Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o’ the puddin-race!
Burns Night, at its best, is a time to be hopeful, striking a balance between life’s joys and sorrows. If Shakespeare’s poetry scales the heights of poetic achievement, Robert Burns’ poetry sweeps the broad rolling plain of common humanity, with all its triumphs and disasters. He writes about hope, courage and the joy of being alive in a world of terror, darkness and fear. (See BBC Burns Night Recipes)
An MP was being shown around a hospital. At the end of his visit, she was shown into a ward with a number of patients who show no obvious signs of injury.
She went to speak to the first patient and the man proclaimed, ‘Fair fa’ yer honest, sonsie face, Great chieftain o’ the puddin’ race!’
The MP, somewhat taken aback, went to the next patient, and immediately the patient launched into, ‘Some hae meat and canna eat, And some wad eat that want it.’
That continued with the next patient, ‘Wee sleekit cow’rin tim’rous beastie, O what a panic’s in thy breastie!’
‘Well,’ the MP said to the manger accompanying her, I see you’ve saved the psychiatric ward to the end.’
‘Och no,’ the manager corrected her, ‘this is the serious Burns unit.’
Burns suppers are normally held on or near the poet’s birthday, 25 January, sometimes also known as Robert Burns Day or Burns Night (Burns Nicht), although they may in principle be held at any time of the year.
Then let us pray that come it may,
(As come it will for a’ that,)
That Sense and Worth, o’er a’ the earth,
Shall bear the gree, an’ a’ that.
For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
It’s coming yet for a’ that,
That Man to Man, the world o’er,
Shall brothers be for a’ that.
The last verse of the poem Is There for Honest Poverty (commonly known as A Man’s a Man for A’ That) by Rabbie Burns (1759 – 1796)
How about some Brotherly Love across the world on Rabbie day (and beyond) or is that too much of a romantic notion?
- Robert Burns celebrated in Burns Night Google Doodle (telegraph.co.uk)
- Google doodle tribute to Burns Night (guardian.co.uk)
- The Blagger’s Guide To…Burns Night (independent.co.uk)
- Scots challenge US haggis ban (bbc.co.uk)