The Ploughman Poet.
The National Poet of Scotland.
“The Greatest Scot of All Time,” according to a 2009 Scottish Television Poll (sorry, William Wallace).
All this praise and more has been heaped upon the memory of Robert Burns since his death at the tender age of 37 in 1796. Heck, even the man’s Wikipedia page can’t help but fawn: “Celebration of his life and work became almost a national charismatic cult during the 19th and 20th centuries, and his influence has long been strong on Scottish literature.”
A real rags-to-riches story, the man was a living embodiment of the American Dream — except, you know, he was Scottish and lived in Scotland.
From Biography.com: “Burns began life as a poor tenant farmer but was able to channel his intellectual energy into poetry and song to become one of the most famous characters of Scotland’s cultural history. He is best known as a pioneer of the Romantic movement for his lyrical poetry and his rewriting of Scottish folk songs, many of which are still well known across the world today. Since his death on July 21, 1796, his work has inspired many Western thinkers.”
His was the brain behind “Auld Lang Syne,” probably the most famous song almost nobody knows all the words to.
The title, by the way, roughly translates to “for the sake of old times,” or “days gone by,” according to “Songs from Robert Burns (1759-1796).”
Though he died young, supposedly by aggravating a long-standing heart condition through his own, ahem, intemperance, his legacy has been stalwart, and many of his works are still quite popular today.
Had he lived, one can only imagine he’d have loved a party like the one Bainbridge is cooking up for him. The liveliest stage in Lynwood will once again celebrate the storied Scottish scribe’s birthday at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 26, as the Treehouse Café rolls out haggis, plenty of tartan, toasts and, oh yes, there will be bagpipes.
The night begins with some pipe music — “a wee bit,” event organizers said — followed by the traditional haggis ceremony at 7:30 p.m., officiated by Pipe Sergeant J. Craig Thorpe.
After that, haggis is served, complete with homemade gravy, to be accompanied by more pipes and plenty of toasts.
The evening will culminate with a performance of “Auld Lang Syne,” and music by Celtic Magic, “your official local Celtic band,” consisting of Kent Tarpley (rhythm guitar), Mickey Molnaire (bodhran), Pete Orbea (bass), TJ Faddis (pennywhistle) and Charlie Faddis (pipes). Also, Jane Landstra and Kem Embrey of Celtic Capers and the Gaelic Stylings of Stacey Giermann will ring out loud and proud.
Tickets for this 21-and-older party are on sale. The cost is $15 per person, and haggis is included.
Visit www.treehousebainbridge.com to purchase and learn more.