The Banff and Buchan Collection

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Tape 1994.043 transcription.

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[JT] [plays spoons]

Oh some come here tae buy my fiddle,
And ithers come here tae see me dee,
But the afore I wid pairt wi her,
I'd brak her ower my knee. [difficult to make out]

Oh rantinly an dantonly,
Oh rantinly played he,
For he played a tune,
And he danced aroon,
Alow the gallows tree.

Oh tak the band frae aff my hands,
And bring tae me my sword,
Ere's nae a man in a' Scotland,
Bit I'll tak im at his word.

Oh rantinly an dantonly,
Oh rantinly played he,
For he played a tune,
And he danced aroon,
Alow the gallows tree.

It was at a woman's treacherous hands
That I wis compelled tae dee,
When standin beneath the window,
A blanket she threw over me.

Oh rantinly an dantonly,
Oh rantinly played he,
For he played a tune,
And he danced aroon,
Alow the gallows tree.

Some come here tae buy my fiddle,
And ithers come here tae see me dee,
But afore that I wid sell my fiddle,
I wid brak her ower my knee.

Oh rantinly an dantonly,
Oh rantinly played he,
For he played a tune,
And he danced aroon,
Alow the gallows tree.

[JT] Ye like at? I know an affa lot o songs. And some o them is ??? o me, see. But [those] postcards I hid there, that's why a' that cards ere, all my songs is on ere, written on them. My songs is all written, and I've got a bag o all my songs. And eh, and my songs are made up, see. Though I've nivver done nothing about my other songs I've made up. And at, and eh, I've made up words; I've made up ma tunes, and that's anither tune, mind, that I was playin. And that's an old fashioned air. [laughs] An old fashioned air come into ma heid.

Ye see I can mak an old fashioned air. I can jist sit doon ere and play a tune oot o ma heid. Could you dae at?

[TM] No.

[JT] Could you?

[CP] Neen o us could. I don't think there's mony o us could. You know.

[JT] I can do that. I can mak a tune oot o ma heid any time. I love it. I could mak up a tune. Eh, I'm makin it aboot Leahandrai. She's delighted, she's excited aboot it. She says, what like will it come oot. Oh, what a bonny air granny. And I was tellin her the words aboot this man walkin the lonely seashore. And he met a young maiden, and she was eh, she was beautiful and slender, and tryin tae mak wine, eh verses, and she looked so beautiful and slender. And she wis glitterin like a, glitterin like a jewel or something as she passed by. Is is what I'm daein ye see, makin up is words. And you must hae them tae rhyme a bit, ye ken. And at. And tryin tae picter her sadness maybe, sad, walking, and this man noticed the sadness. Ye see, and he hid tae gang and spik till her, asked her what was wrong and a that.      And then the bit was, o I thought it was going to be a long story, too long a story to tell you. And at, ye see. And there's been something, while she was wanderin and at. And I'm picterin a this ye see, it's such a long story. She says till him. And eh, would take a long time to tell you. And it goes on ye see, and then she tells what's wrong ye see. And it's sad. I like sad songs, I dinna ken fit wey. I like, I like a sad song.

[TM] Speaking of sad songs, would you sing Tifty's Annie for us?

[JT] Eh?

[TM] Would you sing Tifty's Annie for us?…

[JT] I thocht I'd sung it….

[TM] You never sang that tonight no.

[JT] Did I nae? No. Oh no, it was The Dowie Dens.

[TM] It was The Dowie Dens you did, aye.

[JT] And that ither een, what is't again, eh.

[TM] Bonnie Udny

[JT] Aye. I'm nae great a singer ayenoo.

At Mill o Tifty lived a man in the neighbourhood of Fyvie,
He had a lovely daughter fair, her name was bonnie Annie,
Well Fyvie had a trumpeter, his name was Andra Lammie,
He had the art to gain the heart o bonnie Tifty's Annie.

Her mother called her to the door, come here tae me my Annie
Did e'er ye see a prettier man, than the trumpeter o Fyvie?
Oh nothing she said but sighin sore, alas for bonnie Annie,
But she does not own that her heart was won by the trumpeter o Fyvie.

Oh the last time me and my love did meet, it wis in the woods of Fyvie,
He called me mistress, I said no, I am Tifty's bonnie Annie.
With apples sweet, he did me treat, and kisses saft and many,
He had the art to gain the heart o bonnie Tifty's Annie.

Oh love comes in at my bedside, and love lies down beyond me,
And loves so pressed my tender breast, and love will waste my body,
It's up and doon in Tifty's glen, far the burn runs clear and bonny,
Whaur oft times I have gone to meet, my bonnie Andra Lammie.

[forgets words]

Oh lovie I must go to Edinburgh toon, and for a whilie I must leave ye,
Oh but I'll be dead ere you come back, my bonnie Andra Lammie,
I will bring to you, a bridal goon, o dearie it will be bonnie,
Ah but I'll be dead ere you come back, my bonnie Andra Lammie.

I will bring to you bridal shoes, o dearie they will be bonnie,
Oh but I'll be dead ere you come back, my bonnie Andra Lammie,
It's lay me doon tae rest a while, and turn my face tae Fyvie,
That I may see before I die, o my bonnie Andra Lammie.

Noo Andra, he'd been awa, ye see.

Up and doon in Tifty's glen, whaur the burn rins clear and bonnie,
Where aft times I have gone tae meet, my bonnie Andra Lammie,
Noo Andra hame fae Edinburgh toon, wi muckle grief and sorrow,
He sounded his horn right loud and clear, on the moorlands o Fyvie.

Fyvie's lands are broad and wide, and Fyvie's lands are bonnie,
Where aft times I have gone tae meet, my bonnie Tifty's Annie,
So it's up and doon in Tifty's glen, whaur the burn runs clear and bonny,
For aft times I have gone tae meet, my bonnie Tifty's Annie.

[JT] Now. Do you like it? It's sad in't it. And it's eh, true. That photograph was tookan aside the grave. He died an a'. It was a bit aboot him an a', he died. She died for him. And he died for her. Aye. At's at Fyvie. Ye see her gravestone ere. And, there's water there, water beside the big house. There's a castle. I've been in the castle. And eh, I was singin in the castle. Arthur Argo and anither lad ere now, fit wis, he wis a, fit wis his name again noo. Cannae mind. And eh, they took me roon aboot Fyvie and aboot far this lassie used to go. Beautiful place. And the burn, where the burn runs clear and bonnie, where oft times I have gone to meet my bonny Andrew Lammie. God. Memory is great. At's history. And ye see a figure, Andrew Lammie, a statue o him, and a statue o her, and a little bothy, and they're lookin ower tae one anither ower the water. So I'd like tae see Fyvie again and a.

[CP] Aye.

[JT] I'd like tae see Fyvie. Great. Aye. So I sung that song well an a' there. They made, I was on the wireless and I was also, they made a film wi me. And I wis on a film. And I wis on the wireless. And eh, noo anither time I wis on, I wis on eh, another time you called this film I was on 'Buchan On Buchan'. Have you heard it?

[TM] I haven't seen it, I heard about it.

[JT] And I wis on't. And they say it was good, really good. Noo I hinna got a video o it, I wid like. I hiv a video. I have a lovely video, a new one. But I hinna got that tape. I wid like it. Would I get a tape tae buy one, 'Buchan on Buchan'.

[TM] I don't know, we'll try and find out for you.

[JT] It's 'Buchan on Buchan', a tape, a video. I'd like it, if I could get tae buy one, I'd buy one for tae see it. Cause I did see it on the tv and my boy says it wis the best een. He liked it. But I've got tae tape wi the singin, I've got the tape wi me singin, and I'm spikkin. And my god I laugh at myself spikkin. Horrible. I'm horrible. I'm old fashioned I think, too old fashioned.

