"Address to a Haggis" is a poem written by Robert Burns (1759 - 1796). Burns is one of Scotland's most beloved poets.

Haggis is a Scottish dish containing minced sheep's heart, liver and lungs, onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, salt and stock, all mixed together. Then traditionally it's all simmered in the animal's stomach for three hours.

"Address to a Haggis" is read out loud every year on Robert Burns Day, which is celebrated in Scotland and Northern Ireland every year around Burn's birthday on January 25th. Many people have a Burns' Supper in celebration of the poet's birth.

Xavec wrote from Scotland about this celebration:

"Burns' night on the 25th is celebrated by many, to celebrate the Scottish poet Robert ('Rabbie') Burns. Restaurants and pubs will (if they don't already) serve up a traditional 'Burns Supper' of haggis, neeps (mashed turnips) and tatties (mashed potato). It is accompanied by a dram (small measure) of neat whiskey. Done properly, the Selkirk Grace is recited beforehand, and the haggis is carried into the room to the accompaniment of the bagpipes. Then, the most crucial part, 'address to the haggis' happens. This is literally a recitation of Burns' 8 verse poem about the wonder of haggis *to* the haggis, and culminates with it's consumption by everyone in the room. throughout the meal there will be formal toasts and speeches, including the 'Toast to the lassies' and 'Toast to the laddies', both of which should be playfull observations of one sex on the other."


Here's the Selkirk Grace that's recited in Scots before the Burns' Supper…

Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
And sae let the Lord be thankit.

Standard English:

Some have meat and cannot eat,
And some would eat that want it;
But we have meat and we can eat,
And say let the Lord be thanked.

Address to a Haggis - Scottish Children's Songs - Scotland - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World 1


At the end of the celebration, everyone stands, holds hands, and sings Auld Lang Syne, which was also written by Robert Burns.


Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Xavec for contributing this poem and explaining its significance in Scotland.

Photo of Haggis, neeps and tattie is from Wikipedia.

Thanks so much!