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Robert Burns

Postcard of a cartoon illustrating "Auld Lang Syne"

20th Century

A coloured lithographic postcard of a scene from Robert Burns' most famous song.


Robert Burns created "Auld Lang Syne", perhaps the best known song in the English language (although it is actually written in Scots) by reworking a snatch of a traditional song which he had collected. He first wrote down a version of it in 1788 whilst living at Ellisland Farm, 5 miles north of Dumfries.


This postcard illustrates the verse beginning, "We twa hae paidl't in the burn..." The cartoon depicts an elderly couple standing bare footed in a mountain stream. The man is wearing a kilt. He is being bitten on a toe by a very large fish while his partner looks on in alarm.


The drawing and colouring of the postcard are garish and cartoon like in style. It is in sharp contrast to the sentimental and nostalgic treatment given to this song in many postcards of the time.

width: 139 mm, length: 89 mm
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
Accession number:
Postcard, BUR / 104
Digital Number:
Creation Date:
c 1905
Dumfries & Galloway Council