A Burns Supper

Yes­ter­day, 25th Jan­u­ary, was the anniver­sary of the birth of Robert Burns, and today we’re bring­ing you a pro­gramme of tra­di­tion­al and mod­ern music from Scot­land (with plen­ty of bag­pipes of course), and then, at 12:30pm and 4:30pm Pacif­ic Time (8:30pm and 00:30 GMT) we are pre­sent­ing a com­plete Burns Sup­per, cour­tesy of the late-lament­ed Scots Inde­pen­dent News­pa­per. Yes, we’re a day late, but in fact a Burns Sup­per only needs to be more or less around the 25th — the Dundee branch of the Scot­tish Nation­al Par­ty, for exam­ple, is hav­ing theirs on-line on Feb­ru­ary 5th!

In addi­tion, today sees a new edi­tion of our orig­i­nal series, “Where Have You Been?”, where we dis­cuss things to do and places to see around the Sec­ond Life Grid, at 12 noon and 4pm Pacif­ic, 8pm and mid­night in the UK. In this episode, the sec­ond of our sec­ond series, we vis­it the Janus Gal­leries.

Robert Burns (25 Jan­u­ary 1759 – 21 July 1796) is wide­ly regard­ed as the nation­al poet of Scot­land, and is cel­e­brat­ed world­wide. He is the best-known of the poets who have writ­ten in the Scots lan­guage, although much of his writ­ing is also in Eng­lish and a ‘light’ Scots dialect, acces­si­ble to an audi­ence beyond Scot­land. He also wrote in stan­dard Eng­lish, and in these pieces, his polit­i­cal or civ­il com­men­tary is often at its most blunt.

He is regard­ed as a pio­neer of the Roman­tic move­ment and after his death became an impor­tant source of inspi­ra­tion to the founders of both lib­er­al­ism and social­ism. A cul­tur­al icon in Scot­land and among Scots who have relo­cat­ed to oth­er parts of the world (the Scot­tish Dias­po­ra), cel­e­bra­tion of his life and work became almost a nation­al charis­mat­ic cult dur­ing the 19th and 20th cen­turies, and his influ­ence has long been strong on Scot­tish literature.

Burns Night, effec­tive­ly a sec­ond nation­al day, is cel­e­brat­ed on 25 Jan­u­ary with Burns Sup­pers around the world, and the for­mat has not changed since Robert’s death in 1796. The basic Sup­per starts with a gen­er­al wel­come and announce­ments fol­lowed by the Selkirk Grace. Imme­di­ate­ly after this comes the pip­ing-in of the Hag­gis, after which Burn­s’s famous address To A Hag­gis is read, and the hag­gis is cut open. The event usu­al­ly allows for peo­ple to start eat­ing just after the hag­gis is pre­sent­ed. This is when the read­ing called The Immor­tal Mem­o­ry, an overview of Robert’s life and work, is giv­en; the event usu­al­ly con­cludes with the singing of Auld Lang Syne. The progress of the Sup­per is gen­er­al­ly accom­pa­nied by poet­ry read­ings and music on the pipes and oth­er instru­ments, espe­cial­ly includ­ing ren­der­ings of works by The Bard of Ayrshire.

The con­tent of our own Burns Sup­per here on Vir­tu­al Com­mu­ni­ty Radio will be as follows:

Just for Seu­mas  — per­formed by Gor­don Duncan
An Intro­duc­tion — per­formed by Peter Wright, Chair­man of the Scots Inde­pen­dent Newspaper
Pip­ing in the Hag­gis — per­formed by Gor­don Dun­can — Duchess of Edinburgh/Lonach Gathering
To a Hag­gis — per­formed by Peter Wright
Selkirk Grace — per­formed by Peter Wright
Par­cel of Rogues in a Nation — per­formed by Rod Paterson
The Immor­tal Mem­o­ry — per­formed by James Halliday
Banks and Braes of Bon­nie Doon — per­formed by Gill Bowman
Tam o Shanter — per­formed by Mar­i­lyn Wright
Ae Fond Kiss — per­formed by Gill Bowman
Toast to Scot­land — per­formed by Peter Wright
Jim Tweed­ie’s Sea Legs — per­formed by Gor­don Duncan
Auld Lang Syne — per­formed by Rod Paterson
Vote of Thanks — per­formed by Alas­tair McIntyre

Music cour­tesy of Green­trax