K. Reshkin

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  • Spoken Ink Poetry

  • The Songs and Poems of Robert Burns
  • By: Robert Burns
  • Narrated by: Alex Norton
  • Length: 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4

A collection of some of Burns' most famous and treasured poems, brilliantly read by Scotland’s Alex Norton, famous for his role as Taggart. For all those who’ve ever had trouble reading the great poet on the page, for those who love Scotland and for all the rest who like whisky, raise a mouthful of haggis to the Rabbie Burns. Featuring ‘Adress to a Haggis’, 'Tam o'Shanter', 'My Love Is Like a Red, Red, Rose', 'Holy Willie's Prayer', and 'To a Mouse'.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good for listening; poor navigation

  • By K. Reshkin on 01-29-13

Good for listening; poor navigation

3 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-29-13

What I liked:

Every year I read a Robert Burns poem at a Burns supper. It's hard for me to get the accent right because I'm not a native speaker of Scots English. Listening to this recording of Alex Norton was very helpful to get the pronunciation and cadence. I think I gave my best performance yet!

A nice selection of poems, including a couple of the less famous ones, elegies and such.

What I'd change:

I wish there were a table of contents and a way to navigate easily to chapters (tracks) other than just clicking "next."

I had to listen to the whole thing to write my own table of contents (track list). For an anthology like this (not a traditional book with chapters that follow in order), it was really a disadvantage.

Here's the track listing:
1. To a Haggis
2. Of A' The Airts The Wind Can Blaw
3. Rantin' Rovin' Robin
4. Green Grow the Rushes O
5. A man's a man for a' that
6. To a mountain daisy
7. Scots Wha Hae
8. Auld Lang Syne
9. Epitaph on a Wag in Mauchline
10. Jon Anderson My Jo
11. O Whistle, and I'll come to ye, my lad
12. Fareweel To A'Our Scottish Fame
13. The Deil's Awa' wi' th'Exciseman
14. Rattlin' Roarin' Willie
15. To a mouse
16. Holy Willie's Prayer
17. To a Louse
18. On Seeing a Wounded Hare
19. On the birth of a posthumous child
20. Epitaph of the Poet's Daughter
21. My love is like a red, red rose
22. Afton Water
23. Ae Fond Kiss
24. Go fetch tae me a pint o' wine
25. Ye Banks And Braes O'Bonnie Doon
26. Tam O' Shanter

If I were assembling an anthology like this to record, I'd stick to the poems that are not songs; it feels very forced to listen to song lyrics (such as "Auld Lang Syne" or "Rantin' Rovin' Robin") spoken instead of sung.

I'd also lose the "atmospheric" bagpipes and other sound effects. I know it's Scottish without that! ;^)

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