THIS POST IS FOR THE BURNS

My last post was published on the birthday (Jan. 20, 1896) of GEORGE BURNS. This post is being published on the birthday (Jan. 25, 1759) of ROBERT BURNS. The former lived to the ripe old age of 100, the latter to age 37; a punster might say (0f the disparity) that they Burns the candle at both ends (of course, I would never say such a thing).

Some of you no doubt remember George Burns as God in the 1977 hit film OH, GOD!, and as the Academy Award winning Best Supporting Actor in THE SUNSHINE BOYS (1975), but we geezers best recall him as straight man to wife Gracie Allen in the comedy team of BURNS AND ALLEN. After she died in 1964, he immersed himself in work, remaining active for another three decades in TV, movies, and as author of ten books.

Here are Burns & Allen with Fred Astaire in two fun scenes from DAMSEL IN DISTRESS (1937):

http://www.tcm.com/mediaroom/video/374102/Damsel-In-Distress-A-Movie-Clip-Stiff-Upper-Lip.html

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Many of you probably do not remember ROBERT BURNS (aka RABBIE BURNS). Even I, ancient as I am, do not recall him. But history tells us he was known as the Ploughman Poet, the Bard of Ayrshire (Scotland), and as a pioneer of the Romantic movement. Regarded as the National Poet of Scotland, in 2009 the Scottish public voted him the Greatest Scot, evidently as a belated promotion from Great Scot! Among his best known poems are “Auld Lang Syne,” “A Red, Red Rose” and “To A Mouse” (said to have been written when he accidently destroyed a mouse nest while plowing a field). I suspect the mouse would have preferred if Burns had restored the nest, but nonetheless, the poem was a mice gesture.

In closing, it might be nice to see what the Burns boys had to say in their own words (George’s quotes are in italics, followed by Robert’s in what I take to be post-Old English):

Acting is all about honesty. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.

Nice to be here? At my age, it’s nice to be anywhere. (Tell me about it!)

First you forget names, then you forget faces. Next you forget to pull your zipper up, and finally, you forget to pull it down. (Don’t tell me about it.)

When I was a boy, the Dead Sea was only sick.

It takes only one drink to get me drunk. Trouble is, I can’t remember if it’s the 13th or 14th.

Oh wad some power the giftie gie us / To see ourselves as others see us!

Gie me ae spark o’ Nature’s fire, / That’s a’ the learning I desire.

An’ there began a lang digression / About the lords o’ the creation.

Wee, sleekit, cow’rin, tim’rous beastie, / O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!

The best laid plans o’ mice and men Gang aft a-gley.

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12 comments on “THIS POST IS FOR THE BURNS

  1. Interest that you should mention Robert Burns. Funnfact: there is a statue of him in my home city. It seems kind of random to see it since he never resided in Massachusetts and I’m not sure he ever lived in the states. To make a long story short, a Scottish heritage group, called the Scottish clans of America in honor of all of the Scottish people who had settled in the area.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am bat-sh*t crazy about “back in the day” tap routines — but would you believe that I either didn’t know (or had totally forgotten) that Burns was a tapper? And an excellent one too! I mean, anyone who can keep up with Astaire is NO slouch!!!

    I had to watch this 3 times, putting my attentional spotlight on each of them. BRILLIANT routine! Such lightness in their execution – and CLEAN as a whistle taps.

    I also think that G. Burns was one of the few (besides me, of course) who really appreciated Gracie’s comic genius – in addition to his being able to set her up perfectly – one of the best straight men in the biz.

    Bobby, on the other hand, is my personal guru of oh-well. I am a repeat winner of the Bobbie Burns award, having ganged oft aglee more times than *anybody* can count!

    Thanks for another great post.
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. mistermuse says:

    I agree about George Burns. He, like most entertainers back in the day, started out in vaudeville and could do more than one thing. Astaire, for example, was not only a great dancer, but an actor, singer (I personally love his way with a song), choreographer, percussionist, and even wrote a few popular songs. In those days, you had to have talent — you didn’t get to be famous for being famous.

    Like

  4. Don Frankel says:

    Muse, I remember the TV show from when I was a kid. While Gracie and Harry Von Zell would be plotting, George would be upstairs in his den watching it on TV. I thought that was the coolest thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse says:

      Although George wasn’t my favorite comedian, George and Gracie as a pair were “the coolest thing” indeed. If I recall correctly, at the end of the show, he would tell Gracie, “Say goodnight [meaning ‘to the audience’], Gracie.”….and she would repeat, “Goodnight, Gracie.”

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  5. arekhill1 says:

    To return to your favorite subject, Sr. Muse, if God is going to get started with giving out the gift of perceiving how others see us, He could start with Trump.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. milliethom says:

    A great post, told in an appealingly humorous way. I remember Gracie Allen well. I was a teenager when they were on TV quite a lot and my mum loved them. George must have done something right to live to a hundred … perhaps he always ate his greens or something. Lol The tap scene is amazing. All three are wonderful dancers.
    In a comment above, you wondered whether there was a Robert Burns’ statue in Nova Scotia. I looked up about statues of Burns around the world, intending to add some to my post, and I know there are a few in Australia, New Zealand and Canada. I think there’s one in British Columbia and one in Halifax in Nova Scotia. I didn’t get as far as looking to see whether there were any in the USA. I intend to do another post about Rabbie, this time about his life and poetry. I thought I’d talk about the many statues then.
    Thank you for connecting to my post. I enjoyed reading yours.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. mistermuse says:

    Thank you for the kind words. Anyone who’s interested in more info (along with some very nice pix) about Robert Burns should check out your Jan. 25 post by clicking on your name above.

    Like

  8. eths says:

    When I was a kid, my family and I listed to Burns and Allen weekly. Loved them!

    Like

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