All around the world tonight, glasses of whisky will be raised and Scottish delicacies consumed (sometimes it’s easier to forget what haggis is made from and just enjoy it) in celebration of the life and times of Robert Burns, the famous Bard of Ayrshire. A poet and romantic, he was known to enjoy the company of ladies, he showered them all with his words of love in his attempts to seduce them.

Fast forward a few hundred years and we are in 2016. The haggis is already strung together by the butcher up the road rather than the woman of the houses’ fair hand, as it was back in the day. The unforgiving neeps (turnips to those who have no idea what that is) are carved, a few grey hairs added to the collection as they are what we call them in this house ‘made of stone’ and a nightmare to chop raw. The kids help peel the tatties as they swish their kilts, a new-found love of the tartan dress is one again alive, as they wait for guests to arrive. Pocket money has been promised if they help with the drinks and ‘behave’. A mantra said many times throughout my childhood when my parents were ‘having folk round’.

A true burns night will involve many things. Drams of nectar will be raised as the address is made to the chieftain ‘o’ the pudding race. Sharp knives are plunged into its skin as its ‘belly is opened’ to feed the hungry hoards – A man’s a man for a’ that. A few words from the grateful men to tell their partners how much they appreciate them and a ‘reply fae the lassies’ to confirm the same. Or do they…

My Reply Fae The Lassies

A hard days work over, we head off for home,
The kids can now play as their homework’s all done.
The pots on the stove start to whistle and shriek,
As the tatties boil over along with the neeps.

The haggis warms up in the ovens large belly,
For before our favourite – ice cream and jelly!
We sit at the table, tuck into our grub,
As we raise a wee glass, to our bard, the great Rab.

We listen to words from the love-man himself,
Of desire and devotion and everything else.
We smile and agree at the praise he gives out,
And laugh as we ponder what love’s all about.

A partner is someone who’s with you each day,
Through good times and bad in your own unique way.
They might sniff when your reading or fart in the bath,
But their ways are endearing, it’s hard not to laugh.

So lassies, who’s with me? Lets raise a wee cheer,
For the men in our hearts we hold very dear.
We all have our faults, our annoying wee jibes,
But we’re all better for it, knowing they’re in our lives.



  1. Hi Sarah!
    We’re having ours, buffet style, at the Edinburgh Writers’ Club tonight. It’s mainly lassies this year and unfortunately we’re a wee bit short on the menfolk.