Pat Batt poem – The Expert


One evening at a “Cheese and Wine”
I met, oh, quite by chance
A fellow who made rude remarks
About our Scottish Dance.“I cannot understand” he said,
“Just how you people feel,
Who use up all your energy
On strathspey, jig and reel.
You could be leaning on a bar,
Engaged in merry chat,
Or learning motor maintenance
And useful things like that.
You stand round holding little books,
All full of funny lines,
It’s certainly not shorthand,
More like Masonic signs.
And when you’ve worked the symbols out
And know just where to look,
You find the very dance you want
Is nowhere in the book.
You stand in rows, and point your toes,
You cast and set and turn,
I don’t know why you work so hard,
There isn’t much to learn.”

At that, I lost my temper,
“Well why not take a chance,
Just come along to classes,
We’ll see if you can dance”.
Imagine our amazement
When he turned up one day,
Imagine our annoyance when
He got it right away!
He picked things up so quickly,
Once told, he ne’er forgot,
He mastered chain progression,
Espagnole and the knot.
His phrasing was impeccable,
He never missed a beat,
And though he took size 13 shoes,
His footwork was so neat!
He went to classes twice a week,
And practised every day.
His setting was a joy to watch,
And so was his strathspey.
He soon became an addict
And realised his dream
By being made a member
Of the Demonstration Team!

And so we all forgave him
For being such a blight,
And he admitted freely
He’d been wrong and we’d been right.
And he thanked us very nicely
For giving him the chance
To have good friends and music,
And the joy of Scottish Dance.