From the Library: Music for a Burns Supper

Today, Jan­u­ary 25th, we cel­e­brate the anniver­sary of the birth of Robert Burns, with a pro­gramme of tra­di­tion­al and mod­ern music from Scot­land (with plen­ty of bag­pipes of course), and then, at 11am and 7pm Pacif­ic Time (19:00 and 03:00 GMT) we present a com­plete Burns Sup­per, cour­tesy of the Scots Inde­pen­dent News­pa­per.
Robert Burns (25 Jan­u­ary 1759 – 21 July 1796) 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 pieces, his polit­i­cal or civ­il com­men­tary is often at its most blunt.
He is regard­ed as a pio­neer of the Roman­tic move­ment and after his death became an impor­tant source of inspi­ra­tion to the founders of both lib­er­al­ism and social­ism. A cul­tur­al icon in Scot­land and among Scots who have relo­cat­ed to oth­er parts of the world (the Scot­tish Dias­po­ra), 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.
Burns Night, effec­tive­ly a sec­ond nation­al day, is cel­e­brat­ed on 25 Jan­u­ary with Burns Sup­pers around the world, and the for­mat has not changed since Robert’s death in 1796. The basic Sup­per starts with a gen­er­al wel­come and announce­ments fol­lowed by the Selkirk Grace. Imme­di­ate­ly after this comes the pip­ing-in of the Hag­gis, after which 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. This is when the read­ing called The Immor­tal Mem­o­ry, an overview of Robert’s life and work, is giv­en; the event usu­al­ly con­cludes with the singing of Auld Lang Syne. The progress of the Sup­per is gen­er­al­ly accom­pa­nied by poet­ry read­ings and music on the pipes and oth­er instru­ments, espe­cial­ly includ­ing ren­der­ings of works by The Bard of Ayr­shire.
The con­tent of our own Burns Sup­per here on Radio Riel will be as fol­lows:
Just for Seu­mas  — per­formed by Gor­don Dun­can
An Intro­duc­tion — per­formed by Peter Wright, Chair­man of the Scots Inde­pen­dent News­pa­per
Pip­ing in the Hag­gis — per­formed by Gor­don Dun­can — Duchess of Edinburgh/Lonach Gath­er­ing
To a Hag­gis — per­formed by Peter Wright
Selkirk Grace — per­formed by Peter Wright
Par­cel of Rogues in a Nation — per­formed by Rod Pater­son
The Immor­tal Mem­o­ry — per­formed by James Hal­l­i­day
Banks and Braes of Bon­nie Doon — per­formed by Gill Bow­man
Tam o Shanter — per­formed by Mar­i­lyn Wright
Ae Fond Kiss — per­formed by Gill Bow­man
Toast to Scot­land — per­formed by Peter Wright
Jim Tweed­ie’s Sea Legs — per­formed by Gor­don Dun­can
Auld Lang Syne — per­formed by Rod Pater­son
Vote of Thanks — per­formed by Alas­tair McIn­tyre
Music cour­tesy of Green­trax


Today’s pro­gramme is pre­sent­ed by Elrik Mer­lin and pro­duced by Radio Riel in con­junc­tion with our friends at the Alexan­dri­an Free Library Con­sor­tium of Sec­ond Life. You can lis­ten to the pro­gramme in-world now at, or sim­ply click here to start your play­er, if your brows­er is con­fig­ured to do so. Lis­ten­ers in the Unit­ed States are encour­aged to tune in using this link:

For more infor­ma­tion on the Alexan­dri­an Free Library, cur­rent exhibits and the work of Con­sor­tium mem­bers in gen­er­al, please vis­it the Alexan­dri­an Free Library web­site, or one of their branch­es in-world.


Parts of the above were based on the Wikipedia entry on Rob­bie BurnsVis­it the page for more infor­ma­tion.
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