Virtual Burns Night

A Warm Welcome from the Independent Loyal Orange Institution, to our annual Burns Night celebrations.

Independent Loyal Orange Institution presents

Robert Burns

Then Man O' Independent Mind

Ye see yon birkie, ca’d a lord,

Wha struts, an’ stares, an’ a’ that;

Tho’ hundreds worship at his word,

He’s but a coof for a’ that:

For a’ that, an’ a’ that,

His ribband, star, an’ a’ that:

The man o’ independent mind

He looks an’ laughs at a’ that.

These words penned in 1795 the year of the Battle of the Diamond, and the funding of the  Orange Order. The words however reflect Burn’s support for the French Revolution which swept away the oppressive monarch in France. That radical Presbyterian thought, that freedom of mind and openness to ideas which marked Burns resonates with all Ulster Scots and particularly the men o’ independent mind that showed the same disregard for class or the control of those they were told were their betters and formed the Independent Loyal Orange Institution in 1902.

Burns has a special place in our hearts as his words echo our experiences and preferences. Indeed the ILOI produced their own ‘Burns’ in the form of Thomas Carnduff whose poetry and plays echo that working class irreverence and wit.

Across Scotland, and a few miles across the water to Ulster as well as numerous venues around the globe as far distant as China, Russia and Canada Scotland’s national poet Robert Burns will this week be toasted at thousands of dinners and suppers held in his name. Join us as we celebrate the bard’s birthday virtually and bring your the best online celebrations and reflections. 

In Yer Aine Hoose

Join us this year as we bring Burns home, to your own home with a night of fun and food as we learn about the man and his words. Lets celebrate the bard’s birthday in style and see just why he holds an important place in the hearts of Independent Orangemen.

Bringing You the Best Bits O' Burns Nights

This year we celebrate Burn’s Night by ‘Bringing Burns Hame’ – hame to your hame as we all stay in and stay safe. Join the ILOI as they look back to past years when Garryduff hosted their annual Burns Night Supper and Social. We hope to bring you the best bits and if you are new to it all a few tips and hints to host your own. 

The Selkirk Grace

This short but important prayer is usually read before the main meal and the piping in of the haggis, you’ll find an English translation easily enough but the Scots version is the original and should be how it is read aloud.

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

Piping in the Haggis

Normally, a piper would herald the arrival of the haggis but seeing as how it will be unlikely you’ll have one to hand, we will treat you to a tune by one of our own great pipe bands Finvoy, seen here at Glenarm Castle competing in the Co. Antrim Championships

Address to the Haggis

The host or person who is happy to put on a show can have a bit of fun at this stage, as they read aloud their version of the Burns poem, ‘To A Haggis’ – which you can find here.

The Bard’s own tribute to Scotland’s national dish, this can be a fun way to involve the family or house mates in the recital – the more entertaining the better.

Usually, it’s done over the haggis before the casing has been pierced (which becomes part of the performance) but feel free to do this without the haggis instead.

If you don’t fancy trying the address yourself join us as we remember last year at Garryduff Independent Orange Hall where an annual Burns Nights Supper and social is hosted by Garryduff Flute Band and members of Garryduff Sons of Freedom ILOI No. 15.

In Yer Aine Hoose

Join us this year as we bring Burns home, to your own home with a night of fun and food as we learn about the man and his words. Lets celebrate the bard’s birthday in style and see just why he holds an important place in the hearts of Independent Orangemen.

Traditional Fare

Traditionally, a classic Burns Supper would feature begin with a starter perhaps a warming bowl of cock-a-leekie soup or Cullen skink  a classic Scottish smoked fish soup with velvety leeks and potato. Others prefer fresh Scottish smoke salmon followed by a main of haggis, neeps (mashed turnip) and tatties(mashed potatoes). Together they are known as Clapshot, a hearty Scottish dish. Serve alongside haggis, stews or roasted meats for a warming winter’s meal. 

You can use the haggis as stuffing for beef or chicken. Balmoral chicken, also known as; Chicken Balmoral or even Highland Chicken. Balmoral chicken a dish made with a chicken breast slit open on one side to create a pocket which is then stuffed with haggis. The chicken is then wrapped in bacon and lightly browned before being cooked through in the oven.

Finally for desert –Cranachan, sweet raspberries folded into cream flavoured with honey,  and toasted oatmeal – what could be more delicious? Traditionalists may call for Clootie Dumpling (a pudding prepared in a linen cloth or cloot) or Typsy Laird (a Scottish sherry trifle); and if you have any room left  a Cheeseboard with bannocks (oatcakes) and tea/coffee.

