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GUEST,Murray on Saltspring Lyr Req: Star o' Robbie Burns (Thomson, Booth) (33) RE: LYRICS FOR STAR OF RABBIE BURNS 29 Apr 00

Yes, indeed, Eluned! Actually I treasure an old book that appeared in 1859, titled "Chronicle of the Hundredth Birthday of Robert Burns", edited by the poet and song-writer James Ballantine. This, published only sixty-odd years after his death, describes 872 meetings to celebrate the bard's birthday, mostly in Scotland of course, but a full 61 in the United States, besides one in Copenhagen! In the ensuing hundred years the celebration has become quite an epidemic, really, and now, 204 years after his death, it seems there's never a want of some party or other to remind us of RB's talents. Personally, I get a bit miffed sometimes at the way many people seize the opportunity for a guzzle and a feast without honestly caring what the old lecher got up to; but there's enough true believers out there (without mentioning the over-the-score devotees of the "Burns Cult") to make it worth while. Singing, dancing, a recitation or two, and speeches of course, some serious, some tongue in cheek, all in honour of a more-or-less uneducated farmer who died at 37. An honour no-one pays to Shakespeare, or the national poets of other countries. I know they render homage to Pushkin in Russia; but not world-wide. Whereas old Burns is highly regarded in Russia (and well translated)-- all over the world, in fact. The Star of Rabbie Burns (as I spell it) does fit the circumstances - [two] hundred years are gane and mair, and brighter grows its beam. -- Incidentally, a correction to my correction last time: it should read "Auld Scotland's chiefest bards were bred" etc. Sorry about that.

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