Published Jan 17, 2012We already knew that there was still-unreleased Michael Jackson material in the vaults, as we're waiting for his duets with Freddie Mercury to come out officially, along with other rumoured previously unheard songs. Well, we've now caught wind of another even stranger project that may soon see the light of day: the King of Pop allegedly wrote a number of songs based on the poetry of Scotland's Robert Burns.
This news comes from Jackson's friend David Gest, who reportedly suggested collaborating on a musical play about Burns's life. Jackson was reportedly a fan of Burns, who died in 1796, and Gest told the BBC [via The Telegraph/The Daily Record], "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.'"
Gest continued, "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."
The musical was reported to be directed by Gene Kelly and produced by actor Anthony Perkins. Both men died (in 1996 and 1992, respectively) and the play was abandoned.
These recordings may see the light of day, as Gest has reportedly discussed donating them to the National Trust for Scotland. A spokesman from the Ayrshire museum said, "David Gest was recently at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum filming. There was some discussion about the donation of some musical materials. If it goes ahead it will be an exciting addition."
If this project includes musical adaptations of poems like "To a Louse" and "To a Mouse," this could mean that high school English classes everywhere are about to get a whole lot more entertaining.