Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Red Rabbie - The People’s Poet

The Wakefield Socialist History Group 

Robert Burns and other radical poets

Saturday January 28 

The Red Shed.
18 Vicarage Street South

Wakefield WF1

"It's coming yet, for a' that, that man to man the world o'er, shall brithers be for a' that."

Unlike Byron and Shelley, Burns had only the most basic education and his early life was one of poverty and toil, having been born into a family of poor tenant farmers.

“Here’s freedom to him that wad read,
Here’s freedom to him that wad write!
There’s nane ever feared that the Truth should be heard,
But they who the Truth wad indite.”

Burns lived through the momentous events of the French revolution that had an influence across all of Europe. Burns greeted the French Revolution with enthusiasm.

Burns was an active member of the Dumfries branch of The Friends of the People. Formed in 1792, this was the first organisation in Scottish history to openly call for universal suffrage for all men, rich or poor It was led by the radical lawyer Thomas Muir who was convicted of sedition and sentenced to transportation to Australia. Burns remained a staunch republican till his death.

“you can’t know Burns unless you can hate the Lockharts and all the estimable bourgeois and upper classes as he really did” DH Lawrence

For some Rabbie Burns was Bob Dylan, John Lennon and Che Guevara all rolled into one. He travelled around Scotland and is known to have fathered 12 children and is estimated to have over six hundred living descendants. Burns the rock star in his day, yet like so many of those he died as poor as he was brought up and hounded by creditors.

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