The Banff and Buchan Collection

Allan's Hill Age Concern Burns Night: Charles Birnie, The Belly Band (Ken Ramsay, Iain Sutherland, Kenny Sim, Bob Watson; accordion, mandolin, guitar), Allan Sellar, Gordon Easton, Tom McKean, Charlie Thompson, Allan's Hil, 20/01/1994

William McKinnon, Peterhead, 21/01/1994

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NEFA 1994.006.01   
P: The Belly Band
T: ????(March)/ ????
S: With Gordon Easton (fiddle).

NEFA 1994.006.02   
P: ????
T: Thanks to all

NEFA 1994.006.03   
P: All
T: Happy Birthday
FL: Happy birthday to you

NEFA 1994.006.04    Transcription
P: All
T: Auld Land Syne
FL: Should auld acquaintance be forgot

NEFA 1994.006.05    
P: The Belly Band
T: American tune

NEFA 1994.006.06    Transcription
P: The Belly Band
T: Although My Locks are Getting Grey
FL: ????
 With Gordon Easton. [Signal cuts out briefly.]

NEFA 1994.006.07    
P: The Belly Band
T: ????

NEFA 1994.006.08    
P: The Belly Band
T: The Smith's a Gallant Fireman

NEFA 1994.006.09    
P: Gordon Easton
T: The Hen's March ower the Midden
S: With the Belly Band.

NEFA 1994.006.10    
T: Background chat
S: [End of Event.]

NEFA 1994.006.11    
P: Tom McKean
T: Announcement

NEFA 1994.006.12    Transcription
P: William McKinnon
T: The Demise o the Craftie
FL: There's fairm toons in Buchan, baith big aye an sma
S: Song of own composition

NEFA 1994.006.13    Transcription
P: William McKinnon
T: Background to previous song

S: Made that song about four months ago, when walking to work. The song builds up over time, a line or two at a time, then you spend a long time polishing it. He wrote the song down verse by verse, as it came. He would head off for work planning to work on the song. You have to get a suitable subject and a tune. He started with the subject, a couple of lines, which you then put to a tune. This was the first song he ever made.

NEFA 1994.006.14    Transcription
P: William McKinnon
T: Family singing tradition

S: He sings some traditional songs, but not a lot. He has sung all his life, going here and there, mostly whatever was on the go in his youth. Shows his eldest sister's (Jean Mathew's) song notebook. She was recorded by Kenny Goldstein. [Leafs through book.] He does not know the tunes to most of them. Jean got the songs from her grandfather, probably. He sang 'The Wee Cooper o Fife'. 'Bogie's Bonnie Belle' is in the book. 'Strathardle'.

NEFA 1994.006.14b    Transcription
P: William McKinnon
T: The Maid of Kenmore
FL: The moon glimmers pale on the ???? of Loch Tay

NEFA 1994.006.15    Transcription
P: William McKinnon
T: Other favourite songs
S: Another favourite was 'Can I Sleep in Your Barn'. [End of Side A.]

NEFA 1994.006.16    Transcription
P: William McKinnon
T: People to talk to and the notebooks
S: Recommends TM contact Robert Lovie; he would have all the cornkisters. WM's sister's notebooks have some duplication of songs.

NEFA 1994.006.17    Transcription
P: William McKinnon
T: Jean Mathew's bothy song, 'Newton's Hash'
S: WM's sister made a bothy song, 'Newton's Hash' (to the tune of 'Nicky Tams'). Sings quietly, but is not happy with the words.

NEFA 1994.006.18    Transcription
P: William McKinnon
T: Ful Cycle o the Grun
FL: O Mormond Hill has beauty, an the Braes o Gight are gran

NEFA 1994.006.19    Transcription
P: William McKinnon
T: Farming life in WM's youth (1)
 A fun-heuk is a word he made up for the cooper's aitch that they used to used for cutting fun (whins) roots. WM worked the last working horse in the area, at South Reidbog. He hated the tractors when they came in; you could not talk to them the way you could to horses. You just go as fast as you can on a tractor; there is no pride in the work with the tractor.

NEFA 1994.006.20    Transcription
P: William McKinnon
T: Dogs and hunting on the farm 
S: WM started working with horses, and with dogs, when he was very young. The gun dog lived till he was twenty one. He was used for catching vermin, which the sheep dog chased towards him. He brought home every kill he ever made. He was canny and knew to creep when you did. WM was busy with the farm, so he did not go out with the gun very often. The dog got eight or nine kills every day for a year. The rabbits would take over a field and the stock would not go in.

NEFA 1994.006.21    Transcription
P: William McKinnon
T: Farm work and the War 
S: WM was just out of school (at thirteen) when he started doing most of the work on the farm. He was two years there, then two years with a carrier's lorry in Longside, then home again for three years. Finally he joined up in 1951 or 1952, when his younger brother was old enough to take over on the farm. He was in Malaya for ten months, but got a discharge because of a rupture he had when an infant.

NEFA 1994.006.22    Transcription
P: William McKinnon
T: Jean Mathew and cornkisters
S: WM's sister, Jean Mathew, was seventeen years older; he was an uncle at two months old. There was not all that much singing around the house. Before he went to school there were one or two farm servants with gramophones. A lot of the songs he likes are from that era. The records used to get lent around. WM was never very keen on the cornkisters. He has started composing by chance. The second song was deliberate. It is difficult to get a good subject for a song. He is thinking of making one on the meal mills. Every village used to have one. Most burnt, and the need for them was gone. Meal, milk, and tatties were the staples.

NEFA 1994.006.23    Transcription
P: William McKinnon
T: Farming has changed so much

S: After WM came out of the services, he worked in the forestry for about four years, then the radio station, and various local companies. He would be lost on a farm now, so many changes. Perhaps the horse will come back again. [End of Side B.]


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