One can only speculate what the conversation would be between Burns and Trump. They both have Scottish mothers and enjoy writing. Trump clearly prefers the 140 character sonnet. No doubt, Burns would enjoy New York City and Trump would be tweet, “looking forward to meeting the great bard, #IfBurnsmetTrump“. If the subject of “Auld Lang Syne” arose – a song Burns copied down from an older generation – Burns would surely point out the song symbolises reunion and remembering the past.
For auld lang syne, my jo,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak’ a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
With dry January (potentially!) losing its allure at this stage of the month, Scots all over the world are encouraged to raise a dram to Scotland’s Bard, Robert Burns, on his birthday, 25 January. In Scotland’s year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, discover some of the traditions and festivities linked to Robert Burns; the Ayrshire ploughman who became one of the world’s best-known poets.
To celebrate his birthday, here are 10 fun facts about Robert Burns:
- After Queen Victoria and Christopher Columbus, Robert Burns has more statues dedicated to him around the world than any other non-religious figure.
- J.D. Salinger’s famous 1951 novel Catcher in the Rye based its title from a poem by Robert Burns “Comin’ Thro’ the Rye.”
- Bob Dylan selected Burns’ 1794 song “A Red, Red Rose” when asked for the source of his greatest creative inspiration.
- John Steinbeck took the title of his 1937 novel Of Mice and Men from a line contained in Burns’ poem “To a Mouse:” “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft agley.”
- Burns’ Auld Lang Syne is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as being one of the top three most popular songs in the English language. The other two are ‘Happy Birthday’ and ‘For he’s a jolly good fellow.’
- A miniature book of Robert Burns’ poetry was carried into orbit by astronaut Nick Patrick on a two-week space mission in 2010, completing a 5.7-million mile trip and 217 orbits of the Earth.
- Robert Burns produced over 550 songs and poems. That averages at around 25 works for each year of his adult life (Burns passed away at 37).
- The city of Atlanta, Georgia, has a life-size replica of the Alloway cottage that Burns was born in. It was built by the Burns Club of Atlanta in 1911.
- In 2009, viewers of STV voted Robert Burns the greatest Scot ever, with more votes than Robert the Bruce and Alexander Fleming.
- Robert Burns was going to move from Scotland to Jamaica. He decided against this when sales of poetry collection Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect (also known as the Kilmarnock volume) took off.
Robert Burns was born in Alloway on 25th January, 1759.
12 great words from Burns that you can use everyday
Beastie: diminutive of beast.
Donsie: unlucky, affectedly neat and trim, pettish.
Feckless: puny, weak, silly.
Gimmer: a ewe two years old; a contemptuous term for a woman.
Hurdies: buttocks, hips or haunches.
Jundie: to jostle, a push with the elbow.
Kelpies: a sort of mischievous water-spirit, said to haunt fords and fairies at night, especially in storms.
Luggies: wooden containers with a lugs or handles, as a mug or bowl.
Peat-reek: the smoke of burning turf; a bitter exhalation; whiskey.
Sonsie: having sweet engaging looks, lucky, jolly.
Smoutie: smutty, obscene; smooty phiz, sooty aspect.
Whingin: crying, complaining, fretting.
Visit the home of Robert Burns in Dumfries and Galloway: