Is There for Honest Poverty

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"Is There for Honest Poverty", commonly known as "A Man's a Man for A' That", is a 1795[1] Scots song by Robert Burns, famous for its expression of egalitarian ideas of society, which may be seen as expressing the ideas of liberalism that arose in the 18th century.

Renowned Scottish folksinger Sheena Wellington sang the song at the opening of the Scottish Parliament in May, 1999. The song was also sung at the funeral of Donald Dewar, the inaugural First Minister of Scotland. It is also known in translations into other European languages, for example the German "Trotz alledem und alledem" by Ferdinand Freiligrath right after the Revolution of 1848 (sung by Hannes Wader as "Trotz alledem").

The words "pride o' worth" appear on the crest of the Scottish Qualifications Authority.


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.

What though on hamely fare we dine,

Wear hodden grey, an' a that;

Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine;

A Man's a Man for a' that:

For a' that, and a' that,

Their tinsel show, an' a' that;

The honest man, tho' e'er sae poor,

Is king o' men for a' that.

Ye see yon birkie, ca'd a lord,

Wha struts, an' stares, an' a' that;

Tho' hundreds worship at his word,

He's but a coof for a' that:

For a' that, an' a' that,

His ribband, star, an' a' that:

The man o' independent mind

He looks an' laughs at a' that.

A prince can mak a belted knight,

A marquis, duke, an' a' that;

But an honest man's abon his might,

Gude faith, he maunna fa' that!

For a' that, an' a' that,

Their dignities an' a' that;

The pith o' sense, an' pride o' worth,

Are higher rank than a' that.

Then let us pray that come it may,

(As come it will for a' that,)

That Sense and Worth, o'er a' the earth,

Shall bear the gree, an' a' that.

For a' that, an' a' that,

It's coming yet for a' that,

That Man to Man, the world o'er,

Shall brothers be for a' that.


  • The Corries played it on Scotland Will Flourish, their 1985 live album
  • The Old Blind Dogs covered this song on their 2001 album Fit?
  • The Mudmen covered it on their 2012 album Donegal Danny

See also[edit]


  1. ^ A Man's A Man For A' That, Burns Country

External links[edit]