The 25th January marks Burns Night, the celebration of Scotland’s beloved poet, Robbie Burns. As such, it seemed the perfect time to celebrate our Scottish Voice Overs - and maybe have a whiskey or two!
To mark the occasion we’ve asked one of our Scottish voice overs to perform the traditional Address to a Haggis. We’re also taking a look at what makes Scottish voice overs so unique - and giving you some tips on what a Burns supper involves!
Scottish Voice Overs: Language or Accent?
Trying to understand the Scottish voice can be a confusing business. It’s an oversimplification to call it an accent and yet it’s hard to define it as a language. In truth, it’s derived from a mix of languages, cultural changes, and the tricky business of living alongside the English…
Generally speaking, the Scottish voice has elements of English, Scots and Gaelic. The density of those elements is affected by where the person comes from, their age, and who they are talking to at the time! Many Scots say that they ‘dial it down’ when talking to non-Scots. Alternatively, many (particularly younger people) use it more as a regional slang.
However complex it may be, the Scottish voice is much loved and consistently ranked among people’s favourite accents. A Scottish brogue is considered one of the most trustworthy, reassuring voices, making it a popular choice for advertising. And lucky Glaswegians found their accent rated sexiest by the Americans!
How to Celebrate Burns Night
So, what is involved in a great Burns Night supper? You might be assuming that Haggis, whiskey, and bagpipes are involved, and you wouldn’t be far wrong…
Traditionally, the Burns Night supper is a three-course meal. The event kicks off with bagpipes and a welcoming speech. The Selkirk Grace is followed by a soup course and then the main event begins…
The haggis is brought in to the sound of bagpipes. The host then gives the Address to a Haggis. At the line “An' cut you up wi' ready slicht” the speaker plunges their knife into the Haggis. A whiskey toast is then given to the Haggis and the company sits down to eat it. Naturally it’s accompanied by neeps and tatties (mashed swede and potato.)
After the haggis and a dessert course various speeches are given, including the Immortal Memory, Toast to the Lassies, and Toast to the Laddies. This is followed up by singing and finished off with Auld Lang Syne.
While Address to a Haggis is a beautiful poem, some of the Scots words used can be mysterious to non-Scots. Fortunately we’ve got some translations on hand for you.
- Sonsie – jolly/cheerful.
- Reekin – steaming.
- Auld Guidman – the man of the house.
- Scunner – disgust.
- Skinkin ware – watery soup.
Auld Scotland wants nae skinkin ware...
So without further ado, we present Andrew Glen (one of our wonderful Scottish Voice Overs) and his Address to a Haggis!
For more posts like this, check out Pirate Voices: Talk Like a Pirate Day and Scouse, Manc, and Yorkshire Accents - a Look at Northern Voices.