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Journal

Studies in Scottish Literature

Burns attribution

2015

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Radical Attribution: Robert Burns And 'The Liberty Tree', Corey E. Andrews Dec 2015

Radical Attribution: Robert Burns And 'The Liberty Tree', Corey E. Andrews

Studies in Scottish Literature

Discusses the political symbolism of liberty trees in the American and French revolutions, and in Scotland in Burns's period, as background to reconsidering the song "The Liberty Tree," first printed among Burns's work by Robert Chambers in 1838, the authorship of which has remained a subject for debate among Burnsians; examines the song closely in terms of phrasing to argue that it is unlikely to be by Burns; and draws a distinction between attributing the song to Burns and its evident reliance on his iconic standing both in his own time and among later Scottish radicals.