Ten Crazy Things You Didn’t Know About Robert Burns

Thought you knew about Robert Burns? Think again! This Burns Day, we take a look at the weirdest and most wonderful facts surrounding the Bard of Ayrshire.


  1. Pop singer Michael Jackson was a huge fan and even recorded an album with David Gest setting Burns’ poems to music.


  1. The bard’s work has appeared in hundreds of films and television programmes, including ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, ‘When Harry met Sally’ and ‘Sex and the City’.


  1. He managed to have 12 children by four different women even though he died fairly young. Burns was 37 when he died following a dental extraction in 1795.



  1. Burns’ works have inspired the titles of two famous books. John Steinbeck took the title of his book ‘Of Mice and Men’ from Burns’ poem ‘To a Mouse’ – ‘The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft agley’ while JD Salinger’s ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ is based on the poem ‘Comin Thro the Rye’.


  1.  Rabbie was the first ever person to feature on a commemorative bottle of Coca Cola.


  1.  US fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger is a direct descendant of Robert Burns – records show that the fashion giant is the great, great, great nephew of Rabbie.


  1. Other than Queen Victoria and Christopher Columbus, Burns is the most popular non-religious statue around the world.  There are more than 50 memorials dedicated to Robert Burns across the globe.


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A photo posted by colin (@clcart2009) on


  1. US president Abraham Lincoln was a huge Burns fan and even claimed the poems helped him to win the American civil war and abolish slavery.


  1. The legendary Burns’ poem ‘Auld Lang Syne’ is the third most popular song in the English language behind  ‘Happy Birthday’ and ‘For he’s a jolly good fellow’.

      10. During the Second World War, Chinese resistance fighters used the translation of ‘My Heart is in the Highlands’ as their marching song.


Do you have any good facts about Robert Burns? Tweet them to us! 

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