Today, on his birthday, people everywhere will raise a dram to Scottish poet Robert Burns, who most famously penned “Auld Lang Syne.”
But liberty lovers the world over may know Burns best for the immortal lines from “The Author’s Earnest Cry and Prayer”:
Arouse, my boys! exert your mettle,
To get auld Scotland back her kettle...
Freedom an’ whisky gang thegither!
Written in protest of the Scottish Distillery Act of 1786, Burns’ rallying cry and his fellow Scots’ outrage at the whiskey tax was heard. In the updated footnotes of his “Prayer,” Burns thanks his representatives in the House of Commons for the subsequent excise reduction.
CEI’s latest production ends with Burns’ resounding words. Tonight, friends at home and abroad gather both for Burns Night and the International I, Whiskey Watch Party to salute the individuals— freedom fighters, innovators, makers—and the liberty that make it possible to toast a haggis and share a whiskey with friends.