Burns Night

Saturday, January 25, 2014, from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m.

At David and Mary's Place

Order of the Evening

Guests gather and mix
Welcoming and Selkirk Grace
David Trumbull and Chris Morgan
Some hae meat and canna eat, 
And some wad eat that want it, 
But we hae meat and we can eat, 
Sae the Lord be thankit. 
First Course

The supper then starts with the soup course. Normally a Scots soup such as Scotch Broth, Potato Soup, or Cock-a-Leekie is served. This time we served homemade Cock-a-Leekie soup.

Piping in of the Haggis

Not having a piper, Chris Morgan played Scottish music on the piano as the haggis was presented. Bagpipe music from YouTube played in the background through much of the evening. In addition, Chris Morgan played traditional Scottish music on the ukulele.

Address to the Haggis
Chris Morgan

The speaker, at the line His knife see rustic Labour dicht raises a knife, sharpening it menacingly, and at the line An' cut you up wi' ready slicht, plunges it into the haggis and cuts it open from end to end.

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o' the puddin-race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o' a grace
As lang's my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o' need,
While thro' your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An' cut you up wi' ready sleight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like ony ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin, rich!

Then, horn for horn, 
they stretch an' strive:
Deil tak the hindmost! on they drive,
Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve,
Are bent lyke drums;
Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
"Bethankit!" 'hums.

Is there that owre his French ragout
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi' perfect sconner,
Looks down wi' sneering, scornfu' view
On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him ower his trash,
As feckless as a wither'd rash,
His spindle shank, a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit;
Thro' bloody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread.
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He'll mak it whissle;
An' legs an' arms, an' heads will sned,
Like taps o' thrissle.

Ye Pow'rs wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o' fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies;
But, if ye wish her gratefu' prayer,
Gie her a haggis!

Fair is your honest happy face
Great chieftain of the pudding race
Above them all you take your place
Stomach, tripe or guts
Well are you worthy of a grace
As long as my arm

The groaning platter there you fill
Your buttocks like a distant hill
Your skewer would help to repair a mill
In time of need
While through your pores the juices emerge
Like amber beads

His knife having seen hard labour wipes
And cuts you up with great skill
Digging into your gushing insides bright
Like any ditch
And then oh what a glorious sight
Warm steaming, rich 

Then spoon for spoon 
They stretch and strive
Devil take the last man, on they drive
Until all their well swollen bellies
Are bent like drums
Then, the old gent most likely to rift (burp)
Be thanked, mumbles

Is there that over his French Ragout
Or olio that would sicken a pig
Or fricassee would make her vomit
With perfect disgust
Looks down with a sneering scornful opinion
On such a dinner

Poor devil, see him over his trash
As week as a withered rush (reed)
His spindle-shank a good whiplash
His clenched fist.the size of a nut.
Through a bloody flood and battle field to dash
Oh how unfit

But take note of the strong haggis fed Scot
The trembling earth resounds his tread
Clasped in his large fist a blade
He'll make it whistle
And legs and arms and heads he will cut off
Like the tops of thistles

You powers who make mankind your care
And dish them out their meals
Old Scotland wants no watery food
That splashes in dishes
But if you wish her grateful prayer
Give her a haggis! 

The Tradition Whiskey Toast to the Haggis
From "Scotch Drink," by Robert Burns
Mary DiZazzo Trumbull
O Whisky! soul o' plays and pranks! 
Accept a bardie's gratfu' thanks! 
When wanting thee, what tuneless cranks 
Are my poor verses! 
Thou comes-they rattle in their ranks, 
At ither's a-s! 
Second Course

Haggis, with mashed tatties (potatoes) and neeps (rutabaga or turnip).

Readings and Toasts

Homemade Scottish shortbread is served, along with more Scotch whiskey.
The Winter It Is Past, and the Simmer Comes at Last, by Robert Burns
Claire Dondis
1. The winter it is past, and the simmer comes at last,
And the small birds sing on ev'ry tree:
The hearts of these are glad, but mine is very sad,
For my love is parted from me.

