Tuesday, 26 April 2011

and Burns

‘We will know our place in the world by the size of our faith in fellowship. It is this conviction which makes Burns the worlds greatest and most loveable poet.’ Andrew Hagan. 

I used to enjoy my piano songbooks of National Traditional Scottish, English and Irish Tunes. I had favourites – Danny boy, I’ll Take you Home Again Kathleen, Green Grow the Rashes O, and I recently I heard Michael Marra sing this pure and emotional song with his deep and rough-edged voice in the most perfect small theatre venue. At school we recited and sang Burns poetry,

Notes on Burns - 
We may define Robert Burns as our 'national poet' while it is hard to define Burns in one single term as he expresses so much to so many - from his politics of the rights of everyman in his great poem ‘A Mans A Man For a That; to the power of love, My Love is Like A Red Red Rose’; to friendships past ‘Auld Lang Syne’; his love of the natural world in ‘To A Mouse’; and to his belief in freedom and the wrongs of the oppressor. He was ahead of his time; he is Scotland’s national poet; we recited Burns poems once a year and sang his songs.

Burns has had a big impact on the songs and colours of our lives.  This year 2009, is the 250th anniversary of his birth in Ayr (and the year of homecoming) - and so here’s a toast to our national poet. 

Wha for Scotland’s king and law
Freedom sword will swiftly draw
Freedoms stand or freedoms fall
Let him follow me!

He is to me the poet of human growth,.. the power of regeneration. Leaves my fall, but only to compost the wide earth, and better days lie ahead.’
Andrew Hagan on Burns

The summer is gone when the leaves they are green,
And the days are awa that we hae seen,
But far better days I trust will come again,
For my bonie laddie’s young but he’s growin yet. – (Lady Mary Ann)
Books: ‘A night Out With Robert Burns’, Arranged by Andrew Hagan; ‘As Others See Us’ - Personal views on the life and works of Robert Burns. Portraits by Tricia Mailey and Ross Gillespie.