The Banff and Buchan Collection

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Tape 1994.017 transcription

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[GE] We wis gan tae the dancin, it wis hogmanay dance, at's the een, at wis jist when it wis jist school bairns. De ye still want a wee bit mair?

[TM] Yes

[GE] Aye, fen we wis at the school, is wis an occasion, aye Christmas though, nae hogmanay, is wis Christmas, we organised a concert in the public hall, and we got up sketches, and songs and monologues and recitations and athing, an, for mebbe a month, six weeks beforehand, ye see we'd a rehearsal in the hall the nicht afore the concert, and a the parents come along and pay their entry form, it wis funds for the school. So we hid wir concert and seen they a got their tea, and there wis a baker's bag a, well some o the bakers, there wis a contract, they supplied the eats, and every bairn, and every adult got a bag mebbe and fower, ye ken, fancy cakes, and that wis for yer cup o tea. Wi didna, some folk hid tae take their ane cup alang, but we didnae, there wis plenty cups doon in the Tyrie hall. And we a got wir tea. And efter the tea wis passed, there wis a big Christmas tree a dressed up in the, and we a got a toy, ye'd tae, the teacher asked ye aforehand whit ye wid prefer, well within reason, for a gift aff the tree. So we got a torch or a game, or pencils, or a pencil case, or whitever wis going. And the, at wis, the tree wis dismantled, and well, we a hid tae ging hame the youngsters, but there wis the dance for the adults, later on, and a band engaged for't. So that wis the evening and they made a lot o money, that wis for the school funds. Uh huh. That wis Christmas though, twas jist een o the things that gied on, but that's a finished noo tae. Lang, lang ago. It wis a great occasion, we enjoyed it, and used tae a wee bittie aulder afore ye left the school ye wis tryin yer folk tae, o bide a wee while, bide for the dance, see foo we'd get on, but no I wis nivver allowed tae bide till ye left the school and seen ye could gang tae dances. Well with company, they would nivver hiv let ye awa yersel, jist till ye wis mebbe up till aboot fifteen. But ye gied in company and enjoyed the dances, and met in wi yer girls and fell oot wi yer girls, and there the thing went on.

[TM] And what about New Year's day itself.

[GE] New Year's Day, aye well, there wisnae much. There wis aye a denner, there wis maistly a better denner on New Year's day, but apart fae that.

[TM] What would you have, like a?

[GE] Oh well, broth and meat, and a good pudding mebbe, at wis aboot it. No there wis nae excess. But Christmas wasnae much celebrated in country districts, it wis maistly New Year ye see, aye, hogmanay and New Year's day aye. Christmas, well it come intae bein eventually, but nae sae much earlier, it wis mair, aye it wis an English custom mair than a Scottish een lang ere seen. But see and min ye, is is gan back 60 years nearly at I'm spikkin aboot, and there's been affa changes since at time.

[TM] When you were slightly older and you would go from house to house, did you go from house to house when you were older, like twenty or?

[GE] Aye, till a certain extent, but we hid oor outside interests ere that time, we hid wir dances or bowlin if ye cared, there wis a bowlin club doon the road. And the pictures, we gied the pictures on a Seturday nicht. We sometimes gied tae neighbours tae play cards, but nae sae much. Och I wis oot wi the boys, and meeting wi quines again and so forth, and doon at this shop at I wis telling ye aboot, at wis a great meetin place, we a hid wir fags, those that wis wantin tae smoke, and a bottle o lemonade and there wis little, well there wis fancy pieces, there wis currant cakes at you could buy, and it wis jist a, well it wis a pastime, it wis an enjoyment, and it a kind a harmless, it wisnae like takin drugs at the present time and drinkin and so forth, it wis a more civilised type of life, we'd nae heard o drugs. It would hae been in the bigger cities but we nivver heard o it here. And the doors were never lockit aboot is place, at auld hoose door wis nivver lockit I dae think a that time that I, they gied awa tae weddings and athing and nivver, nivver thocht onything aboot it, there wis nivver naething gan missing. Nah. But ye wouldnae like tae dae that now.

[TM] What about the term days.

[GE] Well it didnae affect me much ava, but them at wis, being employed, fairmers at wis employing staff, aye folk, farm servants, in fairm servants at wis lookin for employments, they gied tae the feein markets aboot a fortnight before the terms, and aye, there wis a feein market at a the market toons, Strichen would hae been, maistly on the same wik. But eh Strichen wis Monday, Maud wis Wednesday and Aiberdeen wis Friday, muckle Friday fair. At wis the big market day far a the folk wis a engaged for the next six month in the Aiberdeen area and Stonehaven well they come tae Aiberdeen fae far and near. But there wis the local markets, there wis the as I say, Strichen and Maud and Turriff, they a hid the feein markets. And eh, they shifted at tae the term, the 28 o May and 28 September. If you wished you stayed on, some o em bade for years, and the next eens bade six months, it depend foo happy ye wis and foo content ye wis, and at wis as far as the far feeing gaed. But it didnae affect us, because we were self employed.

[TM] So your grandfather had already bought the farm when you were farm.

[GE] Aye, aye, at's the bit aye. And he nivver secked me, so I nivver had tae look for a new job. Laughs. No, no it didnae affect us at all,

I think I've been at two feein markets mebbe, just on the sidelines, jist seein it, a githered in the market stance, in eh, well.

[TM] Which one were you at?

[GE] Strichen. Uh huh. I dinna think I'd wis ever at Friday, Muckle Friday at Aiberdeen, I been Aiberdeen often enough at markets, but nae at the feein market.

[TM] So where was the feein market in Strichen.

[GE] Just in the market stance aside the auld school, nae far fae the railway station wis. It wis the market stance at they ca'd it. In Market Terrace, it's a great wide terrace, a fine street, and they'd tae, the market stance, well the market green far the amusements wis, and so forth, it opens oot onto this Market Terrace and it wis jist a held roon aboot ere. Aye, awa fae the mart. Ye see there wis a mart at Strichen, but the feein market wis aye held at the market stance. And just like Aikey fair, there wis amusements come, ye ken. Chaep Johns and amusement stalls, and stalls a kind tae try and…

[TM] It was a day out as well as an actual feein

[GE] A day out, it jist wis a day out aye. And a lot o the farm billies they made it a day oot ye see, it wis an occasion to celebrate, and they wid spent ony extra hid, them that wis inclined again and their drams, and they wid hae a gey day afore the nicht wis finished. At wis, and some o them landed a good job and the next een wisnae so good, at jist their luck and jist foo they managed tae bargain. But every market toon hid a feein market.

[TM] So they would go down and see the farmers there.

[GE] Well, the farmers approached them as far as I understand. They jist kinda stood in a, well, in a bunch ye may say, and the fairmers, a lot of them kent the farm workers ye ken, and they made for ony good workers if they hid a bit reputation. And a lot o the workers woulda been inclined tae ging tae the better…. ye see abody hid a reputation, usually ye wis weel kent. Some o them wis, some places wis affa well fed and the next een wis jist nae well fed at a. Next een wis the better workin conditions, better equipment, jist a gied tae influence the choice a places. Uh huh. So that wis the feein markets, and ye wis bound for well, near enough six months. And the cottar folk, well I suppose a lot of them, them's in the cottar hoose, they may right workers, a lot o them shifted on an affa lot. But them that wis more content, well they coulda bidden a few years, some o them bade twenty year. If they were content wi their work and a decent hoose tae live in and good conditions, they were satisfied tae work far they were. No, there wis an affa lot o folk would spend a lifetime on the same fairm. But them with a restless disposition and discontent woulda moved on and nivver bettered themselves I wouldna think much. But eh.

[TM] Was there a lot of oatmeal that people ate mostly, or?

[GE] Oh there wis a lot o oatmeal used. Brose, at wis the main breakfast, aye, as ye ken. And oatcakes ye see, wis used an affa lot, and skirlie and the porridge, oh no oatmeal wis the staple diet, and tatties an affa lot. But good oatmeal and good tatties, oh I suppose it got monotonous, but if it wis cooked richt and prepared richt there wisnae much adee wi it. Since Isobel hid is illness a year past November, I used tae tik ma brose every morning, But ach I stopped it. We didnae take much o a breakfast in the morning, we jist hid a cup o tea and a slice o toast or something, and oot and did wir jobs, well for lambin and feeding the hens and athing, got athing going, seen we'd come in aboot atween nine or ten and we'd a big second breakfast then. At wis oor habit, it suited oor setup. So, well, it wis jist fleks or something we took. But since she wis aff duty I've gan back tae ma brose, I tak ma brose every morning, I like brose. Just aye, aye an average quantity.

[TM] How do you make it?

