Monday, 25 January 2016

The Truth behind Burns Night . . . And the origins of the Haggis

This is the story of Mad Rob Z Burns whom way back was the man who finally destroyed the terrible beast of the heather known at the time as the Hissing Hag a terrible beast that legend said had plundered the wild places of Scotland eating unsuspecting crofters and travellers.  Rob Z Burns was a proud and fearless Scottish warrior who would stand his ground against all, even when out numbered twenty five to one. Which is why he was known as Mad Rob Z Burns; well that and his habit of waving his private parts at mountain goats and Englishmen scaring both somewhat.

You see back in about 1520 Scotland was in much turmoil having lost many fighters and noblemen in the Battle of Flodden in 1513 and this was a time when the fabled beast of the Wild the so called Hissing Hag was said to be at its most dangerous. Partly due to the fact, most of the highland warriors had perished in their battle against the English. But there was one who had not, Mad Rob Z Burns and having resigned himself to the Scottish defeat decided to find and defeat the fabled beast, The Hissing Hag.

He was a man of few words and when folk did ask him things such as  . . . How is it going  Mad Rob Z . . . he would reply with . .  Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes believe . .  or even . . .  Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware . . .  Which after a while led to folk shuffling past avoiding conversation all together.  Much as most folk do today when they see a mad drunk Glaswegian in Sauchiehall Street.

However rumour soon spread across Scotland of Mad Rob Z Burns and his quest to find the fabled beast of the wild the so called Hissing Hag and destroy it.  And from time to time folk would see him up in the mountains tracking the beast through the mist. He would often wave and lift his kilt exposing his private parts to the unsuspecting traveller causing much stress and shock to the young and innocent But Mad Rob Z Burns was a Scottish Warrior it is what they do (well did). Then after about two years Mad Rod returned home having finally slain the beast. As proof he had kept a part of the beast in a sack. It was a hideous and gruesome sight. Many people came to see Mad Rob Z Burns and the remains of the beast and they would all ask him how he managed to kill it, but all he would ever say is . . . . Ah jist Neeped th' Hag Hiss beest wi' mah broad sword . . .

This was celebrated by many by making a copy of the terrible remains of the beast out of various bits of Sheep which the entire family would eat while drinking loads of Whisky and being rude with their kilts. The origin of the Haggis (from the Hag Hiss or Hissing Hag).

Then one of Mad Rob Z Burns’ ancestors also called Robert Burns wrote a poem which led to the modern day celebrations we all know as Burns Night on the 25th January, but of course we all know that he was merely using a bit of poetic licence to tell the true story of Mad Rob Z Burns. Who would be far more well know had he said a bit more and exposed himself a bit less, but well that is what those old Scottish warriors were like back then.

  Address to a Haggis

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o the puddin'-race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye worthy o' a grace
As lang's my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o need,
While thro your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An cut you up wi ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like onie ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin, rich!

Then, horn for horn, they stretch an strive:
Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive,
Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
The auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
'Bethankit' hums.

Is there that owre his French ragout,
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi perfect scunner,
Looks down wi sneering, scornfu view
On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckless as a wither'd rash,
His spindle shank a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit;
Thro bloody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He'll make it whissle;
An legs an arms, an heads will sned,
Like taps o thrissle.

Ye Pow'rs, wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies:
But, if ye wish her gratefu prayer,

Gie her a Haggis  

No comments:

Post a Comment