Robert Tannahill wrote some of the most evocative poetry and song in Scotland’s history.

The ‘weaver poet’ lost his life in tragic circumstances, but his name lives on today. Ahead of the 250th anniversary of his birth on 3 June 1774, OneRen has announced a series of events which will mark his incredible legacy of music, verse and highlight the ongoing need to provide support for men’s mental health.

Most of Tannahill’s poetry dates from the early 1800s when he composed as he worked at the loom, weaving threads and verses alternately. He formed a partnership with the composer Robert Archibald Smith, who set some of his songs in the Scots language to music.

Most famously, the two worked together on The Braes of Balquhidder which became the basis of the ballad Wild Mountain Thyme with its chorus of “Will Ye Go Lassie, Go?”.

Tannahill’s life was to end in tragic circumstances in 1810. Aggrieved at the rejection of his latest work by publishers and fearful of his health, the poet died by assumed suicide.

The first OneRen event takes place on 3 June with an evening of song and verse at the stunning new Paisley Central Library. Celebrating the life and works of Robert Tannahill on his 250th birthday. The free event will include a brand new poem from the Tannahill Makar, Shaun Moore, plus live musical interludes, a Q&A session with members of the Tannahill McDonald Club and guest speakers. This event is completely free to attend, however, pre-booked tickets are necessary.

On 4th June, Paisley Central Library will host the Paisley Weaver Poet Robert Tannahill Lecture with Professor Fred Freeman. This is the first of four lectures planned by the library. This talk explores Robert Tannahill’s radical people’s tradition in relation to multiculturalism in Scotland and the poet’s unique body of anti-sectarian, abolitionist and anti-war songs and poems. Musical illustrations will feature throughout the talk.

This lecture coincides with the release of the fifth CD in Professor Fred Freeman’s internationally acclaimed ‘Complete Tannahill Songs’. Copies of the CD will be available for purchase at the event.

OneRen will also highlight the work that is ongoing to provide a dedicated display to Tannahill and his legacy as part of the £45 million refurbishment of Paisley Museum. Commenting on the work of the museum, Professor Gerard Carruthers FRSE, Francis Hutcheson Professor of Scottish Literature at the University of Glasgow, said: “Robert Tannahill is one of Scotland’s greatest song-writers. Inspired by Burns certainly, he is a great lyricist of nature in his own right during the early nineteenth century Romantic period, and his lyrics and tunes resound around the world down to the present day.

“Very few of us will be remembered more than 200 years after our death. Tannahill lives, educates and entertains! There is so much more still to discover and present too about the Paisley poets and songwriters of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.”

OneRen is further building additional content around the support it provides annually to the No Substitute for Life football tournament held in Ferguslie in July, which this year will incorporate the work of Shaun Moore. The tournament is held each year to celebrate the memory of those lost to suicide and also promote awareness and understanding of suicide and improving mental health and wellbeing.

Later in the year, to mark Doors Open Day in September OneRen is planning to showcase Tannahill’s statue at Paisley Town Hall, which was paid for by public subscription in his memory. It will also highlight that on the centenary of his birth, 15,000 people processed from Paisley to Gleniffer Braes to an outdoor concert, marking his importance as a great of Scottish cultural heritage.

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