Robert Burns: Poems

Honours

Landmarks and organisations

Burns clubs have been founded worldwide. The first one, known as The Mother Club, was founded in Greenock in 1801 by merchants born in Ayrshire, some of whom had known Burns. The club set its original objectives as "To cherish the name of Robert Burns; to foster a love of his writings, and generally to encourage an interest in the Scottish language and literature." The club also continues to have local charitable work as a priority.[51]

Burns's birthplace in Alloway is now a public museum known as Burns Cottage. His house in Dumfries is operated as the Robert Burns House, and the Robert Burns Centre in Dumfries features more exhibits about his life and works. Ellisland Farm in Auldgirth, which he owned from 1788 to 1791, is maintained as a working farm with a museum and interpretation centre by the Friends of Ellisland Farm.

Significant 19th-century monuments to him stand in Alloway, Edinburgh, and Dumfries. An early 20th-century replica of his birthplace cottage belonging to the Burns Club Atlanta stands in Atlanta, Georgia. These are part of a large list of Burns memorials and statues around the world.

Organisations include the Robert Burns Fellowship of the University of Otago in New Zealand, and the Burns Club Atlanta in the United States. Towns named after Burns include Burns, New York, and Burns, Oregon.

In the suburb of Summerhill, Dumfries, the majority of the streets have names with Burns connotations. A BR Standard Class 7 steam locomotive was named after him, along with a later British Rail Class 87 electric locomotive, No. 87035.

On 24 September 1996, class 156 diesel unit 156433 was named "The Kilmarnock Edition" by Jimmy Knapp, General Secretary of the RMT union, at Girvan Station to launch the new "Burns Line" services between Girvan, Ayr, and Kilmarnock, supported by Strathclyde Passenger Transport (SPT).

Several streets surrounding the Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr.'s Back Bay Fens in Boston, Massachusetts, were designated with Burns connotations. A life-size statue was dedicated in Burns's honour within the Back Bay Fens of the West Fenway neighbourhood in 1912. It stood until 1972 when it was relocated downtown, sparking protests from the neighbourhood, literary fans, and preservationists of Olmsted's vision for the Back Bay Fens.

There is a statue of Burns in The Octagon, Dunedin, in the same pose as the one in Dundee. Dunedin's first European settlers were Scots; Thomas Burns, a nephew of Burns, was one of Dunedin's founding fathers.

A crater on Mercury is named after Burns.

In November 2012, Burns was awarded the title Honorary Chartered Surveyor[52] by The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the only posthumous membership so far granted by the institution.

The oldest statue of Burns is in the town of Camperdown, Victoria.[53] It now hosts an annual Robert Burns Scottish Festival in celebration of the statue and its history.[54]

Stamps and currency

The Soviet Union was the first country in the world to honour Burns with a commemorative stamp, marking the 160th anniversary of his death in 1956.[55]

The Royal Mail has issued postage stamps commemorating Burns three times. In 1966, two stamps were issued, priced fourpence and one shilling and threepence, both carrying Burns's portrait. In 1996, an issue commemorating the bicentenary of his death comprised four stamps, priced 19p, 25p, 41p and 60p and including quotes from Burns's poems. On 22 January 2009, two stamps were issued by the Royal Mail to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Burns's birth.

Burns was pictured on the Clydesdale Bank £5 note from 1971 to 2009.[56][57] On the reverse of the note was a vignette of a field mouse and a wild rose in reference to Burns's poem "To a Mouse". The Clydesdale Bank's notes were redesigned in 2009 and, since then, he has been pictured on the front of their £10 note.[57] In September 2007, the Bank of Scotland redesigned their banknotes to feature famous Scottish bridges. The reverse side of new £5 features Brig o' Doon, famous from Burns's poem "Tam o' Shanter", and pictures the statue of Burns at that site.[58]

In 1996, the Isle of Man issued a four-coin set of Crown (5/-) pieces on the themes of "Auld Lang Syne", Edinburgh Castle, Revenue Cutter, and Writing Poems.[59] Tristan da Cunha produced a gold £5 Bicentenary Coin.[60]

In 2009 the Royal Mint issued a commemorative two pound coin featuring a quote from "Auld Lang Syne".[61]

Musical tributes

In 1976, singer Jean Redpath, in collaboration with composer Serge Hovey, started to record all of Burns' songs, with a mixture of traditional and Burns' own compositions. The project ended when Hovey died, after seven of the planned twenty-two volumes were completed. Redpath also recorded four cassettes of Burns' songs (re-issued as 3 CDs) for the Scots Musical Museum.[62]

In 1996, a musical about Burns's life called Red Red Rose won third place at a competition for new musicals in Denmark. Robert Burns was played by John Barrowman. On 25 January 2008, a musical play about the love affair between Robert Burns and Nancy McLehose entitled Clarinda premiered in Edinburgh before touring Scotland.[63] The plan was that Clarinda would make its American premiere in Atlantic Beach, FL, at Atlantic Beach Experimental Theatre on 25 January 2013.[64] Eddi Reader has released two albums, Sings the Songs of Robert Burns and The Songs of Robert Burns Deluxe Edition, about the work of the poet.

Alfred B. Street wrote the words and Henry Tucker wrote the music for a song called Our Own Robbie Burns in 1856.

Burns suppers

Burns Night, in effect a second national day, is celebrated on Burns's birthday, 25 January, with Burns suppers around the world, and is more widely observed in Scotland than the official national day, St. Andrew's Day. The first Burns supper in The Mother Club in Greenock was held on what was thought to be his birthday on 29 January 1802; in 1803 it was discovered from the Ayr parish records that the correct date was 25 January 1759.[51]

The format of Burns suppers has changed little since. The basic format starts with a general welcome and announcements, followed with the Selkirk Grace. After the grace comes the piping and cutting of the haggis, when Burns's famous "Address to a Haggis" is read and the haggis is cut open. The event usually allows for people to start eating just after the haggis is presented. At the end of the meal, a series of toasts and replies is made. This is when the toast to "the immortal memory", an overview of Burns's life and work, is given. The event usually concludes with the singing of "Auld Lang Syne".

Greatest Scot

In 2009, STV ran a television series and public vote on who was "The Greatest Scot" of all time. Robert Burns won, narrowly beating William Wallace.[65]


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