[GE] How do you mak it. Well jist four dessert speen, aye t'would be dessert speen, dry oatmeal into a bowl, and well ye ken by yer spoon, aboot a half teaspoon fae o salt mebbe, mebbe aye, a half or a little teaspoon full, mebbe hardly that, I jist ken by the amount I put in, and three four shakes o spice, pepper, on the top aye. And ye hiv tae get yer watter bilin, it his tae be absolutely bilin, and pour on, ye jist come tae ken the quantity of watter tae, and stir efter ye think ye've the right amoont o watter in, get the speen goin, the haundle o the spoon, hud the bowel of the spoon in yer hand, you can use a spirtle, you can use a knife, you can use onything ye like, but that's fit I use. And it's jist like a smooth porridge, it's nae knotty, cause I mak it masel and see at it's fine, jist the richt texture. And seen the milk on the top. And weel, at's files ye see, it's a fair sup. At and a slice o white bread at's my breakfast. And syrup or jam or whatever you wish.

[Isobel Easton] An naething or dinner time?

[GE] No, we used tae hae flies in between hands at ten o'clock, well in the middle o the foreneen, also in the middle efterneen. But we stopped at for wir ane good, well since we stopped workin sae hard tae. Just mainly the main meals noo we hiv wir brakfast. And she taks a good breakfast, see wi hiv naethin till dennertime again, we've a good denner, well fit yer able tae use. And we've a good diet, she's gings on tae, she's been vegetarian for a good while, jist tae keep her weight doon and athing she enjoys it, and for her health's sake. But nae me, I get a the food at gies ye an early grave. Laughs. A the meats.

[TM] And you are enjoying it.

[GE] No, no she stopped eating meat nearly a the gither, but I still, no no, we jist buy less, but she prepares it for me

[TM] That's kind of you.

[GE] Uh huh. And see at teatime well we have a varied thing again. Jist a, the dietician wis at the folk and she wis in the hospital, and she said you wouldna hae tae vary your, your eh rotation, eh your routine much ava, yer eat sensible, we use a lot of fruit. We aye used a lot o vegetables because we grow vegetables, and we like vegetables, cabbage and kale, and sprouts and all the rest o it. And we hiv oor tea and we aye hae a cup o tea afore bedtime. But we've cut oot the middle. Well I think, well I'm aye ready for your meals when you're cut oot, and it suits her, she's tae keep her weight doon, she's come doon a gey bit o weight, I've mebbe come a wee bittie but nae a lot.

[TM] Speaking about the year again, going through the year, I was wondering if you did anything for Halloween.

[GE] Nae for Halloween no. Eh, fan the bairns, aye oor bairns, we've only twa, were at the school we made neep lantrens to them, they celebrated halloween just through the school, or through a parents social evening. There wis a competition for lanterns ye ken, halloween neep lanterns and so forth. But we nivver did much at, we made een but it wis jist for oor ane amusement. But oor family, aye, and ither kids o the same generation, no they made more o halloween that fit we did.

[TM] And for the neep lanterns, you'd hollow them out?

[GE] Aye.

[TM] That sounds like hard work.

[GE] It is hard work, ye need a special… aye, and cut oot the eyes and the nose, and well we hid various things, we sometimes put a ….

[TM] Scooping it out would be…

[GE] Well we used tae sharpen a spoon langer see, ye ken the side o a dessert spoon and at wis good for scoopin oot. No, it's hard work a swede neep, and it kinda his tae be a swede tae, because a yalla, a common turnip, the skin wizzens quicker. The swede thins up efter its hollowed oot much langer, uh huh, and ye hiv tae hollow them oot really thin tae, tae get the light tae show through, apart from shining oot at the eye holes.

[TM] Was there any celebration of things like Lammas?

[GE] No, no, no. It wis spoken aboot and a the rest but there wis nae celebrations no. Oh there used tae be Shrove Tuesday, at wis Sattie Bannocks day they spoke. It's just past.

[TM] Oh yes, I was going to ask about that.

[GE] Well, the Sauty Bannocks were made but that wis jist aboot a. And seen, wis that the time o the sowan's tae? Hiv ye ever heard o sowans?

[TM] Mm hm.

[GE] There wis a certain time o year I think, it wis aboot Shrove Tuesday. Aye, aboot the same time. At wis fashionable. Them that liked sowins got the material from the mill.

[TM] That's the husk from the mill?

[GE] Aye, there's twa different kinds o huds, there's fit we ca'd sids, mealie sids, they were a husk wi the wee bits o the oatmeal still attached til them, and seen there wis a dry husk at we used tae call diss. It wis, oh it wis jist a husk, pure husk, they used tae chap up the pigs, it thickened up the, well if ye were bilin up the tatties and neeps tae pigs and at for a hash, ye used it for that. But we took corn till the mill mebbe twice a year, at least once a year sometimes. Efter we hid the thrash, the thrashin mills came in aboot and fine new thrashin corn, we took a certain amount down to the local meal mill. Ye jist kent foo much ye know tae keep ye ga'n. And we took corn doon tae the mill and the miller processed it, well he tried tae keep abody's batchie separate, I suppose he got mixed up some, but he could handle it, or did his best till. Well he took hame the by-products and is sids were taen hame and they were processed into sowins. But I nivver likit sowins.

