This weekend, I’ve been busy with the Scottish Society. Friday night, we hosted a Scotch tasting. Afterwards we went to our only Irish pub here. Saturday night, (last night) we held our annual Mid-winter Burns Night, in memory of Robert Burns, the National Bard of Scotland. Due to the hard work and vision of the Scottish Society’s president, Tom McCandlish, the event was a smashing success. Over 150 people were present and the Scottish Society received great publicity. This is the fourth year I’ve attended a Burns supper, and it was the best I’ve ever been too. Smithfield Fair, a Scottish band from Baton Rouge, performed Burns songs. You can check out this band at this site: http://www.smithfieldfair.com/
My band, Angus Duhbghall, also performed one song, “Flower of Scotland.” My part in the ritual and program was to read “To a Louse,” by Burns. This was the first poem of Burns I ever read in college, and the poem forever changed the way I view a church service. As I have a Gaelic speech impediment, I found a more Standard English rendering that I used.
Burns Night is an enriching experience and many in the audience were visibly moved by the music and by the speech of Allen McCandlish who came all the way from Scotland to deliver the Immortal Memory speech. I hope to post a copy of that speech on this blog soon. From the Parade of the Haggis to the singing of “Auld Lang Syne,” the night was a spectacular tribute, both in visual scenery and in content, to Robert Burns, the beloved poet of Scotland.