Sunday Evening Reflection: Celebrating Robert Burns

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January 25, 2020, the world celebrated Robert Burns, affectionately known as Rabbie Burns, the great Scottish poet and lyricist.  He has been given the honoured titles of National Bard, Bard of Ayrshire and the Ploughman Poet. Whenever I join in the chorus of Auld Lang Syne, I feel a debt of gratitude to Robert Burns, who penned the words in 1788.  In a letter to the Scots Musical Museum, Robert Burns indicated Auld Lang Syne was an ancient song that had never been put to paper.  Auld Lang Syne, or days gone by is a reminder to celebrate and remember times past, even as we look forward to a new day.

Auld Lang Syne has greeted many New Years through the centuries. Friendship, camaraderie, compassion and hope come together. “And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere!”  We are not alone but share our time with others. Whatever life has in store, friendship will see us through even the most difficult time.

Life does bring about an ending, but words cannot be contained.  They live on and stoke fires in the hearts and minds of those that follow.  When we read William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Percy Bysshe Shelley, we are reading words that hold the influence of Rabbie Burns.  When we listen to Bob Dylan, it is good to know that he was motivated by Rabbie Burns’ “A Red Red Rose.”

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp!
And surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
We twa hae run about the braes,
And pu’d the gowans fine;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary foot,
Sin auld lang syne.
We twa hae paidl’d i’ the burn,
Frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
Sin auld lang syne.
And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere!
And gie’s a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak a right gude-willy waught,
For auld lang syne.
For auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp!
And surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

 

Celebrating Robert Burns, National Bard, Bard of Ayrshire from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.

26 thoughts on “Sunday Evening Reflection: Celebrating Robert Burns

    • Thank you for celebrating Rabbie Burns with me. His short life was both brilliant and tragic. A reminder that life has twists and turns, and now all is known until it happens. As Rabbie Burns once wrote: “There is no such uncertainty as a sure thing.”

      Liked by 2 people

  1. A beautiful tribute to a great man of words said of this famous barb. Sufficiently great as to have written a poem about what became the Scots national dish as a result and which was to forever maintain its fame, thus so because of his poem called the “Address to a Haggis”.
    Having had a taste of haggis many tears ago, to indulge my then Scot neighbour who had prepared his haggis for Robbie Burns day, I must say that there is a major difference between writing about it and eating it, let alone tasting this Scottish adventure. I salute the brave Scots, and most especially the Scot, whose name escapes me, who in any event won the contest for downing one and a half pounds of haggis in less than two minutes.
    Surely only a brave Scot could have done so and survived, as well as winning two years in a row, and to live to talk about it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I laughed out loud when I ready your comments. Congratulations on having tasted haggis. I was reading up on what Scots ate in pre-industrial times. They had a fairly frugal diet of barley, oats, beans. What surprised me was that they had kale. Meat was a luxury. Oats, of course was the staple food of the Scots for centuries. Love those oat cakes! I did not know about the haggis eating contests. Yikes!

      Liked by 1 person

    • How very well said. Words, ideas, hopes, dreams that continue – the thread of kindness and compassion are somehow captured. There are universal themes that have been repeated throughout the centuries: abundance vs scarcity, courage, faith, family, fate, justice, loyalty …. They speak to our need of belonging first to ourselves and then to others. But first to ourselves!

      “An honest man here lies at rest,
      The friend of man, the friend of truth,
      The friend of age, and guide of youth:
      Few hearts like his, with virtue warm’d,
      Few heads with knowledge so inform’d;
      If there’s another world, he lives in bliss;
      If there is none, he made the best of this.”
      Robert Burns

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Since I am in America, I had to celebrate Rabbie Burns’s birthday with canned haggis. It was actually quite good! My husband, who has never had haggis before, had seconds and even thirds.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A kindred spirit! I did not know that there was canned haggis. Thank you for celebrating Rabbie Burns with me. I am looking forward to our ongoing conversations!

      Liked by 1 person

      • My great-grandfather was an immigrant from Scotland. He came from Kelso, so I think he must have been in Clan Douglas. Anyway, I luv, luv Scotland! Hope to get back there soon.

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      • How did I miss your comment?!! I’m so very very sorry that I am replying late – my apologies. I visited Kelso a couple of years ago. It is a beautiful town. I just looked up my photos and just relived the moment, thanks to you. I’m with you – let’s go back to Scotland. Packing my bags now!

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  3. What a beautiful and peaceful place, Rebecca. I always find this song very moving. The image of his stone bust nestling amidst the pretty country flowers is very touching. Lovely post. 😃

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a beautiful presentation, and lovely song of course! My favorite Burns’ poem is To A Mouse so I was delighted to see the mouse statue, as well as his own statue sitting on the ground among the purple flowers. The cottage and grounds are precious, so thank you for sharing. Hugs!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • To a Mouse is one of Frances favourite poems. She introduced me to it several years ago so it has become a favourite of mine, too. And by the size of the statue, it is a favourite by many. Everyone wanted to have a photo with the mouse!!

      “But Mousie, thou art no thy-lane,
      In proving foresight may be vain:
      The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men
      Gang aft agley,
      An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
      For promis’d joy!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Rebecca, a beautiful post in honour of Robert Burns. The video is heavenly and I love how it’s set to Auld Lange Syne, a song we always sing at New Year. Coincidentally I’ve just read a book about Dumfries which has connections with the poet!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am delighted that you enjoyed the video tour. These photos were taken several years ago when my son organized the trip to follow in the footsteps of Rabbie Burns. You would have enjoyed the Robert Burns House in Dumfries. This was the place where he wrote his most famous poem. What book did you read?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for stopping by, Inese – very much appreciated! Robert Burns was extraordinary. His life was not for the faint of heart. He was an impoverished and under-capitalized farmer with limited education. And yet he had a genius for poetry. He died at 37, in dire poverty, haunted by the threat of debtors’ prison, on the same day his last son, Maxwell was born. He was given a grandiose military funeral and the “turn-out’ was the most extraordinary known to history of that time.

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