10 Robert Burns Facts

Here are ten facts about Robert Burns, the famous Scottish poet and lyricist.

  • Robert Burns (aka Rabbie Burns) was born on 25th January 1759 in Ayrshire, Scotland. Burns Night is celebrated with a Burns supper every year in Scotland (and in places all over the world) on 25th January (Burns’s birthday).

  • Burns wrote his poems in Scots, standard English and Scots dialect.
  • Robert Burns originally spelled his name ‘Burnes’.
  • Robert Burns was going to move from Scotland to Jamaica. He decided against this when sales of poetry collection Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect (also known as the Kilmarnock volume) took off. He moved to Edinburgh instead, and a second edition of his poetry book was published.
  • Burns was a brilliant lyricist and he contributed over 100 songs to a book called The Melodies of Scotland. He also wrote lyrics for A Select Collection of Scottish Airs for the Voice and The Scots Musical Museum.
  • Robert Burns wrote Auld Lang Syne (he added new lyrics to a traditional Scottish tune) and A Red, Red Rose.
  • Burns was alive during the French Revolution and he was in favour of reform.
  • On 21st July 1796, Robert Burns died at the age of 37. His body lies to rest in the Burns Mausoleum in St Michael’s Churchyard, Dumfries.
  • Burns Clubs, groups set up to celebrate the life and works of Robert Burns, have been founded all over the world.
  • Robert Burns was voted ‘The Greatest Scot’ by viewers of STV in 2009. He beat William Wallace, Sir Alexander Fleming and Robert the Bruce.

Rober Burns