Have a bonnie Burns Night

There’ll be celebrations a’plenty in the highlands tonight with feasts of haggis, neeps and tatties and more than wee drams of whisky flowing – and what we think is the best ingredient, plenty of reading aloud – as it is Burns Night; the annual celebration of Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns.

Over 250 years on (253 to be precise), the Ploughman Poet is still heralded as Scotland’s finest and his work holds a firm place in the heart of many a Scot, as well as people of various other nationalities. Just days ago, a poll questioning over 1,000 Scots about their ultimate Rabbie poem concluded the nation’s favourite to be the epic Tam O’Shanter, one of the first and arguably finest examples of narrative poetry. Coming in second place was A Man’s a Man for A’ That, with – very appropriately – Address To A Haggis just behind.

But you might not know that Rabbie was not just the poet of the people, but that A-list stars had a fondness for him too. In what is probably one of the most bizarre meetings of literature and music I have ever come across, it has been revealed that back in the late 1980’s Michael Jackson recorded a series of showtunes inspired by Burns’s life and work. The intriguing sounding collection has not seen the light of day before but is now to be donated to the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Ayrshire, as a way of illustrating Burns’s “international, enduring artistic legacy”. Let’s hope the songs are more Bard than Bad (if you can come up with any better Burns/Jacko puns they’d be appreciated because that was, quite frankly, rubbish).

Seeing as today is not only Burns Night but also St Dwynwen’s Day – the Welsh Valentine’s Day – it seems only appropriate to mark the two occasions with what has to be Rabbie’s most romantic poem (which can also be found in Poems To Take Home). A bonnie Burns Night and Dydd Santes Dwynwen Hapus (‘Happy St Dwynwen’s Day’, for those of us who don’t speak Welsh) to all.

A Red, Red Rose

My luve’s like a red, red rose,
That’s newly sprung in June:
My luve’s like the melodie
That’s sweetly played in tune:

So fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will love thee still, my dear,
Till all the seas gang dry –

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun –
And I will love thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run!

And fare thee weel, my only luve,
And fare thee weel, a while –
And I will come again, my luve,
Tho’ it were ten thousand mile!

Robert Burns

2 thoughts on “Have a bonnie Burns Night”

  1. och ! just had Haggis for my tea ! lovely til we decided to discuss what it was, a conversation I could have done without !!

    I will not be following the other BURNS tradition of a quck dram after reading he had one to many went out in the cruel elements and fell asleep and well he died !!
    You are probably thinking he should have worn something warmer than a kilt but this was outlawed in Scotland by the Jacobites !!!
    Fame runs in the BURNS family as his great nephew had a very loud voice and was the loudest town crier in BERMUDA (that is not a mistake ) at 113 decibels !

    that is enough about BURNS although really it should be Burnes as he changed the spelling when his dad died !! dont think I will change the spelling of Jones when my dad dies !!

    By the way not in the least bit scottish with my family coming either from Liverpool or wWales
    BUT will ring mum, up now as know nothing about ST DYNWENS day but everything about BURNS NIGHT
    SHAME on her !!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *