Michael Jackson tunes of Robert Burns' poems to make public debut

Songs Michael Jackson wrote based on the works of Scottish poet Robert Burns are to be heard for the first time.

Michael Jackson. Pic/AFP

David Gest, a music producer who collaborated with the King of Pop on the project, revealed that he has offered the album to the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Ayrshire during a recent visit to Scotland.

He said the self-styled 'Black and White' hitmaker was a huge Burns fan and was delighted to make the recordings, which see the works of Scotland's Bard transformed into show tunes.

Though the albums existence was revealed the year before his death in June 2009 but they have never been released. Gest, the former husband of actress Liza Minnelli, even claimed that Jackson's smash-hit 'Thriller' was inspired by the supernatural elements of Burns's Tam O'Shanter.

"Both being fanatics, I said to Michael, let's do a play Burns's life and he said he would help me with the music," the Telegraph quoted Gest as telling the BBC. "Michael believed in the project so much. He said: 'I'll give you the studio (in Los Angeles) and I'll pay for all the music'.

"We went to his recording studio at the family house in Encino, where all the Jacksons grew up and we took about eight or 10 of Burns's poems and we put them to contemporary music, things like A Red Red Rose and Ae Fond Kiss and the story of Tam O'Shanter," he added.

The songs were originally intended to be part of a musical, directed by Gene Kelly and produced by actor Anthony Perkins, but the death of both of them meant it was never staged.

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