[TM] How would they be made?

[GE] Well, they steeped the sids amon water in a wooden container, a wooden trouch, for aboot a week I think, and seen they seived aff the liquid and it wis the liquid at they boiled, aye they didnae want the residue. They soaked is sids for aboot a wik and gied them a steer up noo and again, and seen they put them through a sowin seive, a seive, an affa fine seive, and that let through the juice, the bree, and kept back a the husk and at, and the wee bitties o meal at wis left, and seen that wis put into a pail or jar, you could store it for a while, and I canna tell ye the process of makin sowins, but there wis biled sowins and drinkin sowins. The biled sowins were like porridge. They took the liquid and they biled it till a certain constituency ye ken, till they got it till a certain, and poured it into plates, and it wis just like, aye, darker coloured an porridge, but much much finer.
[TM] Did it thicken though?

[GE] It thickened though, just like a jelly ye ken almost, and ye supped it wi milk jist the same as ye wid dae porridge. But it hid a sour kinda taste, I used tae ate em some, I didna fancy em. But the drinkin sowins, no, no I niver, I didnae ken fit wey they processed them, noo they were mair liquid.

[TM] What about the bannocks, you mentioned them.

[GE] Well, no they niver made bannocks here either, they made pancakes aye, we ca'd them bannocks. But sattie bannocks. Oh aye, ah well, I dinna mine much aboot them either. They were made wi oatmeal and flour and a lot o salt in them, they were rough in texture.

[TM] Like a rough oatcake.

[GE] Aye some the same, but thicker. They were like a, like a, fit de ye ca a mornin, a buttery roll. Aye, much the same for size and they were daen in a griddle seen, they were toasted on top o the fire, on a flat hotplate, well a griddle we ca'd it, it wis hung on the… But they were cooked just like pancakes, but they were bigger than pancakes, thicker and bigger. But they hid at rough texture, I would say they hid a good lot o oatmeal in them or barley meal.

[TM] And was that specially for Shrove Tuesday.

[GE] Well, it wis, it wis jist a habit, in fact there would ha been a religious reason through, although I didna understand it, and it wis jist a custom at wis kept on but well, gradually went oot o date. In fact it wis nearly oot o date or my time, I jist mine aboot it. But I mine aboot the sowins bein made, but I kinda, I didna (laughs) refuse onythin, I enjoyed maistly ma food, no the sowins I didna fancy them. And that's a I can mind aboot them.

[TM] Did you have a rhyme for Shrove Tuesday

[GE] No, no.

[TM] First comes Candlemas, then comes syne the new meen

[GE] Ah weel, aye they did have that aye. you've got it.

First comes Candlemas, an seen the new meen,
The first Tuesday efter at, at's fastern's even
At meen oot, the meen at wis shinin at at time,
And the next meen at's hicht,
The first Tuesday efter at that's Pess richt
At's Easter.

Ah weel, Pess wis aye celebrated noo, jist wi extra eggs on the menu on that day. The geese wis aften layin ere at time ye ken, ye used tae get a half o a big goose egg, or weel, if there wis duck eggs or whitever wis going. And they rolled, we did pent wir eggs, and roll them doon a hill till they smashed on a steen and seen ye eat. No we did dae at.

[TM] Did you cook the eggs.

[GE] They were cooked afore aye. They were biled afore they were pented. Paint mannies faces on them and various things, and seen if ye'd a fine steep hill, ye, och it wis jist a game but we enjoyed it, jist a pastime. And they rolled them, and ye tried tae hit a steen wi em tae get them tae break so that you could eat. Efter they were chippit, the shell wis chippit, ye skinned them, and I love a hard biled egg yet.

[TM] Did you ever hear any reason for rolling the eggs.

[GE] No I think it wis tae signify the sepulchre stone fae Jesus' grave ye see. I think at wis it noo. It wis jist when they rolled awa the stone tae, and at wis it, rollin the egg, it wis jist the mimic oh mair than onything I think at wis the religious, they maistly a hid a religious reason at celebrations.

[TM] And what day would you do that, the rolling of the eggs.

[GE] Well, Shrove Tuesday. No Easter day, Easter day, aye. Easter.

[TM] That would be the Sunday.

[GE] Well, it wis maistly the Easter Sunday. Friday's Easter day, and there wis Easter Sunday there wis a special service at the Church. Easter varies from year tae year, goin wi this jingle at wis spikkin jist noo. Sometimes it's early, sometimes it's a month later it jist on to the phases of the moon, of the particular moon that's on Shrove Tuesday.