[TM] Not too old fashioned.

[JT] My boy aye says, mum yer ower old fashioned. My boy'll say at to me, yer old-fashioned mum. I'd rather have old fashioned than the new fashioned. I says, I says, at wis my life long ago, living, and I haven't forgotten the way that I was brought up. And I haven't forgotten the old songs, because we hidnae a this music before. We just hid mebbe say, was lucky tae hae a gramophone. Eh? Lucky tae hae at. But mostly people used to sing a lot. You don't hear them singin at a noo.

[TM] I suppose, yes.

[JT] Ye dinna hear folk singin at a', div ye?

[CP] No.

[JT] Terrible. Your mam sings an a'. She's a good singer.

Have you seen out tonight bonnie lad
And was he fair and weel
He's gone ??? land wi a stick in his hand
He's gone to ???.

Yes I've seen old bonnie ???
Twas on the sea I spied him
His ??? and his ??? would not ???
And ye'll nivver ??? beside him.

[JT and CP] Ah, great…. [some speaking across, difficult to transcribe]

[JT] It's the happiest thing in the world is if you can sing, of if ye are intrested in singin, it's a happy life, because, well here wis me disabled all my life. I never got tae work like ma sisters and brothers. I was handicapped wi crutches. I wisnae handicapped from workin, I was a good worker tae ma mother and father. I hid tae do work and a, as well as the rest o them. But, and all my pleasure and afternoon when my work was done in my mother's house, I sat down and played the piano. I bought an old piano, and I got it very cheap. And I started playin and then I got no lessons and no guide. And I started playin, and up, and I bocht a record, or I bocht a record for my mum, and that started my life o singin. And my mother was happy when I started singin, my mother's started singin along wi me. Ken. She heard me singin, she chimed in wi me. I was a very happy. I'm a bright person. My mother used tae say at, she says yer a very bright bairn ye were. I dinna get much pleasure in life to work like anither person, I'd to go wi at crutches. But I'm quite happy at heart. I'm a happy woman, and I love singin and I like folk tae be intrested in the singin. I get on fine wi people at like ma singin, see. Now I could easy play a tapie tae ye, and I put my tape ower there. And I'll mebbe come upon a good tape and let ye hear it. [break]

[MS] I can gie ye any answers.

[TM] Well I'd like to start with just a little background on yourself. Where were born and brought up?

[MS] Eh, born in Australia. In Adelaide, South Australia. Eh, came to Scotland, back to Scotland I wis jist two. We stopped at Midmar, beside the castle for a while. Then we moved from there to Drum, Drumoak. And then we went from there to Lonmay. Where we'd a wee croft there, just at the foot o the hill o Mormond. Beside the wee croft we had there, there was a big farm and that's where we used to have ceilidhs on a Saturday night. You know. In the bothy. You know, real old bothy style. So eh, well from Lonmay, finished ma education there and I went to, my father took a small farm. My father was badly disabled in the First World War, took a wee farm at Pitcaple and moved up to Huntly, then when my father retired, I went off to, married by that time, went off to West Africa for eight years and worked there with the Department of Agriculture, eight years. Came back end of eight years and, took a small, took a pub in Montrose. From there went, only stayed in't three years, I didna like pub life. Took a general merchant's business up in Caithness, and we ere for twenty years. Retired from there, came back, I always wanted to come back to Deeside and that's why I landed doon here. Not in this house, but we had a cottage on the other side of the village for eight years. So that's my life story! [laughs]

[TM] Were your parents people from the North East here?

[MS] Yes, my father, my grandfather, my father's father, was actually head gardener at Aboyne Castle. My mother's father was a saw-miller and meal-miller at Midmar, at the Mill of Hall at Echt, just ootside Echt. My father's father, eh, he took the hotel at Echt. He was a hotel keeper like. Latterly. That's why. I always like Deeside, that's why we came back here.

