The Banff and Buchan Collection

Charles Birnie, Strichen; Gordon Easton, Tyrie 

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NEFA 1994.029.03   Transcription
P: Charles Birnie
T: Dialect styles
S: People speak more quietly today. Fifty years ago, people spoke loudly. Saying about Fifers and southern accents.

NEFA 1994.029.04    Transcription
P: Charles Birnie
T: What do we mean by song/ Children's rhymes and sayings
S: It is natural, inborn and instinctive to sing. Even babies sing. Mothers croon. Children's rhymes and sayings. Folk rhymes. Pop Goes the Weasel and variants.

NEFA 1994.029.05    Transcription
P: Charles Birnie
T: Lumps o Puddins
FL: Oh the lumps of puddins
S: Children's rhyme and song

NEFA 1994.029.06    Transcription
P: Charles Birnie
T: Games and rhymes
Rhymes and dances from the North East. Tattie peelin rhyme. It is natural to rhyme. Sally Simpson rhyme.

NEFA 1994.029.07    Transcription
P: Charles Birnie
T: From mothers' lullabies to the playground and the dancing
S: Dancing in the old days, biking long distances to dances on the weekends. Dancing master biked 30 miles round trip to teach.

NEFA 1994.029.08    Transcription
P: Charles Birnie
T: The dance and the meal an ales
S: The country dances were very important. The dance began with The Grand March followed by The Circassian Circle. These dances were done at Meal an Ales as well. McGinty's Meal an Ale is about such a dance; recites part of song. Dances could be held in barns, byres, lofts. There would be a dance at ploughing match time, November term day. A Conversazione/conver was also held, something like a Highland ceilidh. Women would get into dances for free. Men and women sat on opposite sides of the room.

NEFA 1994.029.09-12    Transcription
Gordon Easton
T: Dancie White, dancing master

S: The Barren Rocks of Aden was the standard tune for the Grand March. [End of cassette side A. Ignore tracks 10-11.] Dancing master used to get Gordon to play and still charged him admission.

NEFA 1994.029.13    Transcription
P: Gordon Easton
T: The Barren Rocks o Aden

S: Pipe march on fiddle. When playing for dances, the beat was the most important part.

NEFA 1994.029.14    Transcription
P: Gordon Easton
T: The Circassian Circle
S: All the basic dances were done. GE plays fiddle. Goes on with a waltz.

NEFA 1994.029.15    Transcription
P: Gordon Easton
T: Stanchion
S: Fiddle: a classic tune of earlier days. In the dance hall, where the boys and girls sat on opposite sides, you had to hurry across the floor to get a girl before she was booked by someone else for a dance.

NEFA 1994.029.16    Transcription
P: Gordon Easton
T: Red Sails in the Sunset
S: Plays tune on the fiddle and sings part of it.

NEFA 1994.029.17    Transcription
P: Gordon Easton
T: Red River Valley
S: Plays melody on fiddle and sings song. Used for quick step.

NEFA 1994.029.18-19    Transcription
P: Gordon Easton
T: Rosie O' Grady
S: Tune on fiddle, with singing from Charles Birnie and some audience members. Two Lovely Black Eyes is often played as part of the same set [plays].

NEFA 1994.029.20    Transcription
P: Gordon Easton
T: The Tennessee Waltz/ ????
S: Plays tune on the fiddle, followed by another waltz.

NEFA 1994.029.21    Transcription
P: Charles Birnie
T: Harvest techniques and farm life
S: Ladies often cut the bands on the sheaves, atop the mill. Displays a straw rope winder, curry comb, dandy brush. Ploughmen spent at least an hour in the stable/byre after work. They stayed in a chaamer, bothies further south. Their time there gave rise to some of the bothy ballads. Recites part of Drumdelgie, illustrating farm life for the fee'd boys. Only after getting horses ready and eating breakfast did you have a chance to tie your laces. A holding of as little as 150 acres had a squad of around 6 men. It was labour intensive. The stable was also the trysting spot.

NEFA 1994.029.22    Transcription
P: Charles Birnie and Gordon Easton
T: Lord Lovat
S: Plays tune on fiddle, both fast and slow, with remarks about farm life at start. Fast version is called Miss Forbes's Farewell tae Banff.' [Last rendition cut off at end. Cont. next tape.]


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