[TM] Could you go through the rhyme again, I didn't quite get it.

[GE] Yes, well can ye dae it better than me.

First comes Candlemas, and syne the new meen,
And the first Tuesday efter at (or Tyesday as they ca'd it) at's fastern's even,
So that meen oot, and the next meen at its hicht
The first Tuesday efter at, that's Pess richt.

So it wis on to the phases of the moon at Easter.

[TM] The first Tuesday after is Pess?

[GE] Pess, it's Easter day, they ca'd it Pess.

[TM] On a Tuesday?

[GE] Aye, and the Sunday nearest to that Tuesday wis the Easter Sunday.

[Mrs E] But we speak aboot Good Friday, noo ye see.

[GE] Ah well, it wis Tuesday at at time, is the jingle gaed.

[TM] Haven't heard that second half of it.

[GE] no, no.

First comes Candlemas, seen the new meen,
And the first Tuesday efter at at's fastern's evenin,
So that meen oot, and the next meen at its hicht,
The first Tuesday efter at, that's Pess richt.

So at's as far as we get it, and that's the wey they gauged Easter day.

[TM] Well it's a hard time to calculate.

[GE] Aye, it is, it takes a bit o calculating, but it's simple tee.

[TM] That's the simple way to do it actually.

[GE] Aye, aye uh huh. But that wis the wey, and it could vary almost a month onto the different fan the meen come in, the different moons come in.

[MrsE] But now Tuesday disnae come intae it noo, it's Good Friday. Easter Sunday, Easter Monday.

[GE] Ye see it depends fit time the moon comes in, cause it's hale face tae gang till it being at its peak, ye see at his tae be oot on the first, next meen comes in. And efter at it's peak it's the first Tuesday efter at.

[TM] Mm hm. yes.

[GE] Now, at's jist something I niver got intil an affa lot, but we heard wir folk repeatin, at's the wey we've got it here. But it wis wearin oot even in oor time, it wis jist mair ma music and ma work at I wis interested in, and ma girlfriends occasionally.

[IE] You notice he aye says girlfriends.

[TM] Yes I noticed that.

[GE] Well, well, I'd a lot of good contacts, but nivver nothin serious. But it wis a great thing gan tae the dancin, well we enjoyed it, I liked the music, I liked listening tae the bands, I liked dancing tae the bands, and we danced jist up tae she hid is problem, but only this dinner dance that we'd ging till alone, but the bowlers dinner dances and the fiddle club dinner dances, we attended em, if we wis connected wi them. And we danced nearly every dance.

[MrsE] We hid eight weddings the year I hid ma heart attack.

[GE] No, ye jist winner fit wey it happens ye ken.

[GE] Noo at's Charlie Allen 'Lonely', noo, ye see. Well I can sing a them, but I hinna got ma tape. And eh, is jist fit I took o ma pooch I hid at some o the functions. The Banks o the Roses, ye're nae interested in that.

[TM] I'm interested in that.

[GE] Oh, Mains o Pittendrie, well here's it here. And Briggie's Girse Park, well I can sing it or recite it tae ye. It's the nearest at ever I got tae Tam O Shanter, aye at the time o Burns, I often sing or recite it, instead o the witches and warlocks chasing Tam O Shanter, ower the aul brig o Allowa, is is Briggie's bull chasing Tammie Reid through the girth park. He wis spreadin mole heaps, mole hills, mole heaps wi a spad ye see, and he took oot his reed hanky tae dicht his sweat aff o his broo, and the bull wis aggravated wi clegs, ye ken, horse fly, afore is, and him takin oot his hanky set it going and it took efter Tam and chased him through the park, but ye'd hae tae hear the hale sequence. Noo the Moss o Burreldale. Now it's nae on the tape, it's a good aul ballad tae. And the Cleanest Little Piggie, well at's modren ye're nae interested in at. The Fisher Lassies, its on the tape, and Boggies Bonnie Bell it's nae on the tape, and Bessie Logan nae, is is a good song Bessie Logan. It's a love song, and aul chiel like masel, at fancies a young lassie but he darenae, cause she's ower young for him.

[IE] You used tae mak a fine job o that een

[GE] Aye still, but mebbe no so good now. And here's Dick Black's song, the Bonnie Border Burn. Have ye heard it?

[TM] No.

[GE] It's a really good song. It's a mood, well, within years, he's got a dance band, atween Edinburgh and Glasgow, oh god… fit's the name o the.

[TM] Falkirk.