2. The rose upon the brier by the waters running clear
May have charms for the linnet or the bee:
Their little loves are blest, and their little hearts at rest,
But my lover is parted from me.
3. My love in like the sun in the firmament does run—
Forever is constant and true;
But his is like the moon, that wanders up and down,
And every month it is new.

4. All you that are in love, and cannot it remove,
I pity the pains you endure,
For experience makes me know that your hearts are
full of woe,

A woe that no mortal can cure.
Toast to Scottish Great-Grandparents

Claire passed around a photo of her Scottish great-grandparents and told us a little of their story.

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To A Mouse, by Robert Burns
David Herder
1. Wee, sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie,
O, what a panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty
Wi bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee,
Wi' murdering pattle.

2. I'm truly sorry man's dominion
Has broken Nature's social union,
An' justifies that ill opinion
Which makes thee startle
At me, thy poor, earth born companion
An' fellow mortal!

3. I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve;
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
A daimen icker in a thrave
'S a sma' request;
I'll get a blessin wi' the lave,
An' never miss't.

4. Thy wee-bit housie, too, in ruin!
It's silly wa's the win's are strewin!
An' naething, now, to big a new ane,
O' foggage green!
An' bleak December's win's ensuin,
Baith snell an' keen!
5. Thou saw the fields laid bare an' waste,
An' weary winter comin fast,
An' cozie here, beneath the blast,
Thou thought to dwell,
Till crash! the cruel coulter past
Out thro' thy cell.

6. That wee bit heap o' leaves an' stibble,
Has cost thee monie a weary nibble!
Now thou's turned out, for a' thy trouble,
But house or hald,
To thole the winter's sleety dribble,
An' cranreuch cauld.

7. But Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!

8. Still thou are blest, compared wi' me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But och! I backward cast my e'e,
On prospects drear!
An' forward, tho' I canna see,
I guess an' fear!

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My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose, by Robert Burns
Duncan MacDonald

Duncan played recording of Maureen McMullen, of Coatbridge, Scotland, artist in residence at the National Trust for Scotland, singing the poem. Duncan also informed us that, while Burns is Scotland's greatest poet, Scotsland's worst -- perhaps the world's worst -- poet was Willam Topaz McGonagall.

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Poems by Robert Burns
Mary DiZazzo Trumbull
My Love Is Like a Red, Red Rose
1. My love is like a red, red rose
   That’s newly sprung in June :
My love is like the melody
   That’s sweetly played in tune.
2. As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
   So deep in love am I :
And I will love thee still, my dear,
   Till a’ the seas gang dry.
3. Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
   And the rocks melt wi’ the sun :
And I will love thee still, my dear,
   While the sands o’ life shall run.
4. And fare thee weel, my only love,
   And fare thee weel a while !
And I will come again, my love,
   Thou’ it were ten thousand mile.
Comin Thro' the Rye
O, Jenny's a' weet, poor body,
Jenny's seldom dry:
She draigl't a' her petticoatie,
Comin thro' the rye!

Comin thro' the rye, poor body,
Comin thro' the rye,
She draigl't a' her petticoatie,
Comin thro' the rye!

Gin a body meet a body
Comin thro' the rye,
Gin a body kiss a body,
Need a body cry?

Gin a body meet a body
Comin thro' the glen
Gin a body kiss a body,
Need the warl' ken?

O, Jenny's a' weet, poor body,
Jenny's seldom dry:
She draigl't a' her petticoatie,
Comin thro' the rye!
A Toast to Our Guests

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A Toast to Friendship
David Trumbull

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Poems by William Topaz McGonagall
Chris Morgan
An Ode to the Immortal Bard of Ayr, Robert Burns
1. Ye sons of Scotland, my heart often mourns
When I think of the treatment of Robert Burns;
Because, while he was living, . . . .
The people unto him were seldom giving.

2. Alas, by the people, you were neglected,
Which caused your spirits to be dejected,
And made thee in agony, for to groan
With hunger and sorrow, sad and forlorn.

3. Oh, pity the sorrows of a poor poet
When in want of bread;
And help him while living,
For he requires no help when he’s dead.

4. Immortal Robert Burns of Ayr,
There’s but few poets can with you compare;
Some of your poems and songs are very fine -
To Mary in Heaven is most sublime.

