HOW many Robert Burns songs do you know? Five? Six? Maybe an album?

Well, one Scot has taken it upon himself to write, learn and record more than 892 of them in a huge music project that will take years to finish.

Eddie Cairney, a 69-year-old from Newtyle, is just more than 200 songs through his nearly 900 song challenge which will see him rewrite the verse of the National Bard's entire musical discography.

The project was launched on July 21 to mark the 225th anniversary of Burns's passing and will run until March 2023.

Cairney said that Burns had a very short career as a writer, no more than ten years, but that in that time he managed to craft some of the greatest song lyrics ever written.

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Cairney said because of Burns’s untimely death at just 37, he didn’t have time to form collaborations with composers of the day.

The Scots musician says he has felt for years that Burns’s handful of songs hasn't fully revealed his true greatness as a songwriter and that's why he has set out to redress it.

The National: Eddie Cairney is 200 songs through an nearly 900 song challengeEddie Cairney is 200 songs through an nearly 900 song challenge

Cairney told The National: “I’ve been recording songs for about the past seven years.

"A few years ago my cousin said to me everybody says Robert Burns is a poet, but in actual fact, Robert Burns was mainly a songwriter.

“I thought maybe I can write alternative music to some of his stuff and before I knew it I’d written 892 songs.

“He is an amazing lyricist so it is easy to write music to. But I ended up putting it down because I didn’t know what to do with it.

The National:

“Then I had a friend and he said to me why aren’t you recording your songs and it got me thinking. I discovered I could do it at home and away I went.

“It’s intense, you have to concentrate, and I am dyslexic and have to read the words,  but it doesn’t take anything out of me.

"You get a buzz from it.”

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Cairney hopes his new collection of songs will re-kindle people’s interest in Burns.

The songs have been written in several different styles so there’s a song for everyone, he said.

The 69-year-old is keen that Robert Burns the New Songs should be there as a resource for schools, groups and individuals.

One new album will be released every Wednesday and can be accessed via and Cairney said that if anyone wants to use any of the songs, the music is completely free to download.