[GE] Nae really, it's nae far fae Falkirk. Oh gosh, it's jist the….. Bonnie Border Burn. And the Bleacher's Lassie, hiv ye got that fae onybody?

[TM] No.

[GE] Well, ye ken, it's nae a bothy ballad really, it's a traditional ballad, I think it's great.

[TM] Oh yes, that's a lovely song.

[GE] And When the Heather Blooms on Mournin. Is is written in the day, at's Mr Birnie's een. And eh, ah well this is tunes at I played….. See jist scraps o paper that I write on. And Jimmie Raeburn hiv ye ever heard o him?

[TM] Mm hm.

[GE] Oh I think we discussed that already. Hiv ye got a copy o him?

[TM] No.

[GE] No, well I think at's a great, it's a Glasgow song actually, but it wis affa popular in the North East here and it wis sung an affa lot, in fact it wis sung to the same tune as the Hairst o Rettie. Exactly the same tune, so that's the North East connection. And the Red River Valley, that wis jist an after thocht the day. There wis a quine ere the day we used tae dance wi some, aye and her an a, we were a in company the gither. And oh, she jist loved that song, aye, tae dance till't. Aye, Gladys. Uh huh. See it's in ma pooch, look it's a crinkled up, it's just nearly unreadable, but I would mebbe ging through it.

[TM] What's that.

[GE] It's Ma Ain Native Buchan. Ye ken it's a great thing. No, nae really, I would hae tae read it a. At's three, and that's two, god they get a whirled. And this is one. Div ye want some o this eens, I'll dae fit I can.

[TM] Aye, mm, hmm.

[GE] Jist fae here.

[TM] Mm Hmm.

[GE] Well dinna put onything ere I get a pitch.

There are a maid wis on Donside and mountains by Dee,
And there's lots a braw sichts in the city tae see,
But there's nae ither place that tae me can compare,
Wi ma ane native Buchan, sae fresh and sae fair.

There aften my fancy I see eence again,
The auld thackit hoosie, the wee but and ben,
Where as bairnies we played in the howe by the burn,
And there in my fancy I aften return.

So first come ye me and we'll wanner aroon,
Awa fae the din and the stir o the toon,
And we'll see eens again the auld place still the same,
The place where we bade and still think o as hame.

Be it Methlick or Mintlae, New Leeds or Auldfat,
The vale o the Ythan, New Deer, Auchnagatt,
Fae the moss o New Byth, or the hachs o Langside,
There's nae place like hame and yer ain fireside.

When cauld winter has gane and spring's in the air
And ye lang tae ging back oot tae Buchan eens mair
For when nature spreads oot her new mantle o green
There's nae better sicht in the land tae be seen

Though some may hae githered a fortune abroad
While some trachle on up the auld steeny road
Just let me eens again wanner ower mormin braes
And I'll rest in contentment the lathe o ma days.

Now what do you think o that.

[TM] Nae bad. Who made that one.

[GE] Oh, noo, that's George Elphinstone at made up at. Uh huh. I dae ken if that man's dead or alive. He stayed in Ellon, at's a I can tell ye aboot it.

[TM] And how did it come to you?

[GE] Through a Heirskip ye ken, the magazine o the [Buchan Heritage Society]. I'm sure it wis at. Jist something well, that's the kind o thing at I dae, if I see something I fancy I pick it oot, I think at appeals tae me, it's just total.

[TM] Where did you get the tune for it.

[GE] Eh, that's the tune it wis recommended tae sing it till mm hm. The Bonnie Strathyre. Noo I like Bonnie Strathyre, I like at tune, it's been a favourite tune wi plenty folk for long enough. In fact I like to sing Bonnie Strathyre tae, although I dinna dae it often, I was gan tae dae it the day, in fact I was gan tae sing this the day, but well there wisnae time. And, there you go. Nicky Tams, Lonely in the Bothy. Would you like Lonely in the Bothy or would you like some o this ither things first.

[TM] Read down that list first?

[GE] Dinna put it on for a wee minute, say when you're ready.

On the banks o the roses, my love and I sat down,
And I took oot my fiddle for tae play my love a tune,
In the middle o the tune, aye sighed and she said,
Oh my Johnny, lovely Johnny, wid ye leavin me.

When I wis just a young girl, aye ma mither used tae say,
She would raither see me dead, aye and buried below the clay,
Sooner than be married to any runaway,
On the bonnie sweet banks o the roses.

Noo I'm not just a runaway I'll have you all to know,
I can drink a glass o beer, aye or leave it well alone,
If yer mither doesnae like me, she can keep you at home,
And young Johnny will gang rovin wi another.

