Weel duin tae Billy Kay wha haes been nominatit in Scots Speaker o the Year sponsored by Scots Language Centre in the Scots Language Awards. Vote now!
The Scots Language Awards are in the Gardyne Theatre, Dundee on 24th September at 7pm. Tickets for the ceremony are available to buy here: https://dundeeboxoffice.co.uk. If you cannae make it you can hae a swatch o it online. You can a buy an online ticket here for that.
We askit Billy Kay thae speirins.
Tell us aboot yersel or yer ootfit.
I learnit Scots at ma mither’s knee in the solidly Scots-speakin airt o Gawston in Ayrshire in the 1950s an haein Burns as baith a local and international kenspeckle poet gied us a pride in oor mither tongue that wis never tint. I wis gien Grassic Gibbon’s Sunset Song as a prize at schuil when I wis 15 year auld, an his braw words spak tae me then, and noo: “..you wanted the words they’d known and used, forgotten in the far‑off youngness of their lives, Scots words to tell to your heart, how they wrung it and held it”.
Whit wis it got ye involvit wi the Scots leid?
Bein able tae study it at Edinburgh University an realisin the walth o leiterature in the leid – it wis faur mair than Burns. I wantit tae tell fowk whit they had missed oot on, sae I scrievit Scots The Mither Tongue tae help ordinary fowk ken hoo they cam tae speak the wey they did. It helpit thoosans o fowk come tae terms wi their linguistic heritage an garred thaim jyne the fecht for the recognition o Scots.
Ony particlar career heighlichts
Speakin Scots in the Scottish Pairliament wis byordnar special for me an ma faimily but some o the ugsome reaction tae it on social media kythes the lang gait we still hae tae gae tae normalise the mither tongue.
Wha’s yer plans fir the days aheid?
I’m gaun back tae ma bairnheid in Ayrshire an scrievin memories o bein anither lad “that wis born in Kyle” in that important period afore televeision arrived intae ilka bodies hoose an began tae chynge the culture
The Scots Language Awards are in the Gardyne Theatre, Dundee on 24th September at 7pm. Tickets are available to buy here: https://dundeeboxoffice.co.uk Performing on Saturday 24th September include Bruce Fummey, Hamish Macdonald, Beth Malcome and Robyn Stapleton.
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