A few welcoming words start the evening and the meal commences with
the Selkirk Grace
The company are asked to stand to receive the haggis. A piper then
leads the chef, carrying the haggis to the top table, while the
guests accompany them with a slow handclap. The chairman or invited
guest then recites Burns' famous poem To
A Haggis, with great enthusiasm. When he reaches the line 'an
cut you up wi' ready slight', he cuts open the haggis with a sharp
It's customary for the company to applaud the speaker then stand
and toast the haggis with a glass of whisky.
The company will then dine. A typical Bill o' Fare would be:
Haggis warm reeking, rich wi' Champit
Tyspy Laird (sherry trifle)
A Tassie o' Coffee
One of the central features of the evening. An invited guest is
asked to give a short speech on Burns. There are many different
types of Immortal Memory speeches, from light-hearted to literary,
but the aim is the same - to outline the greatness and relevance
of the poet today.
Toast To The Lasses
The main speech is followed by a more light-hearted address to the
women in the audience. Originally this was a thank you to the ladies
for preparing the food and a time to toast the 'lasses' in Burns'
life. The tone should be witty, but never offensive, and should
always end on a concilliatory note.
The turn of the lasses to detail men's foibles. Again, should be
humorous but not insulting.
Poem and Songs
Once the speeches are complete the evening continues with songs
and poems. These should be a good variety to fully show the different
moods of Burns muse. Favourites for recitations are Tam
O' Shanter, Address to the Unco
Guid, To A Mouse and Holy
The evening will culminate with the company standing, linking hands
and singing Auld Lang Syne to conclude