10 interesting facts about Robert Burns – Scotland’s Best-Loved Son

Burns’ Night is celebrated on the anniversary of The Bard’s birth, the 25th January, every year, and is commemorated on various nights throughout the lead-up to this historic day, with music, dancing, poetry, haggis, and whisky, meaning there is a perfect way for everyone to celebrate Burns’ Night.







Robert Burns is Scotland’s best-loved son. His legacy contains over 550 poems and songs, including Auld Lang Syne. Translated into almost every written language, his best-loved works include Tam o’ Shanter and A Man’s A Man for A’ That and Address to a Haggis.

1. Scotland’s Bard


Although he was only 37 years of age when he died, Robert Burns produced more than 550 songs and poems. That’s around 25 works for each year of his adult creative life. Today, he is known as The Bard, Scotland’s National Poet.



2. Romance


Burns was the acknowledged father of 14 children! His romancing is well documented in his works such as, ‘My Love is Like a Red Red Rose’ and ‘Ae Fond Kiss’. He was only 15 years of age when he penned his first poem, Handsome Nell.


3. Dumfries and Galloway


The beautiful landscapes of Southwest Scotland inspired Burns’ work and continue to spark creativity in new generations, such as artist Hazel Campbell and sculptor Trevor Leat. Dumfries & Galloway is also home to Wigtown, known as the Scotland’s National book town and Kirkcudbright, known as ‘the artists’ town’ because of its beautiful light.



4. Haggis


Haggis became well-known, and is now considered Scotland’s National dish, thanks to Roberts Burns’ poem ‘Address to a Haggis’. However, haggis was also referred to in the works of Scottish poets Dunbar and Kennedy prior to 1520, some 240 years before Burns was born.


5. Auld Scots


Burns’ poetry is written in Auld Scots, the language prevalent in the Scottish lowlands until English was adopted in around 1700. You can test your understanding of Scots language on the ‘Aye Can Speak Scots’ site.



6. Burns Festival


The ‘Burns an’ a’ That’ Festival is now recognised as the largest arts and cultural festival in South West Scotland, attracting audiences from throughout the UK and beyond. Featuring four nights of headline live music acts at Ayr’s iconic Town Hall and an eclectic fringe programme running throughout Ayrshire.



7. Burns and the 21st Century


An app’s an app for a’ that. An iPhone app has been developed to allow enthusiasts around the world to download and instantly access Burns’ poetry. The app includes a searchable database of every poem written by Burns, a summary of facts about the poet’s life, a guide to hosting a Burns Supper.



8. Butler is Burns?


Scots Movie Star Gerard Butler is rumoured to take the leading role in a forthcoming adaption of the life of Robert Burns. Brian Cox and John Hannah are also rumoured to star in film.



9. Robert Burns Birthplace Museum


Robert Burns Birthplace Museum offers a truly unique encounter with Scotland’s favourite son. The museum comprises the famous Burns Cottage where the poet was born, the historic landmarks where he set his greatest work, the elegant monument and gardens created in his honour and a modern museum housing the world’s most important collection of his life and works.



10. Auld Lang Syne


Perhaps Burns most famous work, Auld Lang Syne, was in fact only part written by Burns. The Bard apparently restored the piece based on fragments of an old ballad dating from before his time. Burns probably only added a few verses to the song. It is perhaps this coming together of the work of Burns and his contemporaries that makes any rendition of Auld Lang Syne so poignant when sung together on celebratory events such as Burns Night.


January 24, 2012 · admin · Comments Closed
Posted in: Scotland