[TM] Mhm. In your youth there would have been people still going to feeing fairs and…

[MS] Oh yes, oh yes. Aye.

[TM] Were you ever at one yourself?

[MS] Mhm. Oh aye, I've been tae feein markets.

[TM] Could you describe to me what went on.

[MS] Eh. Well vaguely, as far as I can remember, the eh, farmers and farm-workers sort of congregated at these feein markets and eh, I'm not quite sure how they got to know which farmer was lookin for me, and so on, I suppose it'd be word of mouth really. The news got around. And eh, you approached, say you were lookin for a horseman's job, you went to a farmer and eh, said I believe you are looking for a first horseman, second horseman, third horseman or whatever, and eh, then you, two of you got together, you negotiated, usually over a glass of beer or something and eh, you negotiated a wage, which lasted for six months. The, the bargain was agreed ye shook hands and usually the farmer gave the worker, mebbe half a crown or something, what they called 'arles'. Which was sort o a token of good faith you know.

[TM] Seal the bargain.

[MS] Yeah. To seal the bargain. As well as a handshake. And eh, then you eh, sort a packed up your goods and chattels and moved to whichever farm you were going to. If you got on well with the farmer and, and he was quite happy with your work then you might stay for years, you know. On the other hand you might only last six months. Which eh, some farmers was notorious you know for hard conditions, poor food, poor wages, which originated the eh, the old bothy ballad the Hash o Drumdelgie. You know that one? I'll leave ye as I found ye, a maist unceevil crew.

[TM] [speaks over], heard and sing it.

[MS] Aye, it's five o'clock that we get up and hurry doon the stair,
Gie wir horse some corn and hay and likewise stracht their hair.
At wis the arrangement.

[TM] Did a lot of the lads move on, or were most of them really…for a year or two.

[MS] Eh, some of the married men tended to stay longer. A lot of the younger ones, eh, tended to move every six months. Eh, sometimes because they didnae like the place, sometimes it was mebbe itchy feet and sometimes mebbe if they were taken on mebbe as an orra loon, they moved up a step to mebbe a second cattleman, or a third horseman or something, jist a little step up the ladder. They might stay for a year at at, and then move again to some other farm. Move up another step. [End of Side A.]

[MS] Was at the same place all his life. He, well when I say all his life he stayed at that farm all the time that that particular family were in it. I think he did aboot mebbe four or five years before he retired in another area all the gither. He moved away from Aberdeenshire altogether. But eh, he was ere for a long, long time.

[TM] Around in this area, did the lads stay mostly in bothies.

[MS] Oh yes, aye, at that time. It was all, it was all bothies.

[TM] Rather than chaamers.

[MS] Eh, well. It depends what you mean eh, you mean by a bothy that they made their own…

[TM] I mean a separate building with their own food.

[MS] Aye. Eh. Mostly it was chaamers, if that's the way you want to differentiate. Eh, single men eh seldom, well, that I know of, perhaps it was different in different areas. I'm speakin about the mostly aboot the Buchan area of Aberdeenshire. Single men were always mostly, well I'd say 90% of them in chaamers. Fed in the kitchen. And eh, so they slept and their social life in the chaamer. Was eh, I can't recall any instance of single men cooking their own food, apart from mebbe cooking anything extra, you know over and above the, the three meals a day that they get in the farm kitchen. You know they might have decide to eh, have something at night before they went to bed, something like that you know. Boil a kettle and eh, have a slice o breid and cheese or something of that nature.

[TM] What would they have for their three meals a day?

