Born on 25 January 1759, Robert ‘Rabbie’ Burns is the best loved Scottish poet, admired not only for his verse and great love-songs, but also for his character, high spirits, ‘kirk-defying’, hard drinking and womanising!
Burns contributed over 300 songs, many of his own composition, and others based on older verses for the Scots Musical Museum.
Burns died aged 37 of rheumatic fever which he contracted after falling asleep at the roadside (after a particularly vigorous dinking session) in pouring rain. The last of Burns’ children was actually born during his funeral service.
Burns will never be forgotten as his poems and songs are still as popular in Scotland as they were when first written.
Burns Night is a great occasion when many dinners dedicated to his memory are held all over the world. The ritual of the Burns Supper was started by close friends of Robert Burns a few years after his death and the format remains largely unchanged today, beginning with the chairman of the Supper inviting the assembled company to welcome the haggis.
The poem ‘To a Haggis’ is recited and the haggis is then toasted with a glass of whisky.
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