Appreciating Burns and his
As important as was Burns's contribution to Scots literature with
his original poetry, his greater contribution to Scots and to
Western culture was his nearly single-handed rescue of the Scots
folk music tradition.
Herein are contained a collection of folksongs that Burns
restored. The songs are provided as "Fake Book" arrangements
(melody line with suggested chords) with lyrics. The songs
are arranged in the keys of C, G, or D (no, 1 or 2 sharps)
for ease of performance on folk instruments.
We are providing the songs in the following formats:
- HTML: Readable with your standard web browser.
This format includes a rather low resolution
(but still very readable) image in GIF format
of the musical notation.
- MIDI: A multimedia file that most browsers should be
able to open and play so that you can listen to
Note: It has come to our attention that
certain versions of Netscape have difficulty
playing MIDIs from our mirror site on GeoCities.
This is undoubtedly due to the way that GeoCities
displays banner ads and the
problem does not occur with Internet
Explorer (although I would be the last one to
recommend IE). If you are unable to load MIDIs
from our mirror site, try our
- PDF: For those who would like a crisp and clean
hardcopy of the sheet music we are providing
copies in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF).
In order to read and print PDF files, you will
need a PDF viewer. You can download a free copy of
Acrobat Reader from Adobe (you will need Acrobat
Reader version 3.0 or later). If you don't like the
idea of dealing with a big, impersonal company and
would prefer to go the freeware/shareware route, you
can download a free copy of
GhostView has the advantage of being able to create
as well as read and print PDF files.
In the spirit of Folk Musicianship, you are encouraged to
use these arrangements as starting points, to change and add
chords and to otherwise make them your own.
Copyright, Disclaimer and the usual legal stuff:
As with the OnLine Works, all the songs herein
are in the Public Domain. The lyrics are all written by Robert Burns
(1759-1796) and are in the Public Domain. The tunes are, for the most
part, traditional Scots melodies that predate even Robert Burns, and
are also in the Public Domain. All arrangements are original and are
copyright (C) 1999 by The Robert Burns Club of Milwaukee. Permission
is granted for the free dissemination and use of these arrangements
for educational, personal and non-profit uses. All other rights are reserved.
If anyone believes that any material on this website violates a valid
copyright, please forward documentation of said copyright to
the webmaster and the offending material
will be removed.