Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Talented Tuesday: In Honor of the Talented Rabbie Burns, 1759-1796

This past November, I met a 2nd cousin,1x removed, who told me that our Great-great grandmother Mary Burns (McPherson) was a cousin of Scotland''s bard, Robert Burns. She reverently unwrapped a small book, more like a pamphlet, of Rabbie's poems to share with me. The little book had been in her family since the time of her great grandmother, and possibly belonged to our great-great-grandmother. The occasion for this small book was a celebration of his birthday --- and in the mid 1800s, the Scots of Scotch Lane in the village of Springdale, Wisconsin, took their Highland roots to heart. Since that November day, I have poked and prodded my computer, a lookin' for connections in the heather that might span time and ocean and prove that this Scots heart of mine beats in family tune with that of our dear Rabbie Burns. 

Alas so close it might be, but sorely no proof – yet.  And this wee poem shows no poet-proof for me.

Cousin” Rabbie

t'is a new year 'n month of January
the time mi thoughts turn to Rabbie
y'know, mi bard, young Rabbie Burns
castin' sweet looks 'n words on a lassie

nights still long n' by flickering l'ght
a book of Rabbie's poems I hold
more close to mi heart as I am told
Rabbie's a cousin - tho generations b'ck

hi' words beck'n t'mi many a year
“wee sleekit, cowerin,' timorous beastie”
“O my luve is like a red, red rose”
long been music to m' ear

so I now be cousin-like
wear'n mi plaid, 'n drink'n a pint
wi' all list'n to yer words
dream'n of heather 'n thistle down


  1. OOO, good luck with your research, how fun is this??

  2. Carol,
    Thanks, it is good fun ---even if t'is a dreamin' in the heather.

  3. Have you tried this site http://www.burness.ca
    cannot get this to post correctly
    As his family name was actually Burness from Glenbervie this link was on Aberdeen Family history facebook on the 24 January