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By Katherine Kiang
KaTsZoNe Newsletters > KaTsZoNe - Issue 2 - Supplemental - Robert Burns' Day

22 Jan 2005

By Katherine Kiang
                                                      Volume 2, Supplemental, January, 2005                                                                    

ROBERT BURN'S DAY - January 25th

It's Robert Burns' birthday on January 25th.   Robert (or Robbie) Burns (1759-1796) is Scotland's national poet.  The song usually sung as the clock strikes midnight on New Years Day, Auld Lang Syne, was, indeed, written by Robbie!

Auld Lang Syne

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup of kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?

And surely ye'll be your pint-stowp,
And surely I'll be mine,
And we'll tak a cup o kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pou'd the gowans fine,
But we've wander'd monie a weary fit,
Sin auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl'd in the burn
Frae morning sun till dine,
But seas between us braid hae roar'd
Sin auld lang syne.

And there's a hand my trusty fiere,

And gie's a hand o thine,
And we'll tak a right guid-willie waught,
For auld lang syne

 Now, why else would I bring up Robbie Burns Day?  Would anyone like to join me for some haggis? yum yum.....
I discovered haggis in
Edinburgh, Scotland (where else?) in 1994, and experienced the entire tradition, including a reading of Robbie Burns' Address to a Haggis.  After returning home to Toronto, I had to scout out if haggis could be found.  This recipe consists of a mixture of the sheep's liver, heart and lungs and beef suet, onions, toasted oatmeal, meal, salt, pepper and a little cayenne pepper and marjoram -- all that goes into sheep stomach,  Don't forget the gravy, please.  Woohoo!!  And, more gravy.....and more gravy.....and, maybe some Drambuie.  Here in Toronto, I have journeyed to Kingsway Fish & Chips (Bloor St. W. and Royal York Road) to continue my haggis tasting adventures, although it's not always in stock - gosh, I wonder why.  So, bring on the bagpipes, the Address to a Haggis, and the HAGGIS!!! 

For a haggis recipe (if you dare try making it), as well as more on Robert Burns and Robert Burns Day, check out the following websites at:


Address to a Haggis

Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o the puddin’-race!
A boon 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 hurdles 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, 0 what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin, rich!

Then, horn for horn, they stretch an strive:
Dell tak the hindmost, on they drive,
Till a’ their weel-swall’d 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 sconnet
Looks down wi sneering, scornfu view
On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him owre 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!