Tyne Folk

LOCKDOWN POEM - Lindsey Thornton

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The Haggis by Lindsey Thornton

Come with me to Ben McRee and the highlands near Ben Drogle
And I'll te ye a wondrous tale about the hunting of the Tatty Bogle
Or in other words, the haggis, that wee and curious beast
Which lives in fear, when once a year, it becomes a Burns night feast

For many years the creature dwelled in its highland habitation
Undisturbed and unperturbed and in total isolation
Then all at once the world was turned by Robbie Burns, the Scottish bard
And suddenly for the tatty bogle, life became very hard

This creature leads a solitary life, doesn't wander far and wide
Has two legs long and two legs short from living on the hillside
To catch the little beastie requires a chase through grass and clover
Until if reaches the mountain top, when it's apt to just fall over

This is caused by the leg arrangement, which you'll admit is rather queer
And results in an imbalance and the creature lives in mortal fear
Of flat places, where where it feels quite exposed and somewhat fraught
But enough of that let me explain what happens whenever it is caught

The pelts they turn into sporrans, the antlers into Sian Dhu handles
The fat is pared off and processed and turned into ornamental candles
The locals remove the gonads and serve them up as patties
But the more squeamish of us, eat the rest, served up with neeps and tatties

So while you eat your Burns Day treat of spiced haggis served with neeps
Spare a thought for the Tatty Bogle's offspring that though the winter sleeps
Only to wake from hibernation and throw off its somnolent cloak
Only to end up on a table, on Burns Night, at tynefolk

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Address to the Haggis

Haggis image

His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An' cut you up wi' ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,Like onie ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight, Warm-reekin', rich!

Robbie Burns

Geordie : "Lindsey, what inspired you to write the Haggis?
Did you witness a gory Address to the Haggis? where the dirk gouged through the flesh of the stomach, entrails splayed in a blood and guts mess?"
Lindsey : "Nothing so romantic! I wrote it specifically for a tynefolk Burns night!"


Haggis (Scottish Gaelic: taigeis) is a savoury pudding containing sheep’s pluck (heart, liver, and lungs), minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and cooked while traditionally encased in the animal's stomach.

Larousse Gastronomique:
"Although its description is not immediately appealing, haggis has an excellent nutty texture and delicious savoury flavour"