"Gie him strong drink until he wink,
That's sinking in despair;
An' liquor guid to fire his bluid,
That's prest wi' grief and care:
There let him bouse, an' deep carouse,
Wi' bumpers flowing o'er,
Till he forgets his loves or debts,
An' minds his griefs no more."
Solomon's Proverbs, xxxi. 6, 7.
Some of you reading this are lucky enough to own a DQ tie with a Drambo on the back. Although we hope not, to you it may just be a tie.
But to DQ its heritage and stories...
Drambo was in the Flying Squad at Scotland Yard (the infamous, "Sweeney"). He was also a proud Scot. So proud he decided Scotland Yard needed its own supper to celebrate the life of his favoured life coach, one Robert Burns. So he founded one. Which continues to this day.
It wasn't the first Burns Night by any means. But it was the first DQ had heard of as he honed his bicycling skills in the 1970s. As Drambo went on to become the President of the Burns Club of London and make hand made bespoke dirks and sgian dhubs slowly but surely DQ decided it was the last thing he was interested in.
But epigenetics kicked in after a few tumblers of fine malt whisky. And somehow DQ started his own Burns Supper in 2005 at Soho House in New York.
Burns was the son of a poor tenant farmer who through twists of fate, hard work, and a flair for words became a famous poet and philosopher in his own time, and beyond.
He loved to drink with his buddies, had children with eight different ladies, and was so missed when he passed away that his friends threw a dinner to remember him and his works.
And so we convene to celebrate our absent friends, toast with those who have joined, and raise a glass to Robert Burns and his words. Finishing, of course, with his best known song, "Auld Lang Syne".
We've heard that Burns dinners range from stentoriously formal gatherings of aesthetes and scholars to uproariously informal rave-ups of drunkards and louts. You can use your own judgement as to which one our's leans towards, but a Burns dinner wouldn't be complete without a selection of the poet's finest read aloud. For those who won't be able to join us, here's a selection to read with a fine Scotch this evening.