Eddi Reader Talks Rabbie Burns

For our Jan 26 issue, I had the chance to interview Eddi Reader.

Eddi’s been much in demand for Burns Suppers for a while now, not least since the release of an album of Burns interpretations she did back in the early 2000s.

For the past few years, anyway, someone’s said ‘Would you…?’ and I’ve gone ‘Well, what is it?’

I’m in a really luxurious position of being able to pick and choose. So if I want to do a charity thing or if I want to do something for free for something that I think is a good cause or if I want to get paid a lot of money to sing Robert Burns for a couple of minutes!

If I’m busy on the 25th then I’m busy and I might not go singing but certainly I have been getting offers, yeah!

But, as you’ll read in the article, Burns had never never been a part of Eddi’s life until she moved to Irvine. As she got to know the man, though, she found a connection that she hadn’t expected.

I’d never been to a Burns supper but I realised that Robert Burns was exactly like me – the oldest of 7, the father was a hardworking poor, died at sixty, lack of pretension that I know well from my West of Scotland family and full of the wit as well that made me smile and laugh more than I’ve ever laughed in my whole life.

And for the singer, who has always said what she thinks and knows her own mind, that rebellious streak in stories about Rabbie appealed.

One of my favourite stories is from a woman who had passed it down to her great, great, great grandchildren and she had said that she went dancing with him once but she didnae really like him because you never knew what he was gonna say next! There are other anecdotes so there is the cheeky boy who wants to go dancing, and has put his hair in a ponytail when nobody else has done it. Kind of like a little Sid Vicious except with a bit more charm and beauty!

Read more from Eddi on the new issue on sale tomorrow.

Alex Corlett

Alex is the "Friend's" Features Editor, working with the talented Features Team to bring you everything from cryptic crosswords to financial advice, knitting patterns to international travel and inspirational real life stories. Always on the hunt for a new feature idea, Alex also enjoys cycling and loves a good tea room.