On the banks o the roses, my love and I sat down,
And I took oot my fiddle for tae play my love a tune,
In the middle o the tune, aye she sighed and she said,
Oh my Johnny, lovely, Johnny, dinna leavin me.

[TM] Very good.

[GE] It's nae affa, but it's as good as I can get it. Now this is Bonnie Bessie Logan you would like her would ye.

[TM] Where did you get that version, those words.

[GE] Oh well, jist listenin to some o the recordins, I canna tell ye, affa Robbie's ye ken Robbie Shepherd's programme. Mains o Pittendree, ye've got it.

Noo Briggie's girth park wis a mess wi the moles,
And the nowt's maet wis cut doon by half,
Wi the weather bein dry, the girse etten sae bare
Tae keep them in met wis a chauve.
So they got Tammie Reid, a stoot halflin chiel,
Tae scatter the heaps wi a spad,
Noo the park it wis big, twenty acre and mair,
And the heat nearly drave Tammie mad.

He took his reed hanky tae dicht his weet broo
Aye, but that wis his undoin, fegs,
For Jasper the bull, wi his tail in the air,
Wis already vrocht up with clegs.
Noo the bull lowered his heid wi a snort and a bla,
Wi his feet sprayin sods in the air,
Tammie threw doon his spad and took till his heels,
For he kent he hid nae time tae spare.

He took hame through at park, like the speed o licht,
Jist the same's he wis shot fae a gun,
For Tam wisnae green for met run ye ken,
For the half mile at Strichen he'd won.
But first he'd a heich pikie palin tael loup,
But he cleared the fence jist like a fence,
But he hardly hid hicht and he dinna clear't richt,
Leavin half o his sark in the weir.

Tammie thocht he wis safe till the bull clear'd it tee,
Tam's struggles were nae at an end,
Wi a roar like thunner, and his nose twa staem jets,
The bull tore efter Tam like a train.
But he'd mak for the steadin noo, nae for a wa
Fin intill his heid come a plan,
If his legs'd hud oot, but guid faith he'd a doot,
He'd dive heidfirst intae the dam.

Pitter pat, pitter pat, the bull hard on his heels,
He wis gainin that murderous beast,
Yon gypsy wis wrang wi the lines in his han,
fen she said he'd see echty at least.
And the lassie he wis takin tae the pictures at night,
That he promised tae meet at eight sharp,
She'd be gey disappointed in hearing the news,
And him mebbe learnin the harp.

But just at that instance, the bull found his mark,
Tam's buttocks sich a batter, that he rose in the air
Aye, sark sit and mair, and
seen cam doon wi a splash in the watter.
Auld Jasper looked on wi disgust in his ee
Aye, and seen turned slowly awa,
Tam thinks he's a runner, he's just a big cooard,
In fact he's nae sportsman at a',

[TM] That's great.

[GE] I think it is.

[TM] Who made that one.

[GE] Oh noo, oh, it wis a, fit de ye ca the man fae Alford, it's nae him but it's the same name. Hamewith, Hamewith, fa's Hamewith again, Murray, a man Murray composed at. Fae aboot Strathdon somewey I think he originated. Charles Murray fae Alford ye ken, the celebrated poet, aye. Well, it wisnae him, but it's John Murray I think ye ca him. I got a sheaf o stuff, lang ago, in ma heid, I dinna ken fa the divil I got it, I think it wis fae a recordin o bothy nichts, foo long seen would that be, twenty years seen mebbe. There wis a series of bothy nichts on the television and we recorded them a, well we'd a roon reel tae reel machine at at time, and I'm sure it wis affa that that I got it. And see Les Wheeler, he took an affa interest in me efter, ye ken Les. And he said, look I've got a lot of good stuff I could send ye, so he sent oot a great sheaf o stuff. And this they ca'd it Tammie Reid in his version, but it wis the same thing, mebbe a word here and there different, nae much at a. And it wis a John Murray I think at composed it.

[TM] It's a clever song.

[GE] It's a clever song. Well, it's like Ian Middleton's, it's jist something that could have happened, and something possibly did happen. It possibly did. Jean sometime, now that was McGinty's Meal and Ale at she sang, aye she sang it a good lot tae, but Jean Duguid fae Pitsligi. She died, Jean. She wis the second festival last May. Aye, I think at wis the last festival she wis at. And eh, it's a pity, Jean's. She played the melodian and sang bothy ballads. My god, she often took her class tae, the ladies class. More so the bothy ballads rather than the melodian. Dinna record for a minute.

Hiv ye ever seen a tinkers camp upon a summer's nicht,
The nicht afore the market fan athin's gyan right,
Aye fan a the tramps and ha'kers they come fae hill and dale,
Jist tae gither in the gloamin on the moss o Burreldale.

