Thanks to John MacAulay Court for putting together some interesting factoids about Robbie Burns and the mysteries that surround his legacy. Great examples of our widely-shared Scots sense of humour! As always, we encourage MacAulays to send pics of you celebrating Robbie Burns Day (see Contact Us to send pics with a caption to Secretary for inclusion in the March MacAulay Matters newsletter).
Wild Haggis [excerpt from Undiscovered Scotland] “There’s a traditional Scottish answer to the question “What is a haggis?” This answer suggests that a haggis is a small four legged creature found in the Highlands of Scotland. The legs on one side of the creature are smaller than those on the other, which means that it can run around the side of hills easily at a level altitude: but it does mean that the haggis can easily be caught by running round the hill in the opposite direction, for the creature cannot turn round to escape. If it did so the difference in the length of its legs would cause it to lose stability and roll downhill, with fatal consequences.” Rumour has it that Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Museum has a specimen! For more information about the wild haggis (dux magnus
gentis venteris saginati), read this article by A. M. King, L. Cromarty, C. Paterson and J. S. Boyd.
The Haggis Song (How Many Legs has a Haggis?) [Youtube: Lesley Jakubiak] “A song written by James Farrer, Bill Murray and Frank Rennie and sung at the famous Dalhousie Courte Jacobean Banquets. This song is performed by many people who possibly don’t know the origins of the song. Have a listen and enjoy!”
Ode to the Haggis [excerpt from Alexandria Burns Club] … in case you’re wanting to perfect your delivery – both Gaelic and English versions available! … “This poem was written by Burns to celebrate his appreciation of the Haggis. As a result Burns and Haggis have been forever linked. This particular poem is always the first item on the programme of Burns’ suppers. The haggis is generally carried in on a silver salver at the start of the proceedings. As it is brought to the table a piper plays a suitable, rousing accompaniment. One of the invited artistes then recites the poem before the theatrical cutting of the haggis with the ceremonial knife.” If you’re looking for a Burns Night Supper just Google for your area – something is likely to pop up!
Making Haggis. If you’re game to try making haggis here’s one recipe I found at rampantscotland.com. Good luck!