Burns Night

Burns Night

Date: 25/01/2021 10:50

Tonight, Scotland and many around the world celebrate Burns Night, an annual celebration of the poet and National Bard, Robert Burns. The event is normally held near the poet’s birthday on the 25th January, though some celebrations are held at various other points in the year.

In the Digital Film Archive, we have footage of a lively concert evening held in the Ulster Hall in 1993, celebrating all things Scottish with music and dance. However, no Scottish music performance is complete without an appearance from Kenneth McKellar who closes the show with two popular Burn’s songs. These songs – ‘A Red, Red Rose’ and ‘Ye banks and braes o bonnie doon’ - were chosen due to a conversation McKellar had recently had with Thomas Sutherland - who had been freed after six years of captivity in Beirut. Sutherland had passed the time with his fellow captives reciting Burns poetry and McKellar dedicates this performance to him.

The 19th-century scholar and educationalist J S Blackie summed up Burns's legacy to Scotland and the Scots with the words: 'When Scotland forgets Burns, then history will forget Scotland.'

To skip to McKellar’s performance, go to 20minutes 35seconds.


To find more information on 'The Ulster Hall Concerts: Scottish Night', click here.

For more information on Robert Burn’s you can go to the National Library of Scotland;