Friday, 25 January 2013

Ae Fond Kiss

Fantasy Bob is in the fortunate position of being able to avoid the annual ritual of the Burns Supper for the simple reason that the organisers of such events are wise enough not to invite him.  So no haggis or neeps for FB tonight.

But as in previous years FB has continued his researches into the works of the Bard.  He has previously demonstrated, to his satisfaction if not to that of others, how Burns addressed important cricketing issues in his poetic works.  This fact has been  shamelessly suppressed by publishers.  This year FB has found in the deeper recesses of the archives a further example of Burns’ abiding concern about cricket. 

This newly discovered verse is a heartfelt lament on an injustice he faced in the field of play – and one every cricketer will recognise.  This is surely a far more fitting poetic subject than all the lovey dovey stuff which dominates many of his lyrics.  It would appear from this verse that as well as all the other challenges Burns faced during his life – rural poverty, illegitimate children, ill health, rejection of his political views - his batting was a source of trial.  It can be concluded from this verse that it is likely that his approach was agricultural, perhaps reflecting his origins in rural Ayrshire.  And to the other figures of authority for whom Burns felt and expressed scorn during his life must be added an 18th century umpire with an itchy finger.  

Ae big swing and then we sever
Oot first ball the same as ever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears I’ll linger
Tho the umpire raised his finger,
Says it’s leg afore the wicket
Tho I’m telling ye I nicked it
And worse than that, this fact I beg
It pitched two feet outside of leg.

Oh umpire how ill ye've blundered
For I could have had a hundred
Faced one ball and the temptation
Led to unjust ruination
Had I never swung sae blindly
I might have seen the ball pitch kindly
Had I never tried to cart it
I would ne’er be broken hearted.