My brother was rummaging in his pockets looking for a telephone number he had promised to give me when he pulled out a crumpled piece of paper.
He had written down all the verses for 'Auld Lang syne' to sing on New Year's eve.
We all know the first verse but there are five altogether plus the chorus.
The words to all the songs and poems of Robert Burns are greatly loved, but in reading his letters we learn how near he was to emigrating to Jamaica and what a loss for Scottish culture that would have been.
In 1786 he wrote this:
Before leaving my native country for ever, I resolved to publish my poems. My vanity was highly gratified by the reception I met with from the public, and besides, I pocketed, all expenses deducted, nearly twenty pounds.
His poetry was so successful that between 1786 and 1788 he changed his mind about emigrating.
I had taken the last farewell of my few friends when a letter from dr. Blacklock to a friend of mine overthrew all my schemes. His opinion that I would meet with encouragement in Edinburgh for a second edition fired me so much that away I posted to that city. At Edinburgh I was in a new world.
By all probability I shall soon be the tenth worthy, and the eighth wise man of the world.