Fan the ale wis only tuppence, and a tanner bocht a gill,
A besom or a tilly pan, or a shelt we aye could sell,
And we a forgot wir troubles ower a forty o sma ale,
Fan we githered in the gloamin on the moss o Burreldale.

Noo little Jimmy Docherty a horseman great wis he,
He jumpit on a sheltie's back some trick tae let us see,
But a cullen pushed put some prickly whins aneath the sheltie's tail,
And heid first he shot in a mossie pot in the moss o Burreldale.

Fan the ale wis only tuppence, and a tanner bocht a gill,
A besom or a tilly pan, or a shelt we aye could sell,
And we a forgot wir troubles ower a forty o sma ale,
Fan we githered in the gloamin on the moss o Burreldale.

Jock Stewart he would hae a fecht, and tore his jacket aff,
But squeakin Annie settled him, ye ne'er got sich a lauch,
She run ower him on the tilly pans for a wee fite iron pail,
And she skelpit him like a swirl o bees on the moss o Burreldale.

Fan the ale wis only tuppence, and a tanner bocht a gill,
A besom or a tilly pan, or a shelt we aye could sell,
And we a forgot wir troubles ower a forty o sma ale,
Fan we githered in the gloamin on the moss o Burreldale.

And seen we thocht we'd get a tune fae muckle Jock McQueen,
He started tunin up his pipes he bocht in Aiberdeen,
But he blew so hard, the skin wis thin and the bag began tae swell,
And awa flew Jock wi his sheepskin pyoke ower the moss o Burreldale.

And by this time Stewart hid gotten the pail torn off his achin heid,
And he kickit up an affa soon, enouch tae wak the deid,
When Annie cried, come on MacDuff, though I should get the jail,
Put them up ma mannie, ye're nae fit for Annie, the rose o Burreldale.

Fan the ale wis only tuppence, and a tanner bocht a gill,
A besom or a tilly pan, or a shelt we aye could sell,
And we a forgot wir troubles ower a forty o sma ale,
Fan we githered in the gloamin on the moss o Burreldale.

Sine the dogs they started barkin and a cuddie roared, hee haw,
The trumps and ha'kers a looked roon and sich a sight they saw,
It wis Docherty, as black's auld Nick, the bairn wis leet oot o jail,
So we shou'dered wir packs and we a made tracks for the moss o Burreldale.

But it's noo the spring cairts oot o date, the sheltie yet's ower slow,
We a mun hae wir motor cars, wi langer roads to go,
Tae cadge the country roon aboot if we want oor goods tae sell,
But we'll never forget the nicht we met on the moss o Burreldale.

Fan the ale wis only tuppence, and a tanner bocht a gill,
A besom or a tilly pan, or a shelt we aye could sell,
And we a forgot wir troubles ower a forty o sma ale,
Fan we githered in the gloamin on the moss o Burreldale.

Here's the cleanest little piggie, ach its oot o line as far as the bothy goes. But you like it.

[TM] Oh yes, I've never heard that one.

[GE] You've never heard that one.

[TM] No I've never heard it.

[GE] Oh well. This is a lad, he bocht a piggie in the market, and he put it in his garden and let it go, just for a pet, and ach ye'll jist hear as it goes along.

[TM] I think I'll run out. How long is it?

[GE] 'The Cleanest Little Piggie in the Market'

I bought a little pig and I took him home
I put it in the garden and let him roam
My missus used to brush him and use his comb
He was the cleanest little piggie in the market
[diddles chorus]
He was the cleanest little piggie in the market

Every Sunday morning she'd be there
She'd clean between his toenails and brush his hair
And she'd put a little scent behind his ear
He was the cleanest little piggie in the market
[diddles chorus]
He was the cleanest little piggie in the market

I know you must think this very daft
She used to stand him in the bath
And she had him holding on the rail
And she'd put a little talcum under his tail
She gave him a hankie to blow his nose
She taught him how to hold it between his toes
But way doon the other thing, well anything goes
With the cleanest little piggie in the market.

[diddles chorus]
He was the cleanest little piggie in the market

But he grew so big and heavy she could not do
All the little things that she wanted to do
And she cried and broke her heart fen I said he's through
We'll put him back for sale in the market

But he run away with the sow next door
And everybody knows he's a bit of a boar
Now she's got a litter of twelve or more
To the cleanest little piggie in the market

[diddles chorus]
He was the cleanest little piggie in the market.

[GE] Laughs. Now at's the 'Cleanest Piggie'. Well that's it. Fit's yer lassie, Bogie's Bonnie Belle. Well it's a richt traditional ballad this.


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