ROBERT BURNS 1759-1796
Celebrations are already underway for Burns night, which is technically tomorrow, January 25th, the date of the bard of Ayrshire’s birthday in 1759. This version of one of his songs was performed by the well-known journalist Hugh Jordan two years ago on the Frank Mitchell programme on U105. It will hopefully serve to provide the right mood for the weekend.
And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere! And gie’s a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak’ a right guid-willie waught, For auld lang syne.
Burns Suppers range from formal gatherings of aesthetes and scholars to uproariously informal gatherings. Most Burns Suppers fall in the middle of this range, and adhere, more or less, to some sort of time-honoured form. This includes the eating of a traditional Scottish meal, such as haggis, the drinking of Scotch whisky, and the recitation of works by, about, and in the spirit of the Bard.
Every Burns Supper has its own special form and flavour, though there are probably more similarities than differences among these gastro-literary affairs. Some celebrants may contribute the composition of original songs or poems; some may excel at giving toasts or reciting verse; while others may be captivating storytellers. A particular group of celebrants will, over time, develop a unique group character which will distinguish their Burns Supper celebration from every other.