Q: Burns Night celebrates a) haggis b) the life and work of the Scottish poet Robert Burns, or c) whiskey? Today on the podcast we go to a Burns Night celebration and learn the answer is — all three … but mostly Burns. Robert “Rabbie” Burns, Scotland’s poet laureate, is celebrated across the world in January, the month of his birth. The prolific bard has over 113 entries in World of Quotes, including, “man’s inhumanity to man,” “my love is like a red, red rose,” “the best laid plans of mice and men,” and “Comin’ thro the Rye.” Burns Night is a raucous but scripted affair with toasts, songs, poems, haggis — yes, haggis, and lots of wee drams of good Scotch whiskey. See the order of ceremonies here, from a Burns Night in Santa Fe at the home of Steve Ashworth and Christine Glover.
Listen to the show: (17 min)
Also, a New Mexico Minute by Jim Atwood on Governor Martinez’s resistance to legislation that would earn New Mexico $40 million in tobacco settlement dollars. For background, see the article from the New Mexican here.
And remember to support our local papers by subscribing. We’d be lost without them!
More on Burns Night:
Scotland has had a surprising influence on New Mexico’s history. (Do you know of the Pink Church — the Scottish Rite Temple?)
The first Scots came to the West following the fur trade and some married into American Indian families. The State legislature honored the significant contributions of Scots to New Mexico by proclaiming the official tartan, seen on the right, based on the tartan of New Mexico’s first territorial governor, James S. Calhoun. You can read more about the St. Andrews Scottish Society of New Mexico here.
Watch a recitation of Burns’ “Ode to the Haggis” in the traditional Scottish dialect with English subtitles:
See a compendium of Robert Burns’ works here.
Burns on his creative process: “When I feel my Muse beginning to jade I retire to the solitary fireside of my study, and there commit my effusions to paper, swinging, at intervals, on the hind-legs of my elbow chair, by way of calling forth my own critical strictures, as my pen goes.”