2009 marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns, the bard of Scotland and the Scottish Government is using it as part of the Homecoming 2009 initiative which seeks to foster Scottish emigrant links.
A delegation from Visit Scotland were in Northern Ireland last week promoting Burns events in the Province in an effort to coordinate a record number of Burns suppers. The Ulster-Scots Agency and Visit Northern Ireland are also helping organise a plethora of events in the coming weeks, including the Belfast-Burns 250 Programme. The American Folklife Center in Washington will be holding a Symposium at the Library of congress in February.BBC Radio Scotland are in the process of recording all of Burns works, some of which are available now. The Beeb also have various programmes over the coming week viewable via the iPlayer ( The World According To Robert Burns, BBC Two, broadcast on 19 Jan 2009; My Heart’s in the Highlands, BBC Radio Scotland, broadcast on 20 Jan 2009; and The Linguistic Legacy of Robert Burns, which will be transmitted at 15.05 on 25 January 2009 ). Queens University Ulster-Scots Society will be keeping track of events and Glasgow University is also hosting a series of events.
A couple of the bards tunes performed by the Ulster-Scots eXperience and the Ulster-Scots Folk Orchestra. The first , `The Lea Rig` is more commonly known in Ulster as the tune of `Orange Lily O`, whilst the second is Burns `A Mans a Man Fae Aw That`. Lastly Paulo Nutini performs the same tune at Glasgow`s Barrowlands.