Robert Burns was born January 25, 1759. He died at age 37. Despite living such a brief time, he is considered one of the most influential poets and songwriters of all time. Shortly after he died his friends came together to celebrate his life. They chose to do it on his birthday and quoted his poetry and sang his songs. This tradition continues till today.
One of the highlights of a traditional Burns Supper is the Haggis, which, As,
“Chieftain of the Puddin’ race,” is piped in with the pomp and ceremony attendant on that high title. Here is the Poem that greets the Haggis upon it’s arrival!
Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o’ the pudding-race!
Aboon them a’ yet tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o’a grace
As lang’s me arm.
The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o’need,
While thro’ your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.
His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An’ cut you up wi’ ready sleight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like ony ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Then, horn for horn, they stretch an’ strive:
Deil tak the hindmost! on they drive,
Till a’ their weel-swall’d kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
Is there that owre his French ragout
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad make her spew
Wi’ perfect sconner,
Looks down wi’ sneering, scornfu’ view
On sic a dinner?
Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckles as wither’d rash,
His spindle shank, a guid whip-lash;
His nieve a nit;
Thro’ blody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!
But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread.
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He’ll mak it whissle;
An’ legs an’ arms, an’ heads will sned,
Like taps o’ trissle.
Ye Pow’rs, wha mak mankind yer care,
And dish them out their bill o’ fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies;
But, if ye wish her gratefu’ prayer
Gie her a haggis!
I will have the privilege of officiating at three Burns Suppers and one presentation about Burns in the next month. I am really looking forward to that!
Here are the events that I will be involved with:
- Burns Night at Bellbank
- Cecil Land Trust Burns Supper
- Lebanon Valley Council on the Arts Burns Supper
- Rose and Shamrock Festival
Here is a Robert Burns playlist from Kev Thompson a Youtube artist that I particularly like.