Happy Burns Night, dear friends and lovers of Scotland and romantic poetry – and Burns Night is back at last in its full glory since Coronavirus restrictions have been lifted in many parts of the English-speaking world; there’ll be the traditional Burns suppers again tonight and all through the week, all over Scotland and everywhere where there are people who want to share the Scottish national bard’s birthday with them.
If you’re lucky enough to be in Scotland, or to have a Scottish pub or bar in your area, you’re sure to find a great celebration all ready there for you – whisky, and haggis, and bagpipe music, and of course renditions of Rabbie’s wonderful poems. If not, you can always create the atmosphere yourself at home; if there’s nothing Burns-related on the TV programme where you are, you can browse YouTube for documentaries, poem readings and music, and you can also look up recipes of traditional Scottish dishes, from haggis to neeps and tatties to Scots broth.
I must confess I’ve been lazy this year and ordered our whole Burns Night meal online ready directly from a Scottish family business: tinned haggis and neeps (turnip mash), and powdered tatties (mashed potatoes). Heating all that up didn’t take long, so we’ll have more time for reciting Rabbie’s poems!
I also ordered special Burns Night cupcake tops, then bought a box of cupcakes from the supermarket, so all I had to do is top them with whipped cream and stick the tops on top of them! What a pretty sight, isn’t it? Nessie’s all excited, too, waving her little Scottish flag…
Get yourself some Scottish decorations and put on your Celtic glad rags, dear friends, and raise a glass of whisky to the great bard – and most of all, have a good read of his great works; remember, Rabbie Burns wasn’t only an immensely gifted poet with a great capacity of revealing real and deep feelings, thus influencing all the famous romantic poets from Coleridge to Keats to Byron, but also a stout Scotsman and republican, with political visions of freedom and equality and global brotherhood way ahead of his time.
There’s so much to discover about Rabbie and his works, you can literally find something new for every new Burns Night every year. This time, we discovered an absolutely enchanting rendition of one of his most famous poems, the seminal gothic horror nightmare “Tam o’Shanter”, on YouTube – just listen to this, dear friends, and feel the genius that is Robert Burns…
Again, happy Burns Night everybody!