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4 of the Best Known Robert Burns Poems and Songs

My tribute to Robert Burns’ immortal memory ahead of Burns Night on January 25th is a wee set of illustrations of 4 of the best known Robert Burns poems and songs.

I pulled out the 2 lines which, in my opinion, best summed up each of these poems or songs and got to work capturing their essence in simple pen and ink illustrations. I hope you enjoy.

Tam O’Shanter
A rousing tale about a farmer who liked a drink or 2!
Tippenny being ale – as referred to by its price.
Usquabae – no need to preach to the choir here!

Auld Lang Syne illustration by Gillian Kyle

Auld Lang Syne
The third most sung song in the whole English language.
What would Hogmanay be without it?

Address to a Haggis illustration by Gillian Kyle

Address to a Haggis
Haggis and Robert Burns.
Robert Burns and haggis.
One is just better with the other.

A Man's a Man for a' That illustration by Gillian Kyle

A Man’s a Man for A’ That
A universally loved song espousing egalitarian ideals.
Has a more honest verse ever been penned?

So, whether you’re new to Robert Burns or a returning fan, I encourage you to take a little time out and lose yourself in Rabbie’s passion and imagination.

The issues he tackles in his works feel as relevant and real today as they must have done 250 years ago when he was making his mark.

There are some qualities in Robert Burns’ works which particularly inspire and appeal to my artistic side:

* his heartfelt and bare-faced honesty
* his relaxed and free-flowing humour
* his colourfully vivid creativity and vision
* his choice of simple and everyday subject matter

It’s these qualities which unify his vast body of work and make him so relevant and accessible today. And not just with Scots at home and abroad; he is, after all, regarded as the people’s poet in Russia and has more than 60 statues in his memory dotted across all 4 corners of the world. Not bad for the ‘ploughman poet’ from Alloway in Ayrshire.

Robert Burns an illustrated story blog and infographic about Rabbie Burns by-gillian-kyle
Gillian Kyle's illustrated guide to throwing the perfect Burns Night celebration and Burns Supper

It was Burns’ genuine awe-inspiring legacy which prompted me to publish my Robert Burns: An Illustrated Story infographic last year. Should you ever be called upon to make An Immortal Memory toast, you’ll find it a useful guide.

Thinking of welcoming Robert Burns into your home this year and hosting a Burns Supper?
You might want to check out my Throwing a Burns Supper at Home: An Illustrated Guide.

However you choose to celebrate Burns Night this year, be sure to put his unrivalled love of brotherhood, romance, nature and honest Scottish food and drink at the heart of your plans.

Robert Burns ploughman poet illustration by Gillian Kyle

1759 – 1796
Born January 25th, Alloway, Ayrshire
Scotland’s favourite son
Celebrated globally

Illustration of Tam O Shanter by Robert Burns by gillian Kyle

PS Why is Robert so popular today? Read the blog

PPS I’d LOVE to share my newest art, contemporary Scottish designs and Scottish Stories with you as they are released.  Join our mailing list here for regular updates of all things Scottish!


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