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In December 2016, I attended a concert in Glasgow given by the fantastic young singer, Robyn Stapleton, BBC Scotland's Young Traditional Musician of the Year in 2014. So, that week for my regular reading, I recorded one of the songs she sang on the night. I was absolutely delighted therefore to perform alongside Robyn at the 2019 St Andrews Voices Festival Burns Night last Sunday – a real treat for me!

Robyn hails from Galloway and as a child was steeped in the works of Robert Burns. The clear, pure quality of her voice combined with depth of feeling she puts into the lyrics makes her the best female Burns singer that I’ve ever heard. She gives a wonderful selection on her album, called simply ‘The Songs of Robert Burns’. For more information on Robyn see

One of the songs in the album is The Slave’s Lament, in which Robert Burns imagined the lot of the slave, captured in Africa and transported to the plantations of Virginia. The victim of cruel treatment with no hope for the future. Here is the recording of the poem I made back in 2016:

“It was in sweet Senegal that my foes did me enthral

For the lands of Virginia, -ginia, O!

Torn from that lovely shore and must never see it more

And alas! I am weary, weary, O!

All on that charming coast is no bitter snow and frost,

Like the lands of Virginia, -ginia, O!

There streams forever flow and flowers for ever blow

And alas! I am weary, weary, O!

The burden I must bear, while the cruel scourge I fear

In the lands of Virginia, -ginia, O!

And I think on friends most dear with the bitter, bitter tear

And alas! I am weary, weary, O!”

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