Article - A Man's a man for a' that

by Robert Burns

The Scots song A Man's a man for a' that by Robert Burns is known for its expression of egalitarian ideas of society which may be seen as anticipating the ideas of liberalism which arose in the 18th century and socialism which arose in the 19th century. It is known in translations into other European languages, in German for example as Trotz alledem und alledem.

The song was sung at the opening of the Scottish Parliament and is sometimes associated with ideas of Scottish independence.

The text of the song runs as follows:

Is there for honest Poverty
That hings 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.

What though on hamely fare we dine,
Wear hoddin grey, an a' that,
Gie fools their siks, and knaves their wine,
A Man's a Man for a ' that,
For a' that, and a' that,
Their tinsel show, and a' that;
The honest man, though e'er sae poor,
Is king o' men for a' that.

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.

A prince can mak a belted knight,
A marquis, duke, and a' that;
But an honest man's aboon his might,
Gude faith he mauna fa' that!
For a' that, and a' that,
Their dignities and a' that,
The pith o' Sense, and pride O' Worth,
Are higher rank than a' that.

Then let us pray that come it may,
As come it will for a' that,
That Sense and Worth, o'er a' the earth
Shall bear the gree, and a' that.
For a' that, and a' that,
It's comin yet for a' that
That Man to Man the warld o'er,
Shall brothers be for a' that.

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  • rabbie
  • burns supper
  • robert burns
  • burns
  • auld lang syne
  • rabbie
  • burns supper
  • robert burns
  • burns
  • auld lang syne