Amock Comedy Magazine 2
BURNS: THE CULINARY YEARS
Robert Burns is probably
best known across the
world as the author of
Auld Lang Syne, sung
with gusto at New Years’
parties. His authorship of
that classic may be in
dispute with some
claiming that it is a
traditional air, but there is
no doubting the fact that
he wrote Ode To A
Haggis. This is a poem
that is recited on the 25th
of January each year at
Burns Suppers in
celebration of the poet’s
birthday. What has
recently been discovered
is that he wrote a series of poems on foodstuffs, which
have now been collected and released as a book under
the title Burns: The Culinary Years.
ODE TO A CURRY
Fair is your honest tasty face,
Great Chieftain o’ the dining race,
Among them all you take your place,
Pizza, ribs or chips;
Well are ye worthy o’ a grace
That lingers on my lips.
The groaning balti there ye fill,
Basmati mounded like a hill,
The very sight promises a thrill,
In time of need;
While through your sauce the chillies will
Fulfil all need.
His fork see the eager diner grab,
And into the balti quickly jab,
No time now for idle gab,
He’s on the pitch;
And then, o taste, superbly fab,
Warm spicy rich.
Then head to head, they stretch and strive,
Devil take the hindmost! On they drive,
Another lager? That makes five,
And there’s more to come!
Then all the guys, their bellies thrive,
And mouths are numb.
Are there that over Walmart’s quiche,
Or sautéed croissants, topped with peach,
Or salad bars that make you reach,
For a decent dinner;
Looks down on us and tries to preach,
Against such a winner?
Editor, Jock Kiltie, says that though Burns’ love of wine
and women is well known, his love of a good feed has
only just been discovered. “Och aye, Rabbie loved a
good lunch,” he said, “and frequently wrote a wee poem
to celebrate the fact. In fact there would be few foods
that Rabbie didnae like and he seems to have wrote
aboot them aw.”
Poor devil see him over his trash,
As meagre as baked beans and mash,
Malnutrition’s given him a rash,
This silly git;
Through drab suburbia quick to dash,
Oh how unfit!
The collection includes Ode To A Curry (reproduced
opposite), Ode To A Sausage, Ode To A Pie, Ode to A
Tattie (potato), Ode To A Soup, Ode To A Noodle, Ode
To A Cake, Ode To A Croissant, Ode To A Turnip, Ode
To A Chicken Drumstick, Ode To A Chip, Ode To A
Fishcake, Ode To A Pork Chop, Ode To A Cauliflower
and Cheese, Ode To A Biscuit and Ode To A Sandwich.
But mark our boy, he’s curry fed,
His belly stuffed with good naan bread,
He’ll leave his foes as good as dead,
Sharp as a whistle;
And heading to the lavvy later,
He’s moving like a missile.
You Powers, who make mankind your care.
And dish them out their bill of fare,
We humans want no wimpish ware,
That’s done in a hurry;
But if you wish our grateful prayer,
Give us a curry!
“I just hope he didnae hiv them aw at wance,” added
Kiltie, “for they would give you terrible indigestion.”