Last night saw the club holding its annual celebration of the life and work of Robert Burns, Scotland’s national poet, and what a special evening it turned out to be. We had a full house and although ours doesn’t have the formality of a full-blown Burns ‘Supper’ we unquestionably did the great man proud. Ian Duncan kicked off the proceedings with a rousing rendition of the famous ‘Address to the Haggis’ and, as has now become customary, there was a real (and delicious) local haggis to share later in the proceedings. As with all our themed evenings Burn’s songs or poems were not compulsory, a blessing for some of our visitors from south of the border, but even the non-Burns contributions were met with enthusiastic applause. There’s no partisan sentiments at Nitten – it’s all in the grand spirit of friendship that we’ve built up over the many years we’ve been together.
A few of the many highlights: the wonderful community singing of Charlie, Ian, Robert and Jim on ‘Is There for Honest Poverty’, Robert’s tremendous singalong ‘The Star of Robbie Burns’, Alison’s glorious recitation of ‘To a Mouse’ and a tender rendition of ‘My Love’s Like a Red, Red Rose’ from Ronnie. There were too many wonderful moments to list them all here but all contributions, familiar or otherwise, were greeted with the same warm appreciation that Nitten always provides. During the break there was, of course, the afore mentioned haggis, prepared by Janis and Ian Duncan and served with a tasty assortment of cheeses and snacks (as I said, it’s not a full ‘Supper’ so no bashed neeps & chappit tatties). Many thanks to May for organising the food and to Gillian for helping to dish it up to out guests and visitors.
Jim rounded off the evening with a genuinely moving rendition of (what else?) ‘Auld Lang Syne, sung to the original tune. There’s a good reason this is one of Burn’s most widely sung pieces – there’s no other poem in any language that more clearly and accurately describes the true value of real friendship, particularly poignant in these complex and troubled times, especially when you take the time to listen to the full text, as sung by Jim. Auld Aquaintance must never be forgot and at Nitten Folk Club we have that in abundance. If you couldn’t make it this year make sure you come along next time – you’ll leave with a wonderful warm feeling in your heart – even on a cauld January evening. Congratulations to everyone who helped to organise the evening and warm thanks to everyone who joined us for what was a truly great night.