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Fiddlers' Burns

Fiddlers' Burns is a selection of tunes associated with Scotland's national poet, Robert Burns, and arranged for the fiddle by Scottish fiddler and composer Eric Allan.

The poet devoted much of his latter years to studying, collecting, arranging and writing songs. He studied everything that had been published, travelled throughout the country, meeting with players, composers and singers, and became a leading expert on the subject. He met with Niel Gow and William Marshall, two of Scotland's greatest composers, and used their tunes for his songs.

Like one of his most famous characters, Tam o'Shanter, Burns' preference was for his own native music:

Nae cotillion brent new frae France
But hornpipes, jigs, strathspeys and reels
Put life and mettle in their heels.

He would often take an old song and perpetuate it by remodelling the words. His musical ear enabled him to match the words to the music.

The book contains 40 tunes - airs, reels, jigs, strathspeys etc - all associated with Burns songs. There are introductory notes to each group of tunes, making it a useful collection for use at Burns suppers and other performances. Well known pieces like Green grow the rashes and My love she's but a lassie yet are there, but so also are two beautiful Gaelic airs from the Knockie Collection and the poet's own preferred tunes for My luve is like a red red rose and Auld lang syne.