Toasting the Lassies

The rebirth of this blog came just too late for this year’s Burns Night.

As it happens, I didn’t do anything special on the day itself (25th January) to mark the occasion but I did go to a Burns Night dinner last week.  In fact, as the chairman of the Caernarfonshire and Anglesey Caledonian Society, I was effectively the MC for the evening (as a fringe benefit, I got a seat of honour at the top table and was liberally supplied with whisky for the toasts).

This was my third Burns Supper as the chair of the Caledonian Society and I think the fifth that I’ve been to.  This year, in addition to introducing the toasts, I got the chance to deliver one of them myself – the Toast to the Lassies.  This is described in one of the online sources I turned to for help on writing the speech, greatspeech.co.uk, as “one of the essential speeches at any Burns’ Supper” and is supposed to “poke fun … at the foibles and idiosyncrasies (real and imagined) of the fairer sex” as well as to make some references to Robert Burns and his relationship with the lassies.

I finished my speech with one of the best tributes I could find to the fairer sex, which was a couple of stanzas quoted from one of Burns’ own poems:

“Green grow the rashes, O,
Green grow the rashes, O;
The sweetest hours that e’er I spend,
Are spent amang the lasses O!”

“Auld nature swears, the lovely dears
Her noblest work she classes O;
Her prentice han’ she tried on man
An’ then she made the lasses O.”

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