As most alert readers (ARs) know, one of the longstanding traditions at The Schlafly Tap Room is the celebration of Robert Burns’s birthday on January 25th. In addition to Scotch Ale, haggis and bagpipes, the evening includes John Meyer’s recitation of Burns’s “Address to the Haggis” and my recitation of some original poetry composed for the occasion. Now, thanks to an AR named Jan Jacobi, an event very much in the spirit of this tradition was held at Schlafly Bottleworks on May 8th.
Jan is the President of The Burns Club of Saint Louis and the author of an excellent book titled Young Lincoln, for which he did a signing at Bottleworks. In addition to Jan’s insights into the 16th President of the United States, the evening included a recitation by John Meyer of “Holy Willie’s Prayer” by Robert Burns. This poem, an entertaining and skillful skewering of religious hypocrisy, was one of Lincoln’s favorites. Also on the program was my recitation of an original poem composed for the occasion. On the eve of the 155th anniversary of The Battle of Gettysburg, I chose as my title:
THE BOTTLEWORKS ADDRESS
Once upon a time one score and seven years ago
At Twenty-first and Locust Streets good beer began to flow.
Eric Greitens was in high school. His girlfriend was a baby.
Stormy Daniels was in grade school and still a virgin…maybe.
Local beer in those days was endorsed by talking frogs.
Beer like this would never suit a president who split logs.
President Abe Lincoln was renowned for splitting rails.
And when the job was finished Honest Abe drank honest ales.
If Lincoln were alive today, he’d admire our focus.
No Missouri compromise at Twenty-first and Locust.
Beer of, by and for the people. No industrial swill,
With owners in America, not hedge funds in Brazil.
There was a fearless leader who always told the truth
And was faithful to his wife. He was shot by John Wilkes Booth.
Lincoln was a capable and ethical commander.
He was not a hypocritical, tee-totaling philanderer.
Trump and Greitens both have had multiple affairs.
Both can point to Clinton and say, “No one really cares.”
Both of them will proudly say, “No matter what you think,
I am truly moral because I do not drink.”
They do not drink beer or wine or any kind of spirit.
Talk of infidelity? They don’t want to hear it.
Both will tell the public that their consciences are clear.
Both may be adulterers. But they don’t drink beer.
Unlike Trump and Greitens, Abe Lincoln loved his beer.
And a woman who cut Lincoln’s hair never had to fear.
From Lincoln in the White House we’ve come a long, long way
To Eric Greitens’ cellphone and Stormy Daniels in Sauget.
Lincoln never would have wooed a pornographic star.
He would not have tied a woman to a chin-up bar.
Lincoln never would have said to a naked lady:
“Hold that pose right where you are while I get Matthew Brady.”
Now I ask you all to join me in a toast.
In case he’s here tonight, let us drink to Lincoln’s ghost.
To his Gettysburg Address I now propose a sequel:
It’s obvious all beers are not created equal.
It’s obvious that the hypocrisy lampooned in “Holy Willie’s Prayer” is alive and well in 2018.
Chairman – The Saint Louis Brewery