The 1785 poem was reputedly based on Mauchline Parish Church elder Willie Fisher - Holy Willie
, who aligns himself with the God-fearing 'never-on-a-Sunday' brigade, began this week acting tough after showing his todger to the world.
Yet for over a hundred years now, since well before Snyder's biography, there have been regular references in Burns scholarship to an earlier chapbook version of the poem, The Prayer of Holy Willie, A canting, hypocritical, Kirk Elder, published in 1789, when Burns was still very much alive.
10) Bennett himself died in 1916, and though eight highpoints from his library, including his Kilmarnock edition, were sent to Sotheby's, The Prayer of Holy Willie was not among them.
He's already been described by former defence secretary Dr John Reid as a Holy Willie
Although he has a sensible attitude towards Christmas being over commercialised, Martin is no holy Willie
Finally, Martin Hood, Clydebank, said: "Can somebody tell me, what is a Holy Willie
It always bugs me to see the Nats strutting around, parading their holy Willie
indignation of other people's party funding scandals.
I'm not some Holy Willie
who thinks the Big J's birthday is being lost to commercialism.
There is no better personification of hypocrisy than Holy Willie.
Two hundred years later, Holy Willie rose from the grave in the form of the trouser-dropping Tory MPs who wrecked John Major's Back To Basics campaign.
At the start of the Burns International Festival, in the week of his birth and in the bicentenary of his death, I wasn't expecting inflatable Bards, Tam o' Shanter T-shirts or Holy Willie