Happy Birthday, Mr. Burns

Some hae meat and canna eat,

And some wad eat that want it;

But we hae meat, and we can eat,

Sae let the Lord be thankit.

Saturday night Suzanne and I went to the home of some good friends of ours for their annual Burns Supper. Lentil soup, Brussel sprouts, carrots, chicken, and, of course, haggis. After the Selkirk grace (above), we all stood and clapped, as we do every year, while a bagpipe played and the haggis was presented to our host Robert.

As some of you may know, Burns wrote a poem to the haggis:

Address to a Haggis

Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face, 

Great chieftain o’ the pudding-race! 

Aboon them a’ ye tak your place, 

Painch, tripe, or thairm : 

Weel are ye wordy o’a grace 

As lang’s my arm. 

There are seven more verses, all of which Robert delivered in a rich brogue, steam rising from the haggis when he stabbed into it in verse 3. At the end of the poem the haggis was whisked away, to reappear on our plates during the meal. 

The food was delicious, the company pleasant, and I am grateful that Suzanne and I are on the guest list of our good friends Janice and Robert for their annual celebration of Scotland’s greatest poet.

Published by


A career working with teenagers on the fringes of society has made me both sensitive to and appreciative of the complexities of character and the struggles, inner and outer, that we all wrestle with in one form or another. My writing emphasizes character development over action, and, as a lifelong Southerner, the rhythms and cadence of the Southeastern United States influence both my spoken and written voice.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s