Thursday, January 26, 2006

Burns Night

I had hoped to that "eat your way around the world in London" might alight on a Scottsh restaurant last night in honour of Rabbie Burns. I had even lined up what looks like a great Scots restaurant, the Albannach, but we are hosting a user group meeting today and I felt it was better to socialize with the delegates who came up to SW19 last night.

There is always next year I suppose so it is worth blogging a link on what I have learned of the conduct of a Burns Supper.

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.

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 of 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 slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like onie ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin, rich!

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