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Rabbie Burns



The Format for a Burns’ Supper

1) Chairperson's opening address

The chairperson will cordially welcome the guests and may make a few humorous remarks.


2) The meal commences with the recital of Selkirk Grace:

Selkirk Grace
Some hae meat and cannot eat.
Some cannot eat that want it:
But we hae meat and we can eat,
Sae let the Lord be thankit.


3) Parade o’ the Haggis

The company stand to receive the haggis. A piper leads the chef, carrying the haggis to the top table, while the guests accompany them with a slow handclap.


4) Address tae the Haggis

The chairman or an invited guest recites Burns' poem ‘To A Haggis’. When he reaches the line 'an cut you up wi' ready slight', he cuts open the haggis with a sharp knife.
It's customary for the company to applaud the speaker then stand and toast the Haggis with a glass of whisky.

5) The meal.

A typical meal would be:

Cock-a-leekie soup
= =
Haggis, Neeps, and Tatties.
= =
Tyspy Laird (sherry trifle)


6) The Immortal Memory

One of the main features of the evening is a short speech on Rabbie Burns from an invited guest.

7) Toast To The Lasses

The main speech is followed by a more light-hearted address to the women in the audience. This, originally, was to thank the ladies for preparing the food and a time to toast the 'lasses' in Burns' life. The tone of the speech should be witty, but never offensive.

8) Lasses Response

One of the ladies will make a short, humorous speech on the topic of men’s shortcoming.

9) Poems and Songs

Once the speeches are complete the evening continues with songs and poems. Favourites for recitations are Tam o' Shanter, Green grow the rashes o, Address to the Unco Guid, To A Mouse and Holy Willie's Prayer. These and others are shown in the table below

The evening will culminate with the company standing, linking hands and singing Auld Lang Syne to conclude the program.


Burns’ Songs and Poems      

Click on links for the words

Address to the Unco Guid

Auld Lang Syne
Banks O Doon
( Ye Banks & Braes )
Green grow the rashes o

Holy Willie's Prayer

Lass of Ballochmyle

O my Luve's like a red red rose
Rantin rovin Robin

Tam o' Shanter

The Braes O'Killiecrankie

To a Haggis

To A Mouse

Enjoy your Burns' Supper


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