Saturday, January 24, 2009

25 January -- Robert Burns' Birthday

Today is the actual Robert Burns' birthday. His 250th, indeed. I played for the SGV - RSCDS Ball a week ago Saturday and I'm playing for the L.A. / O.C. RSCDS Ball next Saturday. But today is the day itself.

And that's Robert you will note, not Bobby. Ogden Nash insists:

That hero my allegiance earns
Who boldly speaks of Robert Burns.
I have an inexpensive hobby --
Simply not to call him Bobbie.
It's really just as easy as not
Referring to Sir Wally Scott,
But many, otherwise resolute,
When mentioning Burns go coy and cute,
Scholars hip-deep in Homer and Horace
Suddenly turn all doch-an-dorris;
Fine ladies who should pose and purr
Roll out a half-rolled Highland burr;
Conventioneers in littered lobby
Hoist their glasses in praise or Bobbie;
All, all Burns-happy and Bobbie-loopy
They dandle him like a Scotian kewpie.

So there. There's more but that should be enough to duly chasten those of us treating the Scottish bard with unwarranted southern Californian familiarity. And it provides an excellent opportunity to quote Ogden Nash.

Should you want to explore more of Burns' poetry, there are links here to all you'll need. And this reference should will give you a good introduction to The Burns Supper as she is lived. (Although, the RSCDS version goes heavy on the dancing.)

But of Robert Burns I'm a serious fan,
He wrote like an angel and lived like a man,
And I yearn to shatter a set of crockery
On this condescending Bobbie-sockery.
Well, I'm off, before I break the law,
To read Tommy Hardy and Bernie Shaw.