Saturday, 25 January 2014


Tonight is Burns Night.  Robert Burns (1759 - 1796) also known as 'Rabbie Burns',Scotland's favourite son; the 'Bard of Ayrshire', and in Scotland as simply ‘The Bard’.  He is widely regarded as the 'national poet of Scotland', and is celebrated worldwide.

Burns Night is celebrated annually on 25 January (the poet's birthday).  Haggis reekin', bagpipes skirling, whisky flowing, and good company are the traditional requirements to celebrate Robert Burns, 'The Bard'.

The traditional menu for a Burns Night supper will include Haggis, Neeps (Turnips) and Tatties (Potato).

The Selkirk Grace:
Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some would eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
Sae let the Lord be thankit.

Address to a Haggis:
Fiar 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 wprdy of a grace
As lang's my arm.
Born in 1759, Robert was the eldest of seven.  He spent his youth working on his father's farm, but in spite of his poverty he was extremely well read - at the insistence of his father, who employed a tutor for Robert and younger brother, Gilbert.  When their father died in 1784, Robert and his brother became partners in the farm. However, Robert was more interested in the romantic nature of poetry than in the arduous graft of ploughing.  Alas, the trappings of fame (his first collection 'Poems - Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect - Kilmarnock Edition' received much critical acclaim) did not bring fortune, indeed he would often refuse payment for some of his work, considering it 'a service to Scotland'.  Burns produced the bulk of his more than 1000 works during the last 12 years of his life.  He died aged 37 of heart disease exacerbated by that hard manual work he undertook when he was young.

Robbie adored the lassies. He revered them and he loved them, the fact that he fathered 15 children, 6 out of wedlock, perhaps plays testament to that fact.  In some ways he was centuries ahead of his time. If he was alive today he would take pleasure in the equality of women, as this was something that he believed in two hundred years ago.

In 1792 Burns wrote:
While Europe's eye is fix'd on mighty things,
The face of Empires and the fall of kings.
While quacks of state must each produce his plan,
And even children lisp the 'Rights of Man'
Admidst this mighty fuss, just let me mention
The 'Rights of Women' merit some attention.

Ladies and Gentlemen, 'lest auld acquaintance be forgot'.  I ask you to be upstanding and join me in a toast to, the Immortal Bard, Robert Burns.

To A Mouse:
Wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim'rous beastie
O, what a panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty
Wi' bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee
Wi' murdering pattle!
A Red, Red Rose:
O MY luve is like a red, red rose,
That's newly sprung in June:
O my luve is like the melodie,
That's sweetly play'd in tune.
Auld Land Syne:
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
For auld lang syne!


  1. Broadened my knowledge of Burns by about 1000%!

    1. I rather like his poetry once you get used to some of the dialect!

  2. I'm raising a glass. Sliante x

  3. A great read Hanya.

    It's been too long since our paths crossed at Bletchley Park. I've got to start paying back on the cups of tea from the Tigers/Saints bets? :-)

    - Mike

    1. Mike, it would be great if our paths crossed again. I've not been well, unfortunately. Hope that you are well. Thanks for the positive comment on the BLOG. Slange Var. x

  4. excellent, Hanya! I didn't know much Burns, now know a little more!

    1. Thanks Helen, 'Should auld acquaintance be forgot' x