Ever since I took up the role of being Young Ambassador at Ellisland Farm (where Burns once lived and worked) I have loved hearing all of his music sung and played by people all around the world. This fantastic concert starring Eddi Reader, Robyn Stapleton and Karen Matheson really reminded me of how important and special Robert Burns is to Scotland.
The night kicked of with none other than the wonderful Eddi Reader who began with the foot tapping song Charlie Is My Darling. One thing that I really admire about Eddi is how natural and confident she looks up on stage, and you can tell that she’s really enjoying singing. It kind of made you want to get up there and sing with her! Eddi also sang the infamous song My Love Is Like A Red Red Rose which really showed off her powerful, amazing voice and sounded lovely with all of the instruments. During the concert, Eddi also sang my dad’s favourite version of the song John Anderson My Jo. The way she sings it is marvellous and has such a great feel to it. Eddi also sang the well- known song Ae Fond Kiss. The words of Ae Fond Kiss are quite sad in reality as Burns wrote this just after his love Nancy (Agnes) MacLehose left him to go to Jamaica to be with her husband. Unfortunately for Nancy, when she got there, she found out that her husband had left her for another woman. It is said that Burns wrote this crying into her napkin she gave him which is now on display at Ellisland Farm. This truly is such an emotional song and Eddi sang this so well, really embracing each and every word.
Also to perform at this spectacular concert was Robyn Stapleton. Beginning with the fab Burns song I’m O’er Young, Robyn sang so beautifully! I’ve been lucky enough to meet Robyn lots of times, she’s such a kind, amazing lady who really inspires me with her stunning voice. At the concert, she looked so cheery to be up there and it was such a treat to watch her. Honestly, a Burns concert starring Eddi Reader, Robyn Stapleton, and Karen Matheson- who could ask for more?! Robyn also sang her version of Now Westlin Winds which is one my favourite songs she’s ever sung. I think it shows off her voice unbelievably well and if you haven’t listened to her sing it, please do now! A Man’s A Man was also among the Burns songs Robyn sang at the concert which was both emotional and poignant and really added a special flare to the concert.
Karen Matheson was also there to sing and what a remarkable performance she gave! Karen has such a rich voice when she sings, and I always find myself mesmerised by how fantastic her voice is. It was impossible not to sway along to the music as she sang! Karen sang Ca The Yowes, another great Burns song. One thing I love watching is how people can give the songs of Robert Burns their own wee twist and Karen did that splendidly. Another song she did was actually adapted from one of Burns’s poems, The Fall of The Leaf and the tune had been written by Donald Shaw. The way that Karen sung it was very haunting and beautiful and it was simply incredible to listen to.
At the end of the concert, Eddi was joined by Robyn and Karen as she sang Burns’s most well- known song Auld Lang Syne. The song Auld Lang Syne is all about friendship which is very poignant in these times. It was so emotional and wonderful to hear these amazing ladies singing together. Performances like this haven’t really had a chance to happen over all these eventful months which made it even more special to watch. I’m sure as they sang together that night, Robert Burns was smiling down at them.