The First Entertainment

The  first entertainer follows immediately after the meal. Often it will be a singer or musician performing Burns songs such as:-

Alternatively it could be a moving recital of a Burns poem, with perennial preference for:-

The Immortal Memory

The keynote speaker takes the stage to deliver a spell-binding oratoration on the life of Robert Burns: his literary genius, his politics, his highs and lows, his human frailty and – most importantly – his beliefs. The speech must strike the right note between serious intent and a nod to the wit and humour of the man himself, painting a colourful picture of Scotland’s beloved Bard.

As Orangemen we are no stranger to the Tradition of Toasting the Immortal Memory of the King whose name we bear. This was a great tradition where Kings and other folk heroes were toasted and memorialised and it is a tradition preserved in Burns Nights and Orange toasts. At times when our parades and public expressions were banned the Orange Order met at private dinners and toasts were a central feature of these.

Before the days of internet, or when books were an expensive luxury these occasions were the best way for history to be studied and the memory of a man or event passed down to future generations and kept alive. It is a skill we would like to keep alive, where each year one of our number takes the time to read and research then present what they have found publicly. We have included a guide from a Burn expert to help you.

A fitting theme for the talk would be Burns – A Man O’ Independent Mind, perhaps a look at what he would make of current affairs like Scottish Independence or BREXIT; or how his words and feelings still strike a chord with Independent Orangemen today.

The speaker concludes with a heart-felt toast: To the Immortal Memory of Robert Burns!

The Second Entertainment

The chair introduces more celebration of Burns’ work, preferably a poem or song to complement the earlier entertainment. We will follow on our theme of Burns – A Man O’ Independent Mind, with renditions of the poem and song from which that line is taken. To show his timeless appeal we have two renditions, one tradition and the other modern version by award winning Scottish artist Paolo Nutini.

Few poets have still such widespread appeal and we have seen Burn’s words set to music and used across the globe. Indeed after ‘Happy Birthday’ his song ‘Auld Lange Syne’ is the second most sung song in the world. The working class poem A Man’s a Man for A’ That“, also known as “Is There for Honest Poverty“has been translated into many languages and is the theme tune to our burns night tonight. 

Toast to the Lassies

The humorous highlight of any Burns Night comes in this toast, which is designed to praise the role of women in the world today. This is done by selective quotation from Burns’s works and with reference to those present it makes for a more meaningful toast. Its well known that Burns was a great romantic and his adventures with the lassies got him into his own fairy share of trouble.

The toast is usually done for us by our friends Gary and Anne Blair, who provide the best toast and response with one not being outdone by the other. The crack and banterof the nights at Garryduff show the value of a great host and behind every great man is a better woman, of so Anne will tell you. 

The Final Entertainment

The final course of the evening’s entertainment comprises more Burns readings.We have included a video of Eddie Reader whose voice is synonymous with Burns and Scottish music. The video is a compilation of many of Burns poems and songs. Our entertainment finishes with our own Finvoy Pipe Band, and a wee reminder that after Burns Night it is only 167 more sleeps til the Twelfth!

The Ulster Scots movement which has reawakened interest in Burns across Ulster has added much to our traditional calendar of events and given a new generation of Ulster Scots a greater understanding and pride in their heritage and culture.

Reply to the Toast to the Lassies

Revenge for the women present as they get their chance to reply. After a few witty observations but the earlier toaster it is time for pay back and there are plenty of wise and witty women in our ranks who can give as good as they take. So while we are all at home this year let us raise a glass to the women of the ILOI who add a certain style to our parades and events each year.

Vote of Thanks, Auld Lang Syne

After the traditional vote of thanks, if there isn’t a Ceildh or social after we would all rise for a stirring rendition of Auld Lang Syne and for all those who hum their way through until they get to the words they know we have included the lyrics.

Like all Orange events, we finish with the National Anthem. So we will let the pipes of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards play both to send us on our way in true Scottish fashion.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And days of auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear
For auld lang syne
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet
For days of auld lang syne
We twa hae run about the braes
And pu’d the gowans fine
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit
Sin days of auld lang syne
We twa hae paidl’d i’ the burn
Frae morning sun till dine
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
Sin days of auld lang syne
For auld lang syne, my dear
For auld lang syne
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet
For days of auld lang syne
And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp
And surely I’ll be mine
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne

Scottish Ceilidh

We love to work some of that haggis off with a traditional Scottish Ceildh. While you might not be able to make the space you need at home why don’t you at least get you foot tapping to some of the great music we normally dance to.