Contributed by Leanne Guenther
"On January 25th Scots all over the world celebrate Burns Night. This is for the famous poet Rabbie Burns whose most famous for 'Auld Lang Syne', On this day we have a special meal of haggis, tatties and neeps which is haggis, potatoes and turnip. The haggis is carried into the room on a silver plate and a piper pipes the haggis into the room, while we are eating people recite and sing Rabbie's songs."
Let the kids watch real bagpipers on YouTube (this one is cute... two student bagpipers "fighting" over a girl -- I recommend starting the video about 30 seconds in)
Robert Burns Poetry:
Right before the haggis is piped into the room, the group usually recites the prayer, Selkirk Grace (written by Burns):
Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit.
After the haggis arrives, the leader of the evening typically recites Burns poem "Address to a Haggis". He usually cuts into the haggis when he reaches the line "An cut you up wi' ready slight"
Address to a Haggis
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,
Then, horn for horn, they stretch an' strive:
Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive,
Till a' their weel-swalled kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
The auld Guidman maist like to rive,
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 make 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!