Jan 25, 2008

The Bonney Bard of Scotland

Today at two distinct suppers, the good Citizens of Caledon will honour Scotland's favourite son, Robert Burns.

Ready Sir?

Robert Burns (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796) (also known as Rabbie Burns, Scotland's favourite son, the Ploughman Poet, the Bard of Ayrshire and in Scotland as simply The Bard) was a poet and a lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland, and is celebrated worldwide. He is the best-known of the poets who have written in the Scots language, although much of his writing is also in English and a 'light' Scots dialect, accessible to an audience beyond Scotland. He also wrote in standard English, and in these pieces, his political or civil commentary is often at its most blunt.

He is regarded as a pioneer of the Romantic movement and after his death became an important source of inspiration to the founders of both liberalism and socialism. A cultural icon in Scotland and among Scots who have relocated to other parts of the world (the Scottish Diaspora), celebration of his life and work became almost a national charismatic cult during the 19th and 20th centuries, and his influence has long been strong on Scottish literature.

As well as making original compositions, Burns also collected folk songs from across Scotland, often revising or adapting them. His poem (and song) Auld Lang Syne is often sung at Hogmanay (New Year), and Scots Wha Hae served for a long time as an unofficial national anthem of the country. Other poems and songs of Burns that remain well-known across the world today, include A Red, Red Rose, A Man's A Man for A' That, To a Louse, To a Mouse, The Battle of Sherramuir, and Ae Fond Kiss.
from the Wikipedia entry on Robert Burns

Whisky? Check. Tipsy Laird? Check. Haggis? Check.

Burns Night, effectively a second national day, is celebrated on January 25th with Burns suppers around the world, and is still more widely observed than the official national day, Saint Andrew's Day, or the proposed North American celebration Tartan Day. The format of Burns suppers has not changed since Robert's death in 1796. The basic format starts with a general welcome and announcements followed with the Selkirk Grace. Following the grace comes the piping and cutting of the Haggis, where Robert's famous Address To a Haggis is read, and the haggis is cut open. The event usually allows for people to start eating just after the haggis is presented. This is when the reading called the "immortal memory", an overview of Robert's life and work is given; the event continues with many toasts and some presentation of a selection of his works and usually concludes with the singing of Auld Lang Syne.

See you all there!
Sláinte meath!!


Telemachus said...


I can once again say it was my loss that I missed both events; I had a prior committment to play gladiator in Roma in the afternoon, and could not log in at night. But my sincere congratulations on another oustanding event!

And a formal dinner..I have always wanted to attend one in sl :)

Be well.

As I note your post above this one...we really must have another tourney!


Sir Tele