Poems, prose and podcasts

Scottish creatives, poets and academics feature in #TaeTheBard, a new podcast series exploring Robert Burns’ enduring legacy which launched this week to mark Burns Night.


Leading Burns expert, Dr Pauline Mackay, chats with creatives and expert guests on Burns’ influence on different strands of Scottish culture and how this remains relevant today. With a total of 12 contributors across five episodes, guests include singer songwriter Mairi Campbell, lettering artist Craig Black, haggis producer James Macsween, and whisky expert Graeme Littlejohn.


Dr Pauline Mackay, #TaeTheBard host and Lecturer in Robert Burns Studies at the University of Glasgow, said:


“Burns’ legacy remains very much alive in today’s Scottish culture and in the five episodes of #TaeTheBard, we explore how Burns’ continues to influence and inspire in poetry, art, food, drink and song. The series offers people an opportunity to learn more about the Bard this Burns Night and learn more about what makes him so special to so many across the world.”


Ben Macpherson, Minister for Europe, Migration and International Development, said:


“Burns Night is one of Scotland’s most well-known and best loved national days, celebrated by millions around the world.


“Our national bard is one of our favourite icons, and each year Burns Night is a chance for us to come together, celebrate his poetry, enjoy the occasion and affirm some of our country’s most important values - fairness, equality and internationalism.


“From his best-known works like the global anthem ‘Auld Lang Syne’ to the unique customs of the traditional Burns Supper, he has influenced people from all walks of life. The #TaeTheBard campaign will give Scots, and Scots at heart, all over the world the opportunity to celebrate our national poet in new and contemporary ways.”


Five episodes of #TaeTheBard are available now on Spotify and iTunes.


Episode Contributors
Words can inspire a thousand pictures: an exploration of how Burns works are inspiring contemporary visual artists Craig Black: Scottish lettering artist who has created #TaeTheBard mural

Susan McGill: Fife Based artist who incorporates Burns’ lyrics into her designs

The poetry, the performance: the evolution of performances of Burns’ work, from alternative Burns suppers to new mediums Catherine Wilson: Edinburgh poet and performer who regularly performs at Burns events and leads workshops

Jack Finlay: associate producer of the Big Burns Supper

Professor Gerry Carruthers: Francis Hutcheson Chair of Scottish Literature  

A toast like no other: we raise a glass to whisky - Scotland’s national drink has long been used to celebrate Scotland’s national bard Jaclyn McKie: Isle of Arran Distillers, producers of a range of Robert Burns whiskies

Graeme Littlejohn: director of Scotch Whisky Association

Great Chieftain o’ the Puddin-race: so beloved of Burns, it received its own ode, just what makes haggis so special? James Macsween: third generation producer of the UK’s favourite haggis

Colin Bussey: professional chef and haggis fan

Auld Lang Syne, a global anthem: an intrinsic part of celebrations across the world from Hogmanay to weddings, we discuss its origins and its true meaning Mairi Campbell:  Scottish folk singer and musician for whom the song inspired her own s

Dr Rhona Brown: senior lecturer in Scottish Literature at the University of Glasgow


Fans of Burns from all over the world will also have the opportunity to take part in a global virtual toast, paying tribute to the much-loved poet by posting a photo of their celebration on social media using #TaeTheBard these will be collated with other posts from around the world on a virtual wall that will be available on Scotland.org/burns.


#TaeTheBard promotes Scotland’s Winter Festivals which celebrate the country’s rich culture and heritage. Events will take place across the country to mark Burns Night which have been supported with funding from the Scottish Government.


For more information about #TaeTheBard visit Scotland.org/burns