Robert Burns, Scotland’s National Bard and often described as the only true International Poet, was born in the village of Alloway, just outside Ayr, on 25th January 1759. In his short life of 37 years, he wrote and collected a vast amount of poetry and songs which are read, recited and sung in all corners of the world to this day.
Every year we are asked by Guests to include something connected with Robert Burns in their Scottish tour itineraries. This normally takes them to Alloway with the cottage where the Bard was born being the most popular choice. However, a short walk or drive from there, included in what’s now known as the “Robert Burns Heritage Park,” is the Burns Monument and Gardens, the “Tam O’Shanter Experience” which is an excellent modern Audio/Visual presentation, and the setting for Tam O’ Shanter at “Alloway’s auld, haunted kirk” and the famous “Brig o’ Doon”.
A day spent visiting these places gives a marvellous insight into the life and times of Robert Burns. We can arrange all standards of accommodation in the adjacent town of Ayr, but recommend spending at least one night in the heart of Burns’ Country, at the Brig o’ Doon House Hotel, in walking distance of all the above attractions. Ayr is in close proximity to Glasgow and a day in Burns Country can easily be added to your Scotland tour itinerary, so why not sample a bit of Burns during your holiday in Scotland?
Scots Wha Hae is perhaps one of Burns most stirring poems and is regarded almost as an unofficial national anthem of Scotland. It imagines Robert the Bruce’s speech to the Scottish troops on the eve of the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. It is traditionally sung to the tune of a medieval marching tune.
Scots Wha Hae
Scots, wha hae wi’ Wallace bled,
Scots, wham Bruce has aften led,
Welcome to your gory bed
Or to victorie!
Now’s the day, and now’s the hour:
See the front o’ battle lour,
See approach proud Edward’s power –
Chains and slaverie!
Wha will be a traitor knave?
Wha will fill a coward’s grave?
Wha sae base as be a slave? –
Let him turn, and flee!
Wha for Scotland’s King and Law
Freedom’s sword will strongly draw,
Freeman stand or freeman fa’,
Let him follow me!
By oppression’s woes and pains,
By your sons in servile chains,
We will drain our dearest veins
But they shall be free!
Lay the proud usurpers low!
Tyrants fall in every foe!
Liberty’s in every blow!
Let us do or dee!