The Sawny Bean Legend

A blog post by Albert Semple

7 Sep 2023

I recently read 1896 novel "The Grey Man" by S. R. Crockett, and it occurred to me there was a lack of poetry about the Sawny Bean legend.

I'm sure it's deserving of a great narrative poem, but all I was able to churn out this morning was this funny little one which celebrates the legend of the Ayrshire cannibal, and also some Scots words for body parts.

Oh Sawny Bean, oh Sawny Bean:
Eh'll mak a curry oot yer spleen,
Profiteroles oot baith yer een,
An fry yer lugs, auld Sawny Bean.
Within the caves a Ballantrae,
Wi ilka finger, ilka tae,
Yer oxters, erse, yer hauns, yer hert:
He'll mak a dish oot ilka pairt.
An fae yer heid he'll howk yer brains
An mak a broth tae feed ehs weans.
Fur aw guid fowk fae Ayrshire say,
Ye shouldna gang tae Ballantrae.
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