• Date Posted:

    25 — 01 — 2019
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Celebrating Burns Night | Music Inspired by Robert Burns

Happy Burns’ Night!

At RHA we’re proud of our Scottish heritage and are always looking for an excuse to have a wee dram. What better night than tonight, which marks the celebration of Scotland’s national bard, Robert Burns?

He’s known throughout the world – most notably for the New Year’s favourite, Auld Lang Syne. Which, in fact, is one of the three most popular songs in the world, along with Happy Birthday and For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow. The poet and talented lyricist was first published in the 18th Century and was so popular that he was even adopted as Russia’s People’s Poet.

Whilst best known for poems about wee, sleekit’, cowrin, tim’rous beasties (mice!), Burns’ work has had a huge impact on modern-day music all over the globe. Even boundary-pushing musicians like Bob Dylan and Michael Jackson cite the 18th-Century Scots’ romantic as a key influence.

In fact, musician Bob Dylan proudly professed his admiration of the poet, noting: “A Red, Red Rose” lyrics impacted his life more than any others.

Burns’ influence can also be felt throughout the literary world. John Steinbeck’s “Of mice and Men” lifts its title from Burns’ “To a mouse”, while “Comin through the Rye” is used as a plot device in J. D. Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye”.

Robert Burns is not the only poet to inspire popular music. In fact, the bases for many known songs have been sparked from a few lines of well-crafted rhymes. California based rockers Counting Crows lifted their name from the traditional British nursery rhyme “One for sorrow”.  Even Metallica reference “Hush Little Baby” in their 1991 hit, “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.”

We’ll continue to hear poetic influences throughout the charts for a long time to come, so we’ll be raising a glass to Burns tonight accompanied by our playlist of songs inspired by the written word.