5. And, then again, in your Cottar’s Saturday Night,
Your genius there does shine most bright,
And fills the readers’ hearts with delight,
As pure as the dew drops of night.
6. Your Tam o’Shanter is very fine,
Funny, racey, and divine; . . . .
And from John O’Groats to Dumfries
All critics consider it to be a masterpiece.

7. And, also, you have said the same,
Therefore you are not to blame;
And in my own opinion both you and them are right,
For your genius there does sparkle bright,
Like unto the stars of night,
Which I most solemnly declare
To thee, immortal bard of Ayr.

8. Your Banks and Braes of Bonnie Doon
Are sweet and melodious in its tune,
Because the poetry is moral and sublime,
And in my opinion nothing can be more fine.

9. Your Scots wha hae wi’ Wallace bled
Is most beautiful to hear sung or read;
For your genius there does shine bright,
And fills Scots hearts with delight.

10. Immortal bard of Ayr, I must conclude my muse,
And to write in praise of thee my pen does not refuse,
For you were a mighty poet, few could with you compare,
And also an honour to Scotland,
For your genius it is fair.
The Tay Bridge Disaster
1. Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay!
Alas! I am very sorry to say
That ninety lives have been taken away
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember’d for a very long time.

2. ’Twas about seven o’clock at night,
And the wind it blew with all its might,
And the rain came pouring down,
And the dark clouds seem’d to frown,
And the Demon of the air seem’d to say-
“I’ll blow down the Bridge of Tay.”

3. When the train left Edinburgh
The passengers’ hearts were light and felt no sorrow,
But Boreas blew a terrific gale,
Which made their hearts for to quail,
And many of the passengers with fear did say-
“I hope God will send us safe across the Bridge of Tay.”

4. But when the train came near to Wormit Bay,
Boreas he did loud and angry bray,
And shook the central girders of the Bridge of Tay
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember’d for a very long time.

5. So the train sped on with all its might,
And Bonnie Dundee soon hove in sight,
And the passengers’ hearts felt light,
Thinking they would enjoy themselves on the New Year,
With their friends at home they lov’d most dear,
And wish them all a happy New Year.
6. So the train mov’d slowly along the Bridge of Tay,
Until it was about midway,
Then the central girders with a crash gave way,
And down went the train and passengers into the Tay!
The Storm Fiend did loudly bray,
Because ninety lives had been taken away,
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember’d for a very long time.

7. As soon as the catastrophe came to be known
The alarm from mouth to mouth was blown,
And the cry rang out all o’er the town,
Good Heavens! the Tay Bridge is blown down,
And a passenger train from Edinburgh,
Which fill’d all the peoples hearts with sorrow,
And made them for to turn pale,
Because none of the passengers were sav’d to tell the tale
How the disaster happen’d on the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember’d for a very long time.

8. It must have been an awful sight,
To witness in the dusky moonlight,
While the Storm Fiend did laugh, and angry did bray,
Along the Railway Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay,
Oh! ill-fated Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay,
I must now conclude my lay
By telling the world fearlessly without the least dismay,
That your central girders would not have given way,
At least many sensible men do say,
Had they been supported on each side with buttresses,
At least many sensible men confesses,
For the stronger we our houses do build,
The less chance we have of being killed.

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The Parting Glass
Chris Morgan

Sung, without accompaniment, by Chris.
Of all the money e'er I had,
I spent it in good company.
And all the harm I've ever done,
Alas! it was to none but me.
And all I've done for want of wit
To mem'ry now I can't recall
So fill to me the parting glass
Good night and joy be with you all

Oh, all the comrades e'er I had,
They're sorry for my going away,
And all the sweethearts e'er I had,
They'd wish me one more day to stay,
But since it falls unto my lot,
That I should rise and you should not,
I gently rise and softly call,
That I should go and you should not,
Good night and joy be with you all.

If I had money enough to spend,
And leisure time to sit awhile,
There is a fair maid in this town,
That sorely has my heart beguiled.
Her rosy cheeks and ruby lips,
I own she has my heart in thrall,
Then fill to me the parting glass,
Good night and joy be with you all.