Happy Birthday Rabbie Burns! Today he would have turned 260!
It should be safe to say that everybody in Scotland has witnessed the ‘addressing’ of the haggis on Burns Night and has heartily sung Auld Lang Syne at Hogmanay with a glass of whisky (or two). Robert Burns’ work is more Scottish than a Scottish thing, and he will likely continue being celebrated as a central figure of our northern culture for many a decade to come. Even if you really haven’t much of a clue what his Scottish prose actually means, you still know that Burns captures the culture and the landscapes within his lyrics and poetry in a way that only he could. Admittedly, our new German Image Assistant Ida, has a few challenges understanding the poems written in the Scottish language, but is giving it a good go and has agreed to address the haggis at this year’s McAteer Photograph Burns’ Supper (sorry Alan). Go Ida!
His journeys through Scotland and the north of England undoubtedly influenced his romantic poetry, as did the social and political issues of the day. In this way, we would like to celebrate the extraordinary scenery we have on our doorstep that we are sure would have inspired the Bard of Scotland.
Auld Lang Syne (excerpt)
We twa hae paidl’d in the burn,
frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
sin’ auld lang syne
Afton Water (excerpt)
Thy chrystal stream, Afton, how lovely it glides,
And winds by the cot where my Mary resides,
How wanton thy waters her snowy feet lave,
As gathering sweet flowrets she stems thy clear wave.
O, Wert Thou in the Cauld Blast (excerpt)
Oh wert thou in the cauld blast,
On yonder lea, on yonder lea;
My plaidie to the angry airt,
I’d shelter thee, I’d shelter thee