Wednesday, January 23, 2008

tuning up for Burns Night: Jim Malcolm

Coming up on 25th January, it’s Burns night, when Scots the world over, and many who know nothing of Scotland beyond hazy ideas of heather, haggis, and kilts, will gather to have a rousing good time to honor the memory and work of the Ayrshire poet. Haggis, as Burns wrote an address to it, and whisky, as that too featured in his life and work, are parts of the celebration.

So is music. Burns wrote about everything --life, love, sex, the Scottish weather, legends, mice, horses, travels, food, work, grieving, and friendship are but a handful of his topics. Whether he was writing words to be read or to be sung, his language is very musical. That’s an aspect fellow Scot Jim Malcolm embodies in his album of Burns songs, which is called Acquaintance. Malcolm, a fine writer and singer himself who was named the best male folk singer in Scotland a few years back, is no’ stuffy about his native bard, presenting the songs in his own conversational and musical style. Rantin Rovin Robin, a mini autobiography from the ploughman poet, open the collection, and Malcolm closes it with Auld Lang Syne sung to the original tune. The Westin Winds, The Ploughman, Killicrankie, Parcel o’ Rogues, and in a humorous duet with his wife Susie, The Shepherd’s Wife, are among the songs Malcolm offers. It’s a fine and lovely and often funny nod from one talented poet and musician to another.

There’s more about Jim Malcolm and Acquaintance at his web site

A few things about Burns night from the BBC

ahead, look for more about Burns songs from another Scot as Eddi Reader Sings the Songs of Robert Burns

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posted by Kerry Dexter at


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