Robert Burns 1759-1796As it is Burns night on Tuesday what other stamp could I show for Sunday Stamps than two commemoratives issued on the 25th January 1966.
Designed by the Scottish artist Gordon Huntley the One Shilling and Threepenny stamp shows the Nasmyth portrait against a background design that contains symbols of Burns' life (they take a lot of squinting to see) - the plough, a scroll and a quill, the rose, a stook of barley, the thistle and the gable end of his home Mossgeil Farmhouse. The script lettering is based on calligraphic forms in Burns' signature on letters. The 4d stamp is a more simple design Burns' portrait with the cross of St Andrew - the national flag of Scotland, in the background.
Burns night is on the poets birthday, 25th January, and is a celebration of his short but full life. The supper starts with the Selkirk grace:
- Some hae meat and canna eat,
- And some wad eat that want it;
- But we hae meat, and we can eat,
- And sae let the Lord be thank it.
Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face, (sonsie=good natured, comely)
Great Chieften o' the Puddin-race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place, (aboon=above)
Paich, tripe or thairm; (paich=paunch or stomach) (thairm=intestine)
Weel are ye wordy of a grace (wordy=worthy)
As lang's my arm.
The haggis will then be cut (with a toast proposed in whisky) and eaten with mashed tatties (potatoes) and neeps (turnip). After the meal and various toasts, and poems the evening will end, with of course, a singing of Auld Lang Syne, the poem written by Burns and set to the tune of an old folk song, still sung all over the world at New Year.
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