The Spirit of Robbie Burns

The Spirit of Robbie Burns

by Robert Murray


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The whole world knows the legend that is Scotland’s national bard, Robert Burns. But what was the story behind the meteoric success of this literary genius, whose works are still performed and enjoyed to this very day?

Appearing in print for the first time, Robert Murray’s acclaimed stage play follows the life of Burns from his formative years in Ayr through to his success and celebrity in Edinburgh and later farming life in Dumfries. You will meet his friends, learn of his inspirations, and discover intimate details of his many romantic encounters.

Related with warm wit and keen insight, The Spirit of Robbie Burns delves into the life of one of Scotland’s most complex and colourful characters to explore his timeless work and the world he lived in. The text of the play is accompanied by performance notes and detailed appendices, which will make it an essential addition to any good Burns Night celebration.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780995589766
Publisher: Extremis Publishing Ltd.
Publication date: 07/31/2019
Pages: 158
Product dimensions: 5.06(w) x 7.81(h) x 0.34(d)

About the Author

Robert Taylor Murray was born in Barry, near Carnoustie, in 1940. Growing up in Westhaven and later residing in Carnoustie itself, he attended Barry and Carnoustie Schools before becoming an apprentice grocer with William Low & Company Ltd. He qualified as a Member of The Grocers' Institute, and was appointed manager of William Low's Brantwood branch in Dundee, becoming the company's youngest ever manager at the age of 19. He later oversaw the Logie Street branch in Lochee.

Robert went on to manage a larger third branch in Dundee and then, after attending further education management courses, discovered he was sufficiently qualified to successfully apply for a post as a lecturer in distributive trades subjects at Dundee Commercial College - a position he held for five years. Realising how much the retail trade was changing and feeling he was less in touch to reflect the current scene, he applied to join The Grocers' Institute and was appointed Training Development Officer for part of London and east England, where he advised companies and colleges on training in the retail grocery trade.

After two years he returned to the Dundee area when he was appointed Training Officer for Watson & Philip, a national wholesale food distributor. He remained with that company for thirty-three years, during which time he was appointed Personnel Manager and eventually became Group Personnel Manager with responsibility for three thousand employees and, latterly, in the London area.

Following a company acquisition he became redundant at the age of sixty-two. In retirement he has again been actively involved in amateur theatre. He is a member of Tay Writers - a Dundee based writing group - and Angus Writers' Circle, and writes short stories. He has written a stage presentation on the life of Robert Burns, The Spirit of Robbie Burns, which has been performed several times by amateurs in Tayside.

He has two daughters, each married, and four grandchildren.

When he is not writing, he enjoys travelling, hill walking and golfing.

For more information about Robbie and his work, please visit his website at:

Table of Contents

Preface (Page 1)

Introductory Notes (Page 9)

Stage Directions (Page 13)

Dramatis Personae (Page 19)

The Spirit of Robbie Burns

Part I: “Poverty in Ayrshire” (Page 21)

Part II: “High Society in Edinburgh” (Page 51)

Part III: “Farming Life in Dumfries” (Page 71)

Appendix I: Address to a Haggis (Page 89)

Appendix II: The Selkirk Grace (Page 93)

Appendix III: A Typical Burns Night Menu (Page 95)

Appendix IV: The Loyal Toast (Page 97)

Appendix V: The Immortal Memory (Example) (Page 99)

Appendix VI: Address to the Lassies (Example) (Page 107)

Appendix VII: Reply from the Lassies (Example) (Page 111)

Appendix VIII: Auld Lang Syne (Page 113)

Illustrations (Page 115)

Acknowledgements (Page 129)

About the Author (Page 131)

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