This poem was a surprise item at the 2019 Supper
It was read immediately after Les Reynold’s, “Holy Willie’s Prayer”
It was written by Ian McLean and read by him.
Holy Willie’s Despair
I’d like to thank you all for showing your appreciation,
Of Les’s invocation,oration and interpretation of Burns religious creation!
But there was something you didn’t see as he came into the hall,
And that’s why I’m standing here: I’m about to tell you all.
You see; this room was buzzing, just waiting for Les to perform,
You were getting very restless and kicking up a storm.
Next up was ‘Holy Willie’, a regular at this night,
Every year you’ve done your best to give this poor man a fright!
Now, Les was in his goonie, a lit candle to the fore,
He was feeling quietly confident and standing by the door.
Our chairman introduced him, and gave the poem a mention,
But every word he uttered just added to your tension.
Les was quietly muttering; going over his first line,
His candle kept on guttering but he knew it would be fine.
Then oot o' the corner of his eye he saw an unco sight,
Standing in the doorway he saw a ghostly man in white.
"My name is William Fisher and it's my tale you're about to tell,
But first I have to warn you, that it could well be your death knell.
Burns called me ‘Holy Willie’ and then slandered my good name,
He made fun of all my prayers : my good deeds he put to shame.
That poem, it’s a blasphemy, it makes my heart despair,
Burns never should have called it ‘Holy Willie‘s Prayer’.
He’ll surely burn in hell for his evil thoughts about me,
I am an Elder of the Kirk! ; and lived my life devoutly.
He must see his fiendish words are quite beyond redemption,
Even the Good Lord, himself, cannot make an exception.
Burns has damned himself and will go down to that nether region,
Where he’ll meet with all his cronies, in the Devil’s Hellish Legion.
I'll ne'er forgive that smarmy Burns, an' all his wicked words,
He called me ‘sanctimonious’, but that’s really just absurd.
I am a man of conscience, just trying to do my best,
But the sinners in behind that door will never let me rest.
Just listen to the noise that’s waiting you in there,
That’s Dumbarton Burns Club, and they don’t have a care.
They've been drinkin’ there all night, at the tables, where they're sittin',
Don't they realise this poem should never have been written?
They think that I deserve this biting, cruel, satire,
Wi’ people dressing up each year in ancient night attire.
And then I’m berated with this evil Bursian ditty,
An' all you folk, out there, seem to think it's rather witty.
Now; I died a lonely death, in a ditch : and, yes, I'd had a skinful!,
But you are all sitting there thinking that I was really sinful.
Please, don't go in and tell my tale, I need a break at last,
You must believe me when I say, "All that is in the past".
Les didn't hesitate: "I can't disappoint the boys",
So in he went to this cauldron, with all it’s hissing noise.
That poem, he gave it laldy, he gave it all he'd got,
This audience was roaring, he'd really hit the spot.
When he reached its glorious end with the final sad “Amens”,
You gave that great ovation, he'd really made amends.
He then walked out of the Supper, to sound of loud applause,
But when he reached the door; he felt he had to pause.
He'd thought that Willie Fisher would be waiting at the back,
But all he saw was Robert Mills*, and he was dressed in black.
"Well, I see you met our trainee chef, he was in his kitchen whites,
He is an awful joker, aye, Ah think he gave you quite a fright!"
"But that seemed to spur you on, as nothing’s done before.
The passion in your voice, just then, was like a tiger's roar.
The plight of Willie Fisher must have got to you in there,
That's the best I've ever heard you doing
"Holy Willie's Prayer"
* Robert Mills is the caterer for our Suppers