Tam o’ Shanter, a great narrative poem written by Roberts Burns, is written in Scots and as such is difficult to access by standard English speakers and non-natives alike. This monograph offers an account of the language of Tam as characterised by a significant number of distinctive lexical and phonological items related to Old Norse. It is claimed that Old Norse constitutes an essential and highly descriptive element of the poem in terms of dramatic impact, soundscape, timing, and pace. As the beating heart of Tam, this element is identified and described as constituting the core of the poem’s linguistic fusion, and it is related to present-day Icelandic and Swedish. A new translation of the poem is also proposed in order to increase accessibility to a wider audience.