Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Burns Night - A celebration Of The Scottish Bard

Disclaimer: I'm not being paid to promote anything I'm just a proud Scot who wanted to share a wee bit about being Scottish :)

Hi Honeys
Earlier this week, on Monday we (in Scotland anyway) celebrated the anniversary of the birth of our Scots bard himself Robert Burns with Burns Night.  Traditionally this is celebrated by singing, dancing, performances of Burn's many works and of course by feasting on our national dish, the haggis.... more on that later :) You can find a running order of a traditional Burns Night celebration here honeys.
Portrait of Robert Burns Ayr Scotland
The life of our bard is a fascinating one indeed. Born January 25th 1759 in Alloway, near Ayr on the west coast of Scotland, Burns was a prolific writer during his 37 years and left behind a legacy of the most beautiful poems and songs.


Every Hogmanay (new years eve) the world over we all welcome in the coming year by singing (sometimes incorrectly but hey we Scots don't hold it against anyone, but seriously guys, quit adding "for the sake of.." there's no for the sake of and it's as irritating to us as chalk down a chalkboard) Auld Lang Syne.

There are many of Burn's songs everyone will instantly recognise, aside from the oft misquoted Auld Lang Syne (give it a rest will you Rosie! nope, can't do it, it's like a raw nerve, it annoys me :) and as many songs as there are, there are many, many more who love and sing them.  Growing up on the west coast of Scotland every house seemed to have a (huge) bundle of albums by singers such as Andy Stewart, The Alexander Brothers (seriously honeys go fetch a hankie and listen to this song I dare you to try not to cry, it gets me every time) the fabulous Bill McCue (seen in the linked video with the beyond compare Jimmy Shand & his band) The Corries (do click on that link honeys, it leads to the heartbreakingly haunting song telling the tale of the massacre of Glen Coe) and yes, I think every single house had at least one (usually many) album (s) by Sydney Devine. Happy, happy memories all... well except that all this music reminds me of Scottish Country dancing classes at school in the gym hall.. with boys! The horror! :)  

As a child we would recite Burns in class with only a small inkling as to the importance of the works we were learning, or of their place in our proud Country's history.  As I got older I never lost my love for those works and even now all these years later I can disappear into a volume of Burns and lose all track of time.  In our hallway upstairs we have a framed tea towel, given to me over thirty five years ago (so I was a wee lassie then myself) by my much loved Gramma to start my hope chest or "bottom drawer".
The Selkirk Grace
This tea towel is one of my dearest treasures. It's never been used to dry a dish but it's showing it's age all the same I'm afraid. In fact I washed it after finding it in a box of other treasures and the cotton started to give way! It hurt me like a blow seeing that. I've framed it in a hope to stop time (or the elements) from damaging it any further. As you can see it has Burn's Selkirk Grace printed on it.  My sweet Gramma gave it to me as a reminder to always be grateful for what I have in life.  

I can remember a wonderful music teacher when I attended Secondary School who would come to class every year during the week leading to Burns night dressed in full kilt ensemble and would lead us in singing Burn's songs loud enough to lift the roof in class.  My, what a voice that man had! He really should have been a professional singer.

One of my favourite Scottish singers is the marvelously talented Eddi Reader. If you haven't heard them honeys you really should go listen to her versions of "My Love Is Like A Red, Red Rose" or "Ae Fond Kiss" (a song of true, heartbreaking, unrequited love that never fails to make me cry) "Charlie is My Darlin'" (referring of course to bonnie Prince Charlie himself) or the beautiful, incredibly haunting "Ye Jacobites" (as haunting a song about war and loss as you'll ever hear.) You can hear and find out more about Ms Reader's work via her official site and her You Tube page. 

So, what did we do on Burns night honeys? Sadly enough nothing much I'm afraid. We don't go out anymore, we haven't in a long time. My mobility is shockingly bad now so my days of going to ceilidhs are far behind me (interestingly enough I think the last ceilidh I attended had Klingons in kilts in attendance :)  So I did what I do every year. I made Hubby his Haggis, neeps (turnip) & tatties (in this case fluffy mashed potatoes) and had them ready for his coming home from work :)
Haggis Neeps & Tatties
Hubby might have Haggis at other times during the year (and he so does) but Burns night is the one night of the year when he can be certain what's waiting for him for dinner when he gets home :)

Well honeys, thank you for keeping me company on my wee trip down memory lane, stay warm and safe wherever you are, Winter's not gone yet, I'll leave you with the wonderful Andy Stewart again  Till next time dear ones, huggles always xx

2 comments:

  1. What a fun post, dear! There was a bit about Robert Burns that I didn't know until I read this. And though I'm not much of a haggis fan, those neeps and tatties look delish! Yum! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Meagan :) I'll let you into a shameful secret... I can't bear haggis! Not even a little bit :) Hubby adores it and I make it for him but I'm not really a meat eater anyway and I figure it must be called offal (awful) for a reason :) ooooo mashed turnip and fluffy mashed potato though now those I love :) When Hubby had his haggis on Burns night our furbaby Jade and I had chicken instead :) Have a fabulous weekend honey, sending heaps of hugs dear wee friend xxx

      Delete