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.
(Robert Burns, 1785)
Whenever I see a whiskey bottle I remember my Papa; my mother's father, a staunch Scotsman who enjoyed a wee dram on the odd occasion (particularly at Christmas) and who, if the timing was right, enough of the amber elixir had been consumed, the sun had gone down and the stars had aligned, would treat us to a few verses of an old Scottish folk song, in a clear and haunting tenor voice that I so much wish I could hear again. Out of disdain for the winter weather, and a need to have a break from my studies, I made a whiskey cake today and thought of him. Cheers, Papa.