Happy Birthday to Caledonia’s Bard

10 p.m. to Midnight Host: Steve Winters

Sunday marks the 256th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns — "Caledonia's Bard," the "ploughman's poet" and, as Scottish musicologist Francis Collinson describes Burns, "the greatest compiler, restorer and editor of all" and the man "who changed the whole face of Scottish music." He was born on Jan. 25, 1759 in Alloway in Ayrshire, Scotland.

Through the decades, I’ve sliced and diced the work of Burns in so many ways — including his passion for women, his political passion, his love of the Scottish countryside, his universality and his humanitarianism. This year, let’s just sit back and enjoy this sampler of many facets of the music that Robert Burns restored, mended or created.

  • Artist, "Title", Album, Label

  • Battlefield Band, “Rantin’ Rovin’ Robin”, Stand Easy & Preview, Temple

  • Karine Polwart, “My Heart’s In The Highlands”, Robert Burns: The Complete Songs/Vol. 9, Linn

  • Jim Malcolm, “Caledonia”, Robert Burns: The Complete Songs/Vol. 5, Linn

  • Dougie MacLean, “Scots Wha Hae”, Tribute, Dunkeld


  • Ian F. Benzie, “The Wintry Wind Extends Its Blast”, Robert Burns: The Complete Songs/Vol. 1, Linn

  • Kirsten Easdale, “Where Braving Angry Winter’s Storms”, Robert Burns: The Complete Songs/Vol. 9, Linn

  • Jean Redpath, “O Wert Thou In The Cold Blast”, First Flight, Rounder


  • Ed Miller, “A Man’s A Man For A’ That”, Celtic Festival 1996/Live At Oatlands, Barnaby Productions

  • Eddi Reader, “Ye Jacobites By Name”, Sings The Songs Of Robert Burns, Compass

  • Old Blind Dogs, “Parcel Of Rogues”, There Was A Lad…Songs of Burns, KRL/Lochshore


  • Jim Malcolm, “There Grows A Bonny Brier Bush/Duncan Grey”, Resonance, Beltane Records

  • Bruce Davies, “Green Grow The Rashes O”. …O’er The Border, Rothes Recordings,

  • Blackeyed Biddy, “Ae Fond Kiss”, Peace Enjoyment Love & Pleasure, Greentrax Records

  • Battlefield Band, “My Luv’s Like A Red Red Rose”, Dookin’, Temple

  • Mae McKenna, “Ca’ The Ewes”, Shore To Shore, Mill Records


  • Hugh MacDiarmid, “Address To The Haggis”, There Was A Lad…Songs of Burns, KRL/Lochshore

  • Shona Mooney, “The Haggis”, Heartsease, Foot Stompin’ Records


  • Deaf Shepherd, “Logan Braes”, Ae Spark O Nature’s Fire, Greentrax

  • Gill Bowman, “Auld Lang Syne”, Toasting The Lassies, Greentrax