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The Burns Encyclopedia
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M'Leerie, Duncan

The pseudonym used by Burns in his parody, 'Stanzas of Psalmody'. Thursday. 23rd April 1789, was set aside as a day of thanksgiving for George III's recovery from insanity. Burns considered the 'whole business as a solemn farce of pageant mummery', and composed the 'Stanzas' accordingly, alleging in a prefatory note addressed 'Mr Printer' and dated 'Kilmarnock, 25th April', that the stanzas were composed for and sung in. 'a certain Chapel not fifty leagues from the market cross of this good town'. The verses and the note, with the date changed to 'April 30th', were published in the Morning Star, London, on 14th May 1789.

The first verse and the last three verses illustrate both the bite of the satire and the brilliance of this parody on the lame-dog style of Scots psalmody:

"O sing a new song to the Lord!
Make, all and every one,
A joyful noise, ev'n for the King
His Restoration...
And now thou hast restor'd our State,
Pity our kirk also,
For she by tribulations,
Is now brought very low.
Consume that High-Place PATRONAGE,
From off thine holy hill;
And in Thy fury burn the book
Even of that man M'Gill.
'Now hear our Prayer, accept our Song
And fight Thy Chosen's battle:
We seek but little, Lord, from Thee,
Thou kens we get as little."

The 'book' of' that man M'Gill' was his Essay on the Death of Jesus Christ, which occasioned a clerical controversy. See M'Gill, Reverend William.

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Robert Burns Store

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Complete Burns Songs

linn recordings of burns Linn Records have completed their landmark recording of all 368 Burns songs, available as individual CDs or a 12 volume presentation box set. We have full details. Click here...


Burns Music & Recordings
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Burns Chess Sets

Burns Chess SetsUnique collectors' pieces based on Burns' life and works. (The ideal gift for your Burns Supper guests!) Click here...

Scotweb Store

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