As the month of January winds down, Scots around the world begin to focus on what
is a major event on their calendar. On Jan. 25 we will be celebrating the 257th year
since the birth of the Scottish Bard, Robert Burns. It is an event that rolls around the
world on this day, known as the “The Burns Supper.” It embraces more “away
from hame” Scots than those resident in Scotland, and is perhaps, along with
Christmas, a great, truly international event in the year. Many a foreign tongue and
many a foreign ear will honor the poet by participating in the tradition.
Robert Burns was born in Scotland in 1759 just a few years after the last civil war in
Great Britain known the “45 Rebellion”. It resulted in an enforced emigration, of the
rebels, of the disposed, and of the poor. Burns the humanitarian reflects much of this
in his poetry. “A Man’s a Man, for A’ That” is the perfect example of his thoughts on
the common man and what truly is freedom. The last line states “That Man to Man
the world o’er, Shall brothers be for a’ that”. A sentiment that, despite the great
advances in today’s world, has not yet met the Bard’s expectation.,
At the age of 28, Robert Burns was making plans to emigrate, with his wife and
children, to the New World. When circumstances changed, he dedicated himself to
writing and collecting Scottish verse. It is said he “mended” many an old song or
poem. I have to speculate what might have happened if he had sailed into what was
“the ferment” in the colonies that were America. I have little doubt which side he
would have joined as George Washington sent a frigate to Botany Bay, (Australia) to
rescue a common friend by the name of Mr. Muir.
Ill health caused Burns to limit some of his activities, but not his writing nor a few
other pleasures! It is not for nothing that one event in the Burns Supper is the toast
to “the Lassies” and to the “Laddies”. In 1796, at the age of 37 with completed works
of over 1000 poems, a voiced acclaim from his country, and fellow man, this ‘the
peoples poet’ died. There has not yet been any one to measure him!
Thus throughout this day, January 25 there will be bagpipes playing somewhere in
the world at a “Burns Supper” keeping aflame the immortal memory of this man,
this bard, this genius among poets.
One such place will be Florence SC, where at the Clay Pot, a “Burns Supper” will be
held on Jan. 25th, at 6.30pm. The event will follow the tradition of music and song
with Burns poetry and a meal with Haggis on the menu.
Reservations in advance: call 843-407-1646 Wednesday – Saturday.