Rabbie Burns 250

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.

  • RepublicanStones

    Kilsally none of the links appear to be working. It may be my retarded index finger however.

  • fixed now.

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    Luke Kelly (and the Dubliners) singing a Robbie Burns song/poem!

    Very poignant!

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    I see Sean Connery there in the first video. Although born a Scotsman but the auld bastard has lived most of his life abroad as a tax exile.

    Kinda like Tom Jones who’s lived most of his life in the US.

    And kinda like that awful ‘plastic paddy’ Peter O’Toole.

  • Dubliners not a patch on The Corries singing it.

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Js7x3u2GHYs&feature=related

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    Aye, the real deal with the Scots accents.

    Fareweel to a’ oor Scottish fame
    Fareweel oor ancient glory
    Fareweel even tae oor Scottish name
    Sae famed in martial story
    Noo Sark runs o’er the Solway sands
    Tweed runs tae the ocean
    Tae mark where England’s province stands
    Such a parcel o’ rogues in a nation

    What force or guile could not subdue
    Through many wor-like ages
    Is rocked now by the coward few
    For hireling traitor’s wages
    The English steel we could disdain
    Secure in valour’s station
    But English gold has been oor bane
    Such a parcel o’ rogues in a nation

    O would or I had seen the day
    That treason thus would sell us
    My old grey heid had lain in clay
    Wi’ Bruce and loyal Wallace
    But pith and power till my last
    hourI’ll mak’ this declaration
    We are bought and sold for English gold
    Such a parcel o’ rogues in a nation

    “Written by Robert Burns as a protest against the Act of Union, 1707, which joined the parliaments of England and Scotland. Although initially against the Act, the Scottish parliament soon agreed when offered a large pension each by the English government. The people had no say, and thus were ‘bought and sold for English gold’.”

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    Another Robbie Burns classic sung by Luke Kelly

    Dainty Davy

    It was in and through the window broad
    And all the teary will he go
    The sweetest kiss that e’er I got
    Was from my Dainty Davy

    Oh lease me on your curly pow
    Dainty Davy, Dainty Davy
    Lead me on your curly pow
    You’re my own dear Dainty Davy

    ‘tWas down among my father’s peas
    And underneath the cherry tree
    ‘tWas there he kissed me as he pleased
    Now he’s my own dear Dainty Davy

    Oh lease me on your curly pow
    Dainty Davy, Dainty Davy
    Lead me on your curly pow
    You’re my own dear Dainty Davy

    When he was chased by a dragoon
    Into my bed he laid his wound
    I thought him worthy of his room
    Now he’s my own dear Dainty Davy

    Oh lease me on your curly pow
    Dainty Davy, Dainty Davy
    Lead me on your curly pow
    You’re my own dear Dainty Davy

  • The Raven

    Always strange how those who wouldn’t be paying £3.7m in taxes anyway, are always the first to hurl the rocks of indignation. Obviously he’s the same sort of “auld bastard” that is among the 67,000 similar illegitimates who leave each year and don’t come back.

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    Oh indeed The Raven. Your right too, I suppose, an absentee Scotsman is just as Scottish still as lad living in the Gorbals.

    But probably you not find it kinda odd for a man and a knight of the realm at that, who advocates Scottish Independance, the SNP, but has lived most of his life in the Bahamas. Ah sure he probably keeps up to date with the news from home.

    My mistake!

  • M. Langstrom

    I prefer England over Scotland quite frankly… plus I don’t see myself parading round Glasgow in February … it’s cold as hell … brrrr!!!!

  • OC

    My favorite version of “Caledonia”:

  • Dewi

    Well done OC…..”Homecoming” is pretty cool – like “Highlander” it’s a gathering……

  • RepublicanStones

    “There can be only one !”

  • Mayoman

    Ye see yon birkie, ca’d a lord,
    Wha struts, an’ stares, an’ a’ that;
    Tho’ hundreds worship at his word,
    He’s but a cuif for a’ that:
    For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
    His ribband, star, an’ a’ that:
    The man o’ independent mind
    He looks an’ laughs at a’ that.

    As relevant today as it was back then!!

  • GGN

    My understanding is that he prefered to be called Robert to Rabbie, I stand to be corrected.

  • Rory Carr

    The Scottish comedian (and former accountant), Fred MacAulay on Saturday morning on BBC Radio 4 will examine the economic impact of Burns’s popularity on the British economy. We may even find out if it goes anywhere towards meeting the loss incurred by Sir Sean’s tax exile.

    The trailer for it was a cracker and MacAulay is among the brightest and best of today’s batch of comedians. I much prefer him to Darragh O’Briain who I find almost too smartarse for his own good – though he certainly is good.

    And finally to the most culturally significant piece of Scottish music and lyrics of my early teens:

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=mfxWY_NxS0c