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.
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".
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.
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