Lyrics - A Man's A Man For A' That - (Robert Burns, trad.)
In this poem, Burns clearly reveals his contempt for rank and title. It was written in 1795, a year before his death, and it gives the impression that by that time he had developed an intense dislike for the aristocracy - perhaps his rubbing shoulders with Edinburgh ’s upper-crust had done this. However, the fact remains that this poem has attained international recognition among those who believe in the equality of man.
Is there for honest poverty that hings his heid and a’ that
The coward slave we pass him by, we daur be puir for a’ that
For a’ that and a’ that, our toils obscure and a’ that
The rank is but the guinea stamp, the man’s the gowd for a’ that.
What though on hamely fare we dine, wear hodden grey and a’ that,
Gie fools their silk and knaves their wine, a man’s a man for a’ that,
For a’ that and a’ that, their tinsel show an’ a’ that,
The honest man, tho’ e’er sae poor, is king o’ men for a’ that.
Ye se yon birkie ca’d a lord, wha struts an’ stares an’ a’ that,
Tho’ hundreds worship at his word, he’s but a cuif for a’ that,
For a’ that and a’ that, his ribband, star, an’ a’ that,
The man o’ independent mind, he looks an’ laughs at a’ that.
A King can mak a belted knight, a marquis, duke and a’ that,
But an honest man’s aboon his might - guid faith he mauna fa’ that!
For a’ that and a’ that, their dignities an’ 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 an’ a’ that,
For a’ that and a’ that, it’s coming yet for a’ that,
That man to man the world o’er shall brithers be for a’ that.