Graham Fagen

The Slave's Lament

About this artwork

The Slave’s Lament was Scottish poet Robert Burns’s (1759-1796) only work to empathise with the appalling hurt of the displaced, the trafficked and the enslaved. A lyric published in 1792, it is a narrative that remains contemporary as we think of current tragedies unfolding on borders and in hinterland locations. With a moving score written by Sally Beamish, performed by the Scottish Ensemble and reggae singer Ghetto Priest, and produced by On-U-Sound founder Adrian Sherwood, Graham Fagen creates a fascinating sound clash, where Burns's poetry finds a haunting bedfellow in Jamaican reggae music – and finds much common ground. 

Published November 2021

Does this text contain inaccurate information or language that you feel we should improve or change? Tell us what you think.

Graham Fagen

Graham Fagen