Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Burns Party -- The Videos

I will say right here from the start, if you watch only one of the nine videos below, you simply MUST watch the last one. That one is GOLD!

As the Robert Burns Night supper started, Leslie got things going right away with this wonderful poem and gift to the host (me!). Thank you again, Leslie and Scott!

Before dinner could start, we had to officially present and toast the haggis. This year, I tried stuffing my own haggis, which worked amazingly well! Since sheep stomachs were not available, I opted for a salami casing, which rendered a rather cylindrical and uniform haggis. Honestly, it looked more like a munition than a piece of meat!

After dinner, we had the customary Toast to the Lassies followed by the Toast to the Laddies. The men all had nice toasts to their lassies, but the women stole the show. Becky started the lasses off with an original piece. I loved it!

Then, Pam gave a reading of two of her favorite poems. They weren't Burns poems, for that Scots language can be a little hard to bear, but they were lovely poems indeed.

Then, Sharon gave her special Ode to Desi. Quite PG-13! You can see Desi trying to sink into the wall behind him.

Finally, forced to go last by those not wishing to be upstaged, Leslie gave another shining example of her poetry with her Toast to the Laddies:

Leslie's Toast

Seems hard to believe that only a year has passed
Since we spouted poetry round this table last

And here I sit all broken hearted
Because until this week, my poem I'd not started

The invite for this night arrived last September
A bit premature, but we all must remember

Our host -- not our hostess
Has this Burns' night obsess
But before I digress........

A toast to the laddies -- our wondrous men
Lassies, where ere we begin?

First we give them all credit for selecting their wives
The most fortunate and remarkable choice of their lives

All through each day and night of the year
We're safe and sound as our men have no fear

They set up tents in the dark
At obscure state-run parks

Protect their families from bears
While expanding their collections of camping cookwares

Rest assured that your lassies who sit here in plaid
Feel oh so lucky and loved and not the least bit sad

We adore our laddies, and we're not afraid to admit it
Our men wear skirts, and we don't care on bit, damnit!


During the course of the night, our guests were still getting to know one another. Dan and Judy (our neighbors) were new additions to the party this year, and though they've been married for over 30 years, and have five kids and countless grandkids between them, neither of them wears a wedding ring. This proved entertaining...

Later, I sang my best version of "A Man's a Man for A' That". This is Burns' great ode to humanity, and my personal favorite of all his works. I tried to do it justice...

If there was one performance that I would rate as my favorite, it has to be Desi singing "William McBride". This sad and lilting song, an anti-war song, sung with Desi's Irish tone, brought several of us to tears. It was really a masterpiece!

And with that, we bring to a close the Burns Night supper and party. It was another great year, and I just want to thank everybody for coming and having fun.

I can hardly wait for January 25, 2009! I better get started on those invitations now!

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