Tuesday, 25 January 2011

A bit of Scottish Culture

Today it is the birthday of famous Scottish Poet Robert Burns.  He wrote the poem Auld Lang Syne which many of you will probably know.  This poem was set to music and became well known as a song often sung to bring in the New Year.  

In Scotland, Auld Lang Syne is often played at weddings, at the end of the evening, funerals and graduations and at the end of many other occasions. 

everyone links crossed arms while singing

Robert Burns is the best loved Scottish poet, admired not only for his verse and great love-songs, but also for his character, his high spirits, 'kirk-defying', hard drinking and womanising! He came to fame as a poet when he was 27 years old, and his lifestyle of wine, women and song made him famous all over Scotland.
He was the son of a farmer, born in a cottage built by his father, in Alloway in Ayr. This cottage is now a museum, dedicated to Burns.

He wrote many poems such as Tam O'Shanter, Ode To A Haggis and My Love Is Like A Red Red Rose.

Burns died aged 37 of rheumatic fever which he contracted after falling asleep at the roadside (after a particularly vigorous drinking session) in pouring rain.  The last of Burns' children was actually born during his funeral service.

For the last 200 hundred years, on his birthday, Scots celebrate the famous poet with a Burn's Supper.  The Burn's Supper begins with the chairman of the Supper inviting the assembled company to welcome in the haggis which is piped in . The poem 'Ode To a Haggis' is recited and the haggis is then toasted with a glass of whisky. The evening ends with a rousing rendition of 'Auld Lang Syne'.
scottish piper

the haggis, usually served with neaps and tatties
a glass of Scotland's finest malt

I will leave you with a poem by Robert Burns
O, my luve is like a red, red rose,

That's newly sprung in June;
O, my luve is like a melodie
That's sweetly played in tune.
As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
till a' the seas gang dry.
Adn I will luve tee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry.

Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands of life shall run.
But fare thee weel, my only luve!
O, fare thee weel awhile!
And I will come agian, my luve,
Tho' 'twere ten thousand miles.
Tho' 'twere then thousand mile, my luve,
Tho' 'twere ten thousand mile,
And I will come again, my luve,
Tho 'twere ten thousand mile.


  1. That was a wonderful post. I just love learning new things and this was great

  2. i'm wierd in that i dislike both whisky and haggis!!
    But i do like Burns and Louise and have both competed in the Brigeton Burns competition!! Green Gro the Rashes was one song!!

    Odie - if you fancy listening to some Burns songs, try and get a copy of Eddie Reader singing Burns - can't remember the title offhand, but she sings Burns well. My fave is Willie Stewart!!

  3. Very interesting post! I had haggis for the very first time (M&S!) last year, and I really didn't think I would like it. BUT - I absolutely loved it. We had it wish mashed potato and mashed suede. Happy Burns Day!

  4. Yay I learned something new today! Thank you for the information, I had no idea that it was a Scottish song! Hahaha.


  5. Odie - glad to help you learn something new
    Julie - I like Haggis but not a fan of whisky
    Thisisme - yeah that's how you're supposed to serve it but it would be called Neaps and Tatties in Scotland
    Seth's Mum - thanks :)
    Ditz - ha ha you can't say that now!
    Chief aka Dad - lol I am a woman of many talents!!! ;-)


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