[MS] Well, it varied quite a lot from farm to farm. Eh. The common thing was, and first thing in the morning, aboot six o'clock it was brose, oatmeal brose. Tea and scones. Bread and jam or scone and jam, you know whatever the usual homebakes. That wis yer breakfast. Your eh what we call 'dinner', what we know nowadays as lunch was a three course meal. Was soup, eh with eh meat, potatoes and vegetable and a sweet which nine times out of ten was semolina pudding or tapioca pudding [laughs]. At seemed to be the standbys in those days. Then at six o'clock at night ye would come in and a lot o the farmers that I knew, you started off your six o'clock meal with a plate of porridge, or pease meal brose. Then that was followed by something eh, mebbe a boiled egg or scrambled egg, or mebbe if it was a one o the farms that fed you a little bit better you might get sausage or bacon or something like that. Again, as much bread and butter and scones and pancakes as you wanted to stow away. That was about the usual.

Eh, very often eh at the, on the bigger farms, and there's quite a few mebbe single men lived, you would have one big wooden, I've fed oot o these myself many a time when I was younger, a big wooden brose bowl, old brass rim round it. That would be between two of you.

[TM] About a foot across then?

[MS] Aye, aye, roughly. Ten inches or so across. You made your brose and you drew a line across the middle, and then a spoon each and ye get stuck in. The fastest eater got the most! [laughs] Mostly there was plenty of milk, eh with cream, you know. It was, I don't know, I suppose the dieticians nowadays would hold up their hands in horror at the way we ate, but it, it was a good nourishing diet I would have said.

[TM] I suppose if it was just brose three times a day, it might be a bit…

[MS] Oh yeah.

[TM] Cause I've heard of that one some farms

[MS] Oh yes, eh, well some farms were notorious for,…it was just the cheapest of the cheap you know. You get brose in the morning, you might get eh, I've seen this too, is you get just potatoes rather than, I've seen you get potatoes and milk for the midday meal - nothing else. Just boiled potatoes and milk. And then at night it might not be brose, but sure enough it would be porridge, and a cup o tea and a scone or something, and that would be it. But eh, mostly they were a bit better than that.

I never actually was fee'd as a farm servant myself. But during my teens when my father was disabled, he couldna work at the croft himself.

[TM] That's when you were at Lonmay?

[MS] Yes, even before, when we were in Drum, eh at the age of twelve, I used to leave Drumoak school, come home via a local farm, pick up a pair of horses and a plough. Home, threw the schoolbag into the house and plough till I couldnae see, then take the horses back tae the farm, then come back home, do my homework ready for next mornin. Feed the cattle, you know, feed and clean the cattle. And eh, do my homework and then off to school the next mornin, repeat the ?? again. All, I got all the crop, hay and the corn.

[TM] With a scythe.

[MS] With a scythe. My mother and I gathered it and bound it, and took it in with a wee Shetland pony and a wee cart, took it all in, harvested it all with a little Shetland pony. It was eh, it was either that or want. Cause at that time father's war pension was 16 shillings a week. And that just wasn't a lot to live on for a family four. I'd an elder brother who was eh, very poor health, my mother was not very strong either. I was the only strong een in the family. It fell to me to do the hard graft, which as you see it hasna stunted my growth [laughs].

[TM] How would you bring the plough along the road?

[MS] No we took it through the fields, and just skidded it along the fields, you know. There was a, from the farm to the croft there was, think I remember noo, I think it was two fields, two o the farmer's fields and then there was a gate through into one o our fields, ye jist skidded it along on the sole plate.

[TM] So were his horses doing day duty at his place, and evening work?

[MS] No, well we did it by arrangement you know, you would say well, ye canna get the horses mebbe tomorrow cause we'll be usin them for a full day. And eh, it was just arranged that mebbe if his horses had been workin in the forenoon and hadna been doin much in the afternoon then I would get them that night. Eh. It worked oot. And then I helped them. You know in return at harvest time, hay-making time, any time that it was, anything that a wee boy could do I did it. In exchange, it was just…

[TM] Was there a lot o that?

[MS] There was a bit o that. I don't know anybody just started quite so young as I did. I was just twelve when I started but eh, eh, No I didn't, I canna remember any other, there was plenty of other ones worked at home you know. But I canna remember any other ones havin to do quite as much as what I did. Well, those were the days, so they say [laughs].

