When is Burns Night 2017 and what is it all about?


    When is Burns Night 2017 and what is it all about?
    Robert Burns (Picture: Getty)

    Robert Burns, also known as Rabbie and the Bard of Ayrshire, has long been considered the national poet of Scotland.

    Much of his work – which includes Auld Lang Syne (well his re-written version of the Scottish folk song) – is written in Scottish gaelic or English with a Scottish dialect and his influence grew widely after his death largely among socialism and liberalism.

    His poem Scots Wha Hae became the unofficial national anthem for Scotland for a time too.

    His poems A Red, Red Rose, A Man’s a Man for A’ That, To a Louse, To a Mouse, The Battle of Sherramuir, Tam o’ Shanter and Ae Fond Kiss are also well remembered and recited.

    What is Burns Night and why do we celebrate it?


    The Cotter’s Saturday Night
    From scenes like these old Scotia’s grandeur springs,
    That makes her loved at home, revered abroad:
    Princes and lords are but the breath of kings,
    An honest man’s the noblest work of God.

    Full poem here

    My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose
    O my Luve’s like a red, red rose,
    That’s newly sprung in June:
    O my Luve’s like the melodie,
    That’s sweetly play’d in tune.

    As fair art thou, my bonie lass,
    So deep in luve am I;
    And I will luve thee still, my dear,
    Till a’ the seas gang dry.

    Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
    And the rocks melt wi’ the sun;
    And I will luve thee still, my dear,
    While the sands o’ life shall run.

    And fare-thee-weel, my only Luve!
    And fare-thee-weel, a while!
    And I will come again, my Luve,
    Tho’ ’twere ten thousand mile!

    To a Louse
    Ha! whaur ye gaun, ye crowlin ferlie?
    Your impudence protects you sairly;
    I canna say but ye strunt rarely,
    Owre gauze and lace;
    Tho’, faith! I fear ye dine but sparely
    On sic a place.

    Ye ugly, creepin, blastit wonner,
    Detested, shunn’d by saunt an’ sinner,
    How daur ye set your fit upon her-
    Sae fine a lady?
    Gae somewhere else and seek your dinner
    On some poor body.

    Swith! in some beggar’s haffet squattle;
    There ye may creep, and sprawl, and sprattle,
    Wi’ ither kindred, jumping cattle,
    In shoals and nations;
    Whaur horn nor bane ne’er daur unsettle
    Your thick plantations.

    Full poem here

    To a Mouse
    Wee, sleekit, cow’rin, tim’rous beastie,
    O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!
    Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
    Wi’ bickering brattle!
    I wad be laith to rin an’ chase thee,
    Wi’ murd’ring pattle!

    I’m truly sorry man’s dominion,
    Has broken nature’s social union,
    An’ justifies that ill opinion,
    Which makes thee startle
    At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,
    An’ fellow-mortal!

    I doubt na, whiles, but thou may thieve;
    What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
    A daimen icker in a thrave
    ‘S a sma’ request;
    I’ll get a blessin wi’ the lave,
    An’ never miss’t!

    Full poem here

    MORE: Burns Night: Top tips for choosing a whisky

    MORE: 10 unusual haggis dishes to create the most delicious Burns Night meal