ tread
One wee slip and sure they’re dead.
His pencil see rustic judge dight,
An’ cut you up wi’ ready sleight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
On the crit sheet;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
The ensemble judge’s sheet is white!
Then, tune for tune, they stretch an’ strive:
Deil tak the hindmost! on they drive,
Till a’ their weel-play’d doublings ring
And too many tenor drums do sing;
Then auld bassface, maist like to jive,
Is there that owre his French gavotte
Or some damn suite that Michael wrought,
Or mazurkas that dinnae mak full sense
Wi’ perfect time,
Looks down wi’ sneering, scornfu’ view
On sic a tune?
Poor devil! see him play that trash,
As tenors twirl and drummers bash,
The whole band, a guid whip-lash;
Needed on the back;
Thro’ the qualifier to dash,
O how unfit!
But mark the Rustic, MSR,
The trembling earth resounds his tread.
Clap in his chanter a fulsome reed,
He’ll mak it whissle;
An’ legs an’ arms, an’ hands will fly,
Tae the beer tent, to get dry.
Ye Pow’rs, wha mak pipe bands your care,
And dish them out their bill o’ fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae musical sludge
Like suites and such;
But, if ye wish her gratefu’ prayer
Gie her an MSR!