[TM] So tell me a bit more about these entertainments at night.

[MS] Well, we never had much o them until we moved to Lonmay. And as I said there was this big farm beside us, Whiteside, it was a family of Sherrins, there was two brothers one of whom was married. They were the tenants, a rented farm. They were tenants. James was married, Sandy wasnae. Sandy stayed in the chaamer with young Sandy, that was James's son, and Don Davidson who was the horseman. Now, Sherrins were a musical family.      Young Sandy played the melodion, eh, and the mouth organ. Don Davidson played Jewish harp and the drums. James was a violinist. And old Sandy did he play the violin? No, he also played the melodion, that was it. And eh, sometimes we'd have a, there would be a ceilidh in the farm kitchen, you know the big old-fashioned farm kitchen with the flagstone floor and the big open peat fire. And eh, it was quite a common thing for us, for folk to gather there on a Saturday night, it seemed to be the gathering place. And eh, if some of the well-known, like the Hash of Drumdelgie and a lot more of these sort of well known bothy ballads, but they make up, you know make up songs, if something mebbe had happened that day, or sometimes just completely nonsensical things. I was thinking about one today actually. There was,

I bocht mysel a little wee dog,
Its feet were four mile broad,
And roon the world at half an hoor,
A punnet did I trod.
Singin lin-fillary, lin-fillary, lin-fillary a'.

You know, just nonsensical things like at. And he got everybody singin them you know. There was another one which was made up.

Old Sandy Sherrin he was a great lad for showing horse harness at shows you know. And you know the chain, chains o the harness you know from the back chains and the trace chains and all the rest o the chains, they all had to be cleared you know till they were shining. And what they did, they put them in a, and empty jute sack o oil, and one person took hold of each end of the sack and they threw the chains inside the sack backwards and forwards and Old Sandy had them singin,

Come a' ye Mormond loons and quines
And help us raissel up the chines.

I can't remember the rest of the words. Also the process of polishing the leather-work. That bit sticks in my mind.

Come a ye Mormond loons and quines,
And help us raissel up the chines.

And that's eh, that's, that's the sort of thing that went on. Sometimes it was just a purely musical evening and very little singing, sometimes it was all singing. And never saw any dancing.

[TM] That's surprising.

[MS] Yep. Possibly because there it was nearly all male. Was very few, in fact apart from old Jim Sherrin's wife, and there was somebody through from Sauterhill, Lawrence. Jimmy Lawrence from Sauterhill and his sister used to come. His sister came sometimes only, she didnae come regular. There was…. Oh dear, dear,…a farm called Fernie Brae, and there was another chap, Dalgarno, had a farm roon there. There was eh, a farmer called Jock by God from Red, Red ???. He got that nickname because everything he said was always, by God. Eh. Pittendreich from Mains o Park. Young Alec Laird from Nether Park, who still used to come at Whiteside.

[TM] So there'd be a dozen people there.

[MS] Yeah. Aye. Sometimes mebbe half a dozen, syne I've seen the place packed oot and mebbe, o aboot sixteen, fifteen you know. A' smokin pipes and whatnot. You could hardly see [laughs].

[TM] Did the other folk make up songs, or was it just the Sherrin family.

[MS] Oh no, everybody at, eh, at wanted to you know felt so inclined. Come on Sandy gies a tune ye see. And then they would, they would fit their words to the tune, or mebbe they would say the words and then Sandy he would play a few notes and eh, make up a tune just as ye went along.      Sometimes it was horrible [laughs], but at's, I think that was the original way of bothy ballads starting up. Rather than somebody sitting down with a sole idea of writing a bothy ballad, I think that's the way, that's where they originated really. But they were just, they were beginning to die out when I grew to know them really. If I'd been twenty, thirty years, born twenty or thirty years earlier they'd have been right in the thick of them. But as I say, Whiteside was about the last farm that I know of, especially in that area, that had these sort of Saturday night gatherings.

