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Selkirk Grace by Robert Burns
Words to Scottish dinner toast The Selkirk Grace with a history of why and when Robert Burns wrote this Scots poem:
The words below are traditionally said to toast a Scottish dinner or meal, especially at a social gathering. It
is often thought that Robert Burns wrote them, but they were in use long before his time:
Some hae meat and canna eat,
and some wad eat that want it,
but we hae meat and we can eat,
and sae the Lord be thankit.
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I have published a book which tells the story of an Aberdonian military nurse who returns from Afghanistan and encounters The Grey Lady Ghost of the Cambridge Military Hospital. The novel reveals her origins and takes him to a pre-war Duthie Park, modern day Cruden Bay and back to the past to the Battle of Loos in World War One where he witnesses the Gordon Highlanders in action. This is the first in the series of Grey and Scarlet Novels by me, CG Buswell, and each book will feature a well known Aberdeen ghost and Aberdeenshire area as well as modern Scottish Infantry in action. Read the first chapter for free.
History of the Selkirk Grace
Robert Burns was touring Galloway in 1794 with his friend John Syme. They stayed with the Earl of Selkirk at his family home at St Mary's Isle in Kirkcudbright. Burns
would entertain the family with his humour, poems, songs and conversation. Before each meal he would give Scottish toasts. One evening he recited an old version of a
traditional Scottish grace known as the Galloway Grace or the Covenanter's Grace which he changed to his style of recital and writing. The guests were impressed by this new Scottish toast and Burns published it as the
Selkirk Grace in their honour. Since then it has been said by many a Scots family before formal and informal meals.
Some sources state that this took place in the summer of 1793 whilst others state that the Selkirk Grace was written in the Selkirk Arms Hotel in
Kirkcudbright which is now owned by the Best Western Hotel group.
Read about Robert Burns.
Read about Burns Night celebrations.
Aberdeenshire Burns Night Events.
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