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Burns Needs a Barry Voice

by Paul Nisbet

on Tue Jan 25, 2011

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Today is Burns Night and so we'll all be reading, reciting and singing songs from the bard. You can even download a free App to help you remember the words and find out what they mean (See An App's an App for a that).

So, I was thinking, what about children who use voice output communication aids? How can they join in the fun? 

Well, I suggest they need a decent Scots voice for their communication aid for starters. So girls are maybe OK, because they can get Heather, provided free of charge courtesy of the Scottish Government. So click below to hear Heather reciting the first verse of A Red, Red Rose:

O my luve's like a red red rose,

That's newly sprung in June.

O my luve's like the melodie,

That's sweetly play'd in tune.

Not quite Eddie Reader, but better than some of the alternatives, especially if you want a bloke's voice ....

Here's Microsoft Sam performing the first verse of Address to a Haggis.

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,

Great chieftain o' the puddin-race!

Aboon them a' ye tak your place,

Painch, tripe, or thairm:

Weel are ye wordy o' a grace

As lang's my arm.


Not pleasant.

Or we could have delightful Daniel assuring us that a man's a man for a' that:


Is there for honest poverty

That hings his head, an a' that?

The coward slave, we pass him by -

We dare be poor for a' that!

For a' that, an a' that,

Our toils obscure, an a' that,

The rank is but the guinea's stamp,

The man's the gowd for a' that.


Hmmm. Loses something I feel.

Culture Minister Fiona Hyslop said:"Robert Burns is Scotland's greatest cultural icon, recognised and celebrated all around the world. His legacy is of incalculable value to Scotland and the country's image abroad."

What we need on Burns Night is a high quality MALE Scottish computer voice! Then boys who use voice output communication aids can have their say too!