Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

A Man's A Man For A' That (Wilson)

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

A MAN'S A MAN FOR A' THAT (S8x32) 3C (4C set) Thomas Wilson RSCDS Book 30

1- 8 1s+2s set twice and dance RH across to places
9-16 1s lead down, ½ turn RH and lead up to face 2s (1s BtoB in centre facing 2s who have stepped up), set and 1s face 1st corners
17-24 1s turn 1st corner RH, turn partner LH, turn 2nd corner RH and cross LH to 2nd place own sides
25-32 2s+1s+3s dance Grand Chain

(MINICRIB. Dance crib compiled by Charles Upton, Deeside Caledonian Society, and his successors)


Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams


Dance Instruction Videos

A Man's A Man For A' That (Wilson) - Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

A Man's a Man for a' That is a Scottish Country Dance first published by Thomas Wilson in 1816. It was interpreted by the RSCDS in Book 30, 1981.

(Dance information copyright, reproduced here with the kind permission of George Williams)


The title of this dance, A Man's A Man For A' That, comes from the A Man's A Man For A' That - Poem written by Robert Burns in 1795.

This poem (also known as "Is There For Honest Poverty") is 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.

A Man's A Man For A' That First Verse;

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.

In June 2006 the Royal Scottish National Orchestra conducted an online opinion poll on their website, asking visitors to choose a favourite to be Scotland's national anthem. With over 10,000 votes cast, Flower of Scotland came first with 41% of the votes, followed by Scotland the Brave with 29%, Highland Cathedral 16%, A Man's A Man for A' That 7% and Scots Wha Hae with 6%.

A Man's A Man For A' That Song - Information Video

Flower Of Scotland Song - Information Video

Scotland The Brave Song - Information Video

Robert Burns Portrait
"Portrait Of Burns" Alexander Nasmyth (1758-1840), c. 1787


Published in https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Is_there_for_honest_Poverty
Image copyright Alexander Nasmyth [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

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