Cock Up Your Beaver!

What is Burn’s Night

The 25th January is Burns night in Scotland – the night we celebrate the amazing bard, Robert Burns.

Known for many great poems and songs such as the ever popular Auld Lang Syne but perhaps not so well known for this one…

Cock Up Your Beaver” is a song referring to, once you have your mind out of the gutter, the call to raise your hat – beaver being a type of hat…

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Sorry, I thought you were singing that Justin Bieber is a cock…

The lyrics are…

“When first my brave Johnie lad came to this town,
He had a blue bonnet that wanted the crown,
But now he has gotten a hat and a feather –
Hey, brave Johnie lad, cock up your beaver!

Cock up your beaver, and cock it fu’ sprush!
We’ll over the border and gie them a brush:
There’s somebody there we’ll teach better behavior –
Hey, brave Johnie lad, cock up your beaver!”

One of my favourite Scottish bands, Camera Obscura, have done a cover version of “Cock Up Your Beaver” (hear it at 7:10) as well as “Ae Fond Kiss” and “Red, Red Rose” which you can hear below from their session with the late, great John Peel…

A pub in Scotland, The Black Bull, once even named a beer after the song. It would be interesting to see the barmaid’s reaction when a punter asks her if they can have a “Cock Up Your Beaver”…imagine if her answer was, simply “Burns?”…

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Hmmmm, don’t mind if I do…

Enjoy Burns night!

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Rabbie Burns (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796)

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