Edward composes brand new Burns songs

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AN ARBROATH man who has set the entire works of Robert Burns to new and original music scores is to premier his work at Hospitalfield later this month.

Edward Cairney has spent months putting together his work and was composing up to 12 tunes every day.

And on January 15, he will be playing a selection of his songs at Hospitalfield for the first time, accompanied by his piano.

Edward explained that it was easy to write many of the songs due to Burns talent as a great lyricist.

He said: “Burns is such a fantastic lyricist, that the songs almost wrote themselves.

“He is one of the greatest lyricists of all time but he wasn’t a composer.”

Edward hopes that when his project is complete, all of Burns song lyrics will have a brand new tune.

He will be premiering the first phase of his project at Hospitalfield later this month but expects his total number of songs to exceed 500 once he has finished them all.

He added: “Burns was a song collector and for this we have to be grateful for had he not noted all the old tunes he heard on his travels, they could have been lost to antiquity.

“Although he collected a great deal of old tunes, there obviously wasn’t enough material to cater for his prodigious output of verse. This would explain why several of his songs share the same tune.”

Both Edward and Hospitalfield share special connections to Robert Burns with Edward’s cousin actor, John Cairney playing the role of Burns for over 40 years.

And Hospitalfield has its own links to the Bard as it owns the John Ellicot pocket watch that timed Burns funeral in 1796.

The concert, called ‘Burns Revisited’ takes place on Saturday, January 15 at 7.30 p.m.

Tickets can be ordered from Hospitalfield by contacting 01241 890344 or emailing friends@hospitalfield.org.uk. Tickets can also be bought by paying on the door on the night.