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Up and war them a' Willy

Language: Scottish (Scots)

Where's he, for honest poverty
That hangs his head, and a' that?
The coward slave, we pass him by,
We dare be poor for a' that!
For a' that, and a' that,
Our toils obscure, and a' that,
The rank is but the guinea's stamp,
The man's the gowd for a' that.
For a' that, &c
What though on hamely fare we dine,
Wear hoddin grey, and a' that;
Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine,
A man's a man for a' that:
For a' that, and a' that,
Their tinsel shew, and a' that,
The honest man, tho' e'er sae poor,
Is king o' men, for a' that.
For a' that, &c.
Ye see yon birkie, ca'd a Lord,
Wha struts and stares, and a' that;
Though hundreds worship at his word,
He's but a coof for a' that:
For a' that, and a' that,
His ribband, star, and a' that,
The man of independent mind,
He looks and laughs at a' that.
For a' that, &c.
A prince can make a belted knight,
A marquis, duke, and a' that;
But an honest man's aboon his might,
Gude faith he maunna fa' that!
For a' that, and a' that,
Their dignities, and a' that,
The pith of sense, and pride of worth,
Are higher rank than a' that.
For a' that, &c.
Then let us pray, that come it may,
As come it will, for a' that,
That sense and worth, o'er a' the earth,
May bear the gree, and a' that!
For a' that, and a' that,
It's coming yet, for a' that,
That man to man, the warld o'er,
Shall brothers be, for a' that.
For a' that, &c.


Gowd = of good character
Hoddin grey = coarse cloth
Yon birkie = a familiar epithet, applied chiefly to a forward young man
Coof = blockhead, ninny
Aboon = above
He maunna fa' that = he must not attempt that
Pith = strength
May bear the gree = may be decidedly victor

Submitted by Ferdinando Albeggiani


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Text added to the website: 2009-07-14.
Last modified: 2014-07-28 11:29:45
Line count: 45
Word count: 283

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