After a year off, the Scots Whay Hae! annual Burnscast returns in style with Ali & Ian joined by our very own Dr Ronnie Young to talk all things Rabbie once more. This year the structure is dictated by the Futurelearn on-line course, Robert Burns: Poets, Songs & Legacy, which is open to all, and is entirely free. You can hear all about it on the podcast, but further details can be found here, and you can listen to the accompanying Spotify playlist here – the perfect soundtrack to your Burns Night celebrations.
It’s a fabulous undertaking which has already proved incredibly popular both here and around the world, something which validates and underpins much of Ronnie and Ali’s conversation. Both the course, and this podcast, has something for everyone – from the Burns’ diehards to the interested new-comer. So turn on, tune in and sign up, in that order.
Here’s one of the course creators, Prof Gerry Carruthers, explaining the global appeal of Robert Burns:
You may feel that everything has been said about the man and his work, but we set out to prove that is definitely not the case, as the chat lasts for over an hour about Burns’ life, his poetry, his lesser known role as prolific songwriter and collector, his enduring influence, and how he was viewed then as well as now.
The two also talk about Burns the Icon, and how this Ayrshire poet became one of the most recognisable faces around the world, as well as discussing a fantasy cast for a film of Burns’ life. It’s the perfect accompaniment to Burns Night – but then, we would say that.
To put you further in the mood, here is a terrific reading of ‘Tam O’Shanter’ by the real Brian Cox:
As for our podcast, things briefly go a bit Paul Hardcastle (there’s one for the teenagers) at 7m.30s, but only briefly, and we hope it doesn’t spoil your enjoyment. If you aren’t yet a subscriber to the podcast you can do so, (or simply listen) at iTunes or by RSS. There’s a sizeable back catalogue waiting for you. You can also download it by clicking on the relevant link to the right of this post, or, if you want it right here, right now, you can listen on SoundCloud:
Or on YouTube:
And, to whet your appetite – the podcast finishes with a discussion on the phenomenon which is ‘Auld Lang Syne’, arguably Burns’ ‘greatest hit’, so you’ll have to listen right to the end (or simple scroll on) to hear that, but here’s a taste as to the unusual turns the talk takes. This is the National Anthem of Korea (1919 – 1948):
Happy Burns Night, and normal podcast business will be resumed next time round, whatever that means…