Now yis micht hiv bin expectin' Bit Thrie aboot the first furry bastes, but there's bin a wee haul up. Professor Wiulie McIlveen (o' the dept o' Auld Larnin at the University o' mid-Antrim) has bin a wee bit slow in gettin' his new findins til us folk here at 1690. Truth be taul Willie is like a wile lock o' them archaeologits, he's guid at the diggin' but nae tae guid at the publishin', so we'll awl hiv tae wait a while til his new research comes oot.
In the maintime a few o' oor raiders (2) expressed a wee inrest in a bit o' Christenmas Fayre, Ulster Scots Style, so ah thought ah'd oblage. Oor wee pole this week is mair o' a quiz fur Christenmas, an' ahm goan tae hiv a go at puttin' the Christenmas tale intae the hamely tongue. If any o' yis think oa it, ye micht pass it ontae yer pastor fur Christenmas mornin' at yer meetin' hoose. As yil awl knaw, the Bible was writ by James VI and I, the man wha reclaimed Ulster for the Scots, and his wurds are hard tae bait, bit ah've done ma best tae put the tale o'er. So, withoot fairther ado.......
The Gratest Tale Iver Telt
1. Now it came til pass that a wee cuddy named Mary foun' hersel' grate wi' a bairn and she didnae know how it came aboot. She was wile wurried aboot it, fur she was a vurgin aboot tae be married til a woodwurker by the name o' Joe.
2. Lo, the Angle o' the Laird came doon and spake til Mary. "Mary", he said til her,"Dinnae be feart, fur ye are blest amongst weemen. Yer hivin a wain, but its the Laird's. Awl folk will think yer grate but yil hiv tae call him Jaysus."
3. "Jaipers" saith Mary, "I'm wile afronted, fur ah'm til be wed til Joe, an' hes nae gonnae take this oan, whit ah'm I supposed til dae?" The Angle o' the Laird spaketh and spake "Dinnae wurry Mary, for ah'l hae a wurd wi' Joe, an' pit him richt, an' he'll knaw yer daein' the Laird's wurk."
4. Lo the Angle did indaid spake til Joe. "Luksee Joe," he spake, "yon Mary's hivin' a wain bit ye dinnae need til get feart, for the Laird giv it til her". Joe tuk it awl in his stride. He said til Mary, "Dinnae Wurry, come oan til Bethlehem an' we'll tak it from thy'on."
1. Now Joe pit Mary on his Ass an' they went til Bethelehem, fur that was Joe's hameplace, an the Romans (who are always up tae baither) had telt iverybody that they had tae go back hame fur a census*.
2. When they got thy'on, the hole place was packed wi' folk, awl waitin' fur til be counted up, so thar was wile baither findin' oanyplace til stay. Joe went til the cheenge-hoose** bit thar wisnae oany room an' he an' Mary wur gettin feart, fur she was aboot til pop. The nixt cheenge-hoose keaper also had nae room, bit he said "Ah've nae room here bit yis can sleep oot the back in the byre."
3. So Mary an' Joe went til the Byre, where Mary had her bairn an' calt him Jaysus, fur that is whit the Angle o' the Larid hid taul her tae dae. She lapped him up in swaddlin' baunds, and pit him in a manger, fur there wasnae oany cot fur him.
1. Now it came til pass that there were a few shephirds up in the braes, lukkin oe'r their flacks by nicht. Lo, the Angle o' the Laird came doon to them too, sayin' "Dinnae be feart, fur ah bring yis grawn; tidins o' grate crack. In Bethelehem taeday is born a bairn who'll save yis awl. If ye go doon now ye micht see him".
2. So, lo, the shephirds left their yowes, an' went intae Bethelehem tae see the new bairn.
3. Meanwhile, in the aist, Thrie Canny Boys were lukin up at the nicht sky. "Luk", spake yin "Ah dinnae recall seein' that yin afore, ah reckon we should fally it."
4. So the Thrie Canny Boys fallyed the star til it tuk them tae Bethelehem, and stapped oer the Byre. In they went, an' giv the bairn Jaysus thrie gifts, Gold, Frankinincense and Mur.
5. Awl o' this came til pass because it had been writ doon in the Auld Testement.
*Aiften fiddled by Free Staters.
** Reel wurd meanin' Inn, ah checked.