Alittle about Rabbie Burns


#1

With burns night approaching on 25th january i thought this interesting for all.
Burns Suppers have been part of Scottish culture for about 200 years as a means of commemorating our best loved bard. And when Burns immortalised haggis in verse he created a central link that is maintained to this day.
The ritual was started by close friends of Burns a few years after his death in 1796 as a tribute to his memory. The basic format for the evening has remained unchanged since that time and begins when the chairman invites the company to receive the haggis.

THE FORMAT FOR A BURNS SUPPER
Chairperson's opening address
A few welcoming words start the evening and the meal commences with the Selkirk Grace
The company are asked to stand to receive the haggis. A piper then leads the chef, carrying the haggis to the top table, while the guests accompany them with a slow handclap. The chairman or invited guest then recites Burns' famous poem To A Haggis, with great enthusiasm. When he reaches the line 'an cut you up wi' ready slight', he cuts open the haggis with a sharp knife.
It's customary for the company to applaud the speaker then stand and toast the haggis with a glass of whisky.
The company will then dine. A typical Bill o' Fare would be:

Cock-a-leekie soup
*
Haggis warm reeking, rich wi' Champit Tatties,
Bashed Neeps
*
Tyspy Laird (sherry trifle)
*
A Tassie o' Coffee

The Immortal Memory

One of the central features of the evening. An invited guest is asked to give a short speech on Burns. There are many different types of Immortal Memory speeches, from light-hearted to literary, but the aim is the same - to outline the greatness and relevance of the poet today.

Toast To The Lasses

The main speech is followed by a more light-hearted address to the women in the audience. Originally this was a thank you to the ladies for preparing the food and a time to toast the 'lasses' in Burns' life. The tone should be witty, but never offensive, and should always end on a concilliatory note.
Response
The turn of the lasses to detail men's foibles. Again, should be humorous but not insulting.
Poem and Songs

Once the speeches are complete the evening continues with songs and poems. These should be a good variety to fully show the different moods of Burns muse. Favourites for recitations are Tam O' Shanter, Address to the Unco Guid, To A Mouse and Holy Willie's Prayer.

The evening will culminate with the company standing, linking hands and singing Auld Lang Syne to conclude the programme


#2

Selkirk Grace.

Some hae meat and cannot eat.
Some cannot eat that want it:
But we hae meat and we can eat,
Sae let the Lord be thankit.


#3

Being a chef myself i have too been piped around the diningroom with the beastie on platter however i prefer to sit and enjoy the celebration rather than apart of it. That haggis is heavy going round and round the diningroom lol.


#4

Thanks Trish for telling us about ‘burns night’.
I have often celebrated burns night but not properly or traditionally.
I have a whiskey mac and its something to do with the throat isn’t it?
(I may have that wrong!)
Talking of the food Cock a leekie soup is great mmmmmmmmmmmm
but my husband had a couple of haggis brought back as a present once
and he roasted one and boiled one.He wasn’t keen & i wasn’t brave enough
do you like haggis? How fantastic you are a chef.
I bet you could help many of us here with recipes.
I love home mdae soups Potato and Leek one of my favourites.
My MIL taught me to make it.She was from Greenock.
Great thread Trish


#5

Thank you, Trish, for all the information. I am looking forward to more on this subject.

My great-grandmother was born in Glascow into a family named Burns, so we always felt a kinship to the Bard. We were sorely disappointed to discover no relationship, as the family name had been changed from O'Byrne when they had immigrated from Ireland to Scotland. However, we still claim Scottish national roots, if not the ethnic group!

I will pass this information on to my Mother, who will be delighted.

Thanks again.


#6

Fascinating. I've never heard of Burns Night or any of this, and I'm not sure who Burns is. Is there someplace I can find more information?


#7

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 Scottish 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 a great source of inspiration to the founders of both liberalism and socialism. A cultural icon in Scotland and among the Scottish Diaspora around the world, 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. In 2009 he was voted by the Scottish public as being the Greatest Scot, through a vote run by Scottish television channel STV.

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 (the last day of the 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, Tam o’ Shanter and Ae Fond Kiss


#8

[quote="tbcrawford, post:4, topic:182559"]
Thanks Trish for telling us about 'burns night'.
I have often celebrated burns night but not properly or traditionally.
I have a whiskey mac and its something to do with the throat isn't it?
(I may have that wrong!)
Talking of the food Cock a leekie soup is great mmmmmmmmmmmm
but my husband had a couple of haggis brought back as a present once
and he roasted one and boiled one.He wasn't keen & i wasn't brave enough
do you like haggis? How fantastic you are a chef.
I bet you could help many of us here with recipes.
I love home mdae soups Potato and Leek one of my favourites.
My MIL taught me to make it.She was from Greenock.
Great thread Trish

[/quote]

Hi there, You should try haggis it really is a wonderfull dish, i make it with tatties, neeps and whiskey sauce it is delightfull "honestly". Im not sure what whisky mac is i shall ask my oh. Also yes id love to help with any recipie if anyone needs help, "i miss cooking at the moment with having no work in the winter".


