Seated at the head table, I got a first-hand look at the proceedings... and the haggis, which was far more appetizing than it looked. Someone said it was spiced lamb burger (which is a more attractive term than sheep intestine, but likely the same thing). Served with turnips, roast beef, mashed potato and gravy.
"Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some would eat that want it,
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
Sae let the Lord be thankit."
The single malt scotch was put to good use, for toasting the haggis, Burns himself, the lassies and the lads.
After a wonderful meal we enjoyed some classic fiddling and step dancing, sang Auld Lang Syne and hugged good friends. Later we danced to the celtic sound of an aptly named band, The Drunken Sailors.
Burns was a prolific poet despite his relatively short life, and he lived during a period that saw two Revolutions (the French and American). Deeply passionate, he was a noted womanizer and fathered several children with several different women. It's also speculated that the strong emotional highs and lows in his work are the consequence of manic-depression. One thing's sure, he did not have an easy time of it and struggled in poverty for much of his life.
Then let us pray that come it may
(as come it will for a' that)
That Sense and Worth, o'er a' the earth
Shall beat the gree an' a' that
For a' that an' a' that
It's coming yet for a' that
That man to man, the world o'er
Shall brithers be for a' that