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Robert Burns

(1759- 1796)

Robert Burns , also known as Rabbie Burns, the Bard of Ayrshire and various other names and epithets, was a Scottish poet and lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and is celebrated worldwide. He is the best known of the poets who have written in the Scots language, although much of his writing is also in English and a light Scots dialect, accessible to an audience beyond Scotland. He also wrote in standard English, and in these writings his political or civil commentary is often at its bluntest.

He is regarded as a pioneer of the Romantic movement, and after his death he became a great source of inspiration to the founders of both liberalism and socialism, and a cultural icon in Scotland and among the Scottish diaspora around the world. Celebration of his life and work became almost a national charismatic cult during the 19th and 20th centuries, and his influence has long been strong on Scottish literature. In 2009 he was chosen as the greatest Scot by the Scottish public in a vote run by Scottish television channel STV.

As well as making original compositions, Burns also collected folk songs from across Scotland, often revising or adapting them. His poem (and song) "Auld Lang Syne" is often sung at Hogmanay (the last day of the year), and "Scots Wha Hae" served for a long time as an unofficial national anthem of the country. Other poems and songs of Burns that remain well known across the world today include "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".

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Related Songs

Composed Title Composer
Jemand (Op. 25 no.4) Robert Schumann
Dem roten Röslein gleicht mein Lieb (Op. 27 no.2) Robert Schumann
Die Hochländer-Witwe (Op. 25 no.10) Robert Schumann
Liebhabers Ständchen (Op. 34 no.2) Robert Schumann
Unterm Fenster (Op. 34 no.3) Robert Schumann
Hochländers Abschied (Op. 25 no.13) Robert Schumann
Hochländisches Wiegenlied (Op. 25 no.14) Robert Schumann
Hauptmanns Weib (Op. 25 no.19) Robert Schumann
Weit, weit (Op. 25 no.20) Robert Schumann
Niemand (Op. 25 no.22) Robert Schumann
Im Westen (Op. 25 no.23) Robert Schumann
Am Strande Clara Schumann
Am Strande (Op. 23 no.1) Sir William Sterndale Bennett
John Anderson (Op. 145 no.4) Robert Schumann
John Anderson (Op. 67 no.5) Robert Schumann
Volkslied (Op. 63 no.5) Felix Mendelssohn
A Highland Balou Benjamin Britten
Chanson écossaise Maurice Ravel
V poljakh pod snegom i dozhdjom, 'O, wert thou in the cauld blast' (Op. 62) Dmitri Shostakovich
Makferson pered kazn'ju, 'Macpherson's Farewell' (Op. 62) Dmitri Shostakovich
Dzhenni, 'Jenny' (Op. 62) Dmitri Shostakovich
Behold, my love (Op. 108) Ludwig van Beethoven
Ca' the yowes Benjamin Britten
O can ye sew cushions? Benjamin Britten
A Winter's Morning Thea Musgrave