American's hardly know and little care that today is Robert Burns Day (or Night), the 250th anniversary of the birth of the Scottish poet and lyricist, the Bob Marley of his time, Robert Burns. We canna do the accent, and so long as 95% make up the lyrics to Auld Lang Syne, and Scots distillers remain in operation we are mostly OK giving Rabbie a miss. But we should know a bit about the Bard, if only to be neighborly.
Rabbie took to writing verse, when he found it was a good way to chat up birds, at which he became quite successful. His first book of verse was sold to raise funds to hightail it to Jamaica with his girlfriend, Mary Campbell, in order to escape his mother's servant, the mother of his first daughter Elizabeth and Miss Jean Armour who was pregnant with his twins.
That the book sold well was a blessing and a curse in that it convinced him he had another talent, one that paid, so he cancelled the move to Jamaica, dumped Mary and married Jean. Prolifigate Robbie had at least 13 known children, 5 out of wedlock, 3 named Elizabeth.
Written for his first born Elizabeth was A Poet's Welcome to his Love Begotten Daughter
or as Burns called it "Welcome to a Bastart Wean"
So raise a glass tonight to Mr. Burns, he deserves to be remembered, for his poetry, his storytelling, his love of Scotland and his love of fine lasses. May they each live forever.