Course the Sherrins were in great demand. Sandy Sherrin and Don Davidson and another farmer, Bob Milne from North Park, eh, Alec, was it Alec or Alasdair Hendry from Blair Mormond, they were both fiddlers. They used to play at all the local dances, you know. Great demand. Their services was usually given free, you know in exchange for a dram or two. But at's the way it went.

[TM] Did you go to the dances much?

[MS] Eh, not until I was, oh what, I suppose I'd a been aboot sixteen or so before I went to my first dance, fifteen or sixteen. On my own, you know. You, you come with your parents very carefully supervised! But I suppose I'd a been about sixteen I believe before I went to a dance on my own, before I dared allowed to be on my own. There were many dances in those days. Mebbe three or four during a winter, that was about it. Usually it was a, a concert and a dance after you know.

[TM] What sort of concert.

[MS] Well, very often local talent. Roon the Lonmay area there was a family of eh, I suppose you'd a called them tinkers really. Eh, they stayed in, in eh, oh.. St Fergus. No, tell a lie, Fetterangus.

[TM] They'd be Stewarts then.

[MS] They were Stewarts. And I'd never seen such a musical family. The daughter, especially, it was her boast that any musical instrument you'd like to give her, she would play it. She played the trumpet, the violin, the accordion, piano. Get her anything you'd like to give her, she would play it, and she did. Her brother was a bit of a dancer, tap dancer. Where he learned it goodness only knows.

[TM] Was that Ned? Stewart?

[MS] Jean Stewart, was the, she finished up, she played a lot on thon, on radio.

[TM] That's right, with Willie Kemp I think.

[MS] Aye. The, they got up in the world the Stewarts you know, and they did well by themselves. I wouldnae say they werenae tinkers but they were a poor family. There was quite a big family of them. I couldnae say what the son's name was now but he was a tap dancer and he played the double bass. You know the thump, thump, thump. And the antics tae used tae go through that thing you know. Used to bring the house down. They were very good. As I say all the local lads, you know, their talents would be used.

[TM] In return.

[MS] And anybody that could sing, you know, in tune, which a lot of us couldn't, their services were always called on. That, eh wis it, Alasdair Hendry, he had a daughter Eileen. She was a beautiful singer. She was always in great demand.

[TM] What kind of songs would she sing?

[MS] Oh the, lot of Burns's songs and old Scots songs. It was all that type of music and song. Seemed to go down well. So I don't know if there's anything else I can help you with.

[TM] That's interesting about making up the songs like that.

[MS] Yes, you know, just anything, any, sometimes it was only a couple of verses you know.

[TM] Was it often about somebody that did something ???.

[MS] Somebody, or something that happened you know. Eh, my father used to write, in fact he published a book of Scots poems, and eh, it was the same wi his poems. They were just written on the spur o the moment, twas something. Well he wrote one about the cow run off one day, and that night he just sit doon and he dashed off a poem, aboot the hummel coo ran aff ae day, and throw the woods like stour'. Things like that. The same thing with their, with their, you know their songs. An episode like that somebody would start getting a few words together in their head, and then night time, och Sandy, gies a note or two. And Sandy would give them a note or two and they would start off…

[TM] And away they go.

[MS] Yeah.

[TM] Were people, did people used to sing out and about like when they were at the plough or doing

[MS] Eh, well they fustled a lot, never actually heard anybody singing. Well, I've heard them singing when the work was finished, you know mebbe walking from the stable round to the house to get their supper, they would mebbe sing a wee bit then. But mostly when yer working, it was, you

[TM] Working too hard.

[MS] Aye, ye whistled a lot. Especially if ye was walking behind a pair of horses. You would whistle away to yourself. Often as I just, not necessarily any recognised tune, just something that came into your head, you would just whistle away there quite happily.

[TM] Mhm.

[MS] But eh. Just any, any odd thing was a, you made up. Just a verse or two about, might be about somebody, eh about somebody.


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