#9

[quote="Peggy_in_Burien, post:5, topic:182559"]
Thank you, Trish, for all the information. I am looking forward to more on this subject.

My great-grandmother was born in Glascow into a family named Burns, so we always felt a kinship to the Bard. We were sorely disappointed to discover no relationship, as the family name had been changed from O'Byrne when they had immigrated from Ireland to Scotland. However, we still claim Scottish national roots, if not the ethnic group!

I will pass this information on to my Mother, who will be delighted.

Thanks again.

[/quote]

Hi there, a\s a scot then your mother will be delighted to hear again of rabbie. I have been to Glasgow its a huge city at the centre of Scotland. My OH is from irish origen but my family are all scotts as far as i know. Im glad you like the post. Do you get haggis from your butcher? Just ask they may be able to do it for you make it with potato and turnip for your mother?? There is nuthing like a taste of home!! god bless ill be thinking of your mum burns night. xx


#10

Hi Trish a whiskey mac is whiskey and Crabbie’s Ginger wine.
It’s great if you have a cold,flu,bad chest and really good for sore throats!
You can have a brandy mac too!

I think I will give haggis a go one day then.
What’s the best way to cook it?


#11

[quote="tbcrawford, post:10, topic:182559"]
Hi Trish a whiskey mac is whiskey and Crabbie's Ginger wine.
It's great if you have a cold,flu,bad chest and really good for sore throats!
You can have a brandy mac too!

I think I will give haggis a go one day then.
What's the best way to cook it?

[/quote]

Thankyou that sounds good. To cook a haggis i have always boiled it however my mother steams it both methods are tastey. X


#12

Thanks for the post trish. My father is from Paisley, just outside of Glasgow so we have always embraced our Scottish heritage in my family. As a father myself now, I often share with my children tales/songs/poems of Scotland that were shared with me by my Dad,Grandma, Aunts, Uncles, etc. who were often spending summers with us when I was growing up. Last January 25th (2009) happened to fall on a Sunday. After mass that day I began having a real craving for fish and chips, not remembering at all the significance of that date. I talked the family into taking the 45 minute drive to the authentic chips shop in NJ and much to my surprise we walked right into the Rabbie Burns supper. We didn't have reservations and the place was packed, but the gracious hosts pulled out a folding table and chairs and accomodated us right in the middle of the floor. In come the bagpipes and the parade of the haggis, etc. What an experience for my entire family. It was wonderful and we plan on attending again this year. Thanks for the reminder...


#13

[quote="tabsie3210, post:6, topic:182559"]
Fascinating. I've never heard of Burns Night or any of this, and I'm not sure who Burns is. Is there someplace I can find more information?

[/quote]

here's a taste. :) My Luv's Like A Red, Red Rose


#14

[quote="trish_scotland, post:11, topic:182559"]
Thankyou that sounds good. To cook a haggis i have always boiled it however my mother steams it both methods are tastey. X

[/quote]

Funny you should mention...

When I was in college at U. Penn., in Philadelphia, I lived an a dorm my freshman year, which, for reasons I never fully discovered, was apparently "dedicated" to Robert Burns. So, every year, everybody in the dorm would get together for a Burns Night. Now, I, not being either (a) Scottish, or (b) particularly fond of poetry, nonetheless had such a good time that I kept going every year, even after having moved out of the dorm.

One year, the dorm housed the study-abroad folks from Edinburgh, and those guys knew how to celebrate a Burns night, and they were not unaware of the effect of their "exotic" accents on our local female population, much to my bemusement and irritation.

Wild night; I'd recommend it to anybody.


#15

[quote="jjtc, post:12, topic:182559"]
Thanks for the post trish. My father is from Paisley, just outside of Glasgow so we have always embraced our Scottish heritage in my family. As a father myself now, I often share with my children tales/songs/poems of Scotland that were shared with me by my Dad,Grandma, Aunts, Uncles, etc. who were often spending summers with us when I was growing up. Last January 25th (2009) happened to fall on a Sunday. After mass that day I began having a real craving for fish and chips, not remembering at all the significance of that date. I talked the family into taking the 45 minute drive to the authentic chips shop in NJ and much to my surprise we walked right into the Rabbie Burns supper. We didn't have reservations and the place was packed, but the gracious hosts pulled out a folding table and chairs and accomodated us right in the middle of the floor. In come the bagpipes and the parade of the haggis, etc. What an experience for my entire family. It was wonderful and we plan on attending again this year. Thanks for the reminder...

[/quote]

What a small world! Paisley is the town where my afore-mentioned great-grandmother was born and lived until they immigrated (when she was a child). She worked in the thread mills there as a child (she was born in 1864).


#16

Indeed it is a small world. I am glad to hear that scots home and afar celebrate their heritage. I am so proud to be scottish and love all the celebrations.


#17

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