took it hame tae Buchan. wis that fit it wis and
I sang it affa well, The Rowan Tree and The Brier Bush, but
I hidna hid ma pneumonia at that time, ye see.
[TM] Uh huh.
[MT] As I say, I dinna ken whit yer wantin.
[TM] Well could I start jist asking you a bittie
[MT] Mormon Braes I could sing it cause I lookit
oot ma back windae, the farm kitchen windae ye lookit richt
oot tae Mormon.
[TM] Uh huh, yes.
[MT] I used tae sing this.
[TM] Aye you were born at Mid Culsh, is that
[MT] Aye, uh huh, I Maun Gang tae the Garret;
I did that on the Bothy Nights.
For I maun gang tae the garret,
The garret (somebody shouted ower 'the garret'), aye the garret.
My mither his three butter platies.
[MT] Platies, aye platies. Well I dinna ken
whit I'm gan tae dae where I wis born aye well is't on?
[MT] Well I wis born on the farm o Mid Culsh,
jist close by the village of New Deer, an ma parents, ma father
wis there before him his father and his grandfather an his
father wis also factor at the Brucklay Estates and the Laird
o Brucklay when we were kids wis very good tae us. [He] took
a great interest in me, a great interest in my music too.
An in fact I learned tae drive in his car, he wis very good,
the Laird o Brucklay.
[TM] In the Laird's car
[MT] Yes in the Laird's car, in a Rolls Royce
it was, aye. And well
we used tae go down there on a
Sunday and walk down I remember
the Laird burst oot amon
the bushes. We got the terriblest fright, then ye walked up
towards the castle and he wis lookin oot o whit ye called
the smoke room and ye went in and there wis whole walls o
glass and we used to bend laughing seeing wirsels in the glass.
And oot o the blue fae the side, the Laird wid appear and
we gaed in. We got tae play billiards with him and he showed
us pictures and things like at;.he wis really very good to
us and then when my brothers and that were so musical they
were allowed tae play, he used tae buy a lot o instruments
at Christmas time. My brother John, he got a set o bagpipes
and he played em. He got the mandolin cause he could play
them ma brother Dod got bagpipes and he could play the fiddle
too, and of course he went in for voice training. At brither
John that I wis speaking aboot, he wis a headmaster and he
really he wis very good tae them. They learnt all that different
types o music jist because they could play of course so that's
[TM] So did you see much of the house?
[MT] The castle?
[TM] The Laird's castle.
[MT] Oh yes we used tae be shown all through
[TM] What wis it like?
[MT] Beautiful, done up everywhere and we got
right up to the top and round the turret, took us up there,
there wisna a lift or anything we jist walked up, his sister
would have been there at times, she aye disappeared fae one
room tae the ither. And
they didnae like him doing that.
But he wis very good tae us as children, but of course after
ye came aboot sixteen or there aboot he didna bother with
ye jist because folk wid hae spoken.
[TM] Did you ever hear a story about him taking
the Rolls Royce with a glass of champagne on the hood, on
[MT] No at's nae true. There wis a lot o stories
made out aboot him, but that was not true. A lot o things
wis said aboot and there wis an affa lot o jealousies. We
were nae liked by a lot o the children because he wis held
such a time wi us. He used tae say tae me he liked me because
I wis cheeky, but nae impudent [laughs] and the boys he took
aboot too and learned them tae drive. But he wis a great benefactor
in the area. Prize-giving days and everything he wis good
there. Well I better get on tae
[TM] What was his name?
[MT]. Alexander Dingwall Fordyce.
[MT] Aye and of course the roof come off after
the war, noo a days it widna hiv tae be taken off, ye see,
because their not rated now when there's nobody living in
[TM] Right. Back to your family for a minute,
what was your father's name?
[MT] Fowlie, Alexander Fowlie
. An he wis
the only one in the family at married cause he'd two sisters
teachers and none o them married. An his ither brither at
wis the farmer, he went away tae Australia and he jist come
home aboot 1930, back home, but he didna seem tae live long.
[TM] But he came back to the farm.
[MT] Came back tae mid Culsh, yes aye, he niver
??. Jist ma father, he made up for them all he'd eight o a
[TM] An what, what about your mothers side of the family where
were they from?
[MT] Eh Auchmeigle on the Cuminestown Road:
there's Mains o Auchmeigle, Brownhill o Auchmiegle she come
from, at's where Flora Garry came from Auchmeigle, Mains o
Auchmeigle an ma mother wis on a neighbouring farm an Burr
wis her name. Burr aye.
[TM] Had her family been there for a while?
[MT] Yes oh aye quite a while, an eh?
[TM] So there were eight of you?
[MT] Eight of us, aye, an I'm the last one left
Sad everybody jist o ma own age tae talk to and I've been
a widow for twenty-one years too.
[TM] What did you do for things like Hogmanay when you were
[MT] Oh well, Hogmanay we children werena let
be about much as children. Hogmanay wis fur the grown ups,
but we used to shout een anither beef brose. No sorry, it
wis whit wis wir Hogmanay things at we shouted again: Rise
up an gie's wir Hogmanay.
[TM] Is that 'Rise up old wife and shak yer
Rise up good wife and shak yer feathers,
Dinna think that we are beggars,
We are something home tae stay,
[TM] Bairnies come tae play?
[MT] Get up an gie's wir Hogmanay an they'd
aye something there wis cheese, oatcakes an a piece o clootie
dumpling wis aye the thing. An then my brithers widhae played
bagpipes up an doon the village an ye'd ha seen folk oot on
Hogmanay drunk that ye'd niver hae seen in a pub the whole
year round. It wis jist they seemed tae think it wis their
duty to go oot, aye.
[TM] Once a year
. So would they go house
[MT] House tae house an a' the doors were open
at night, nothing like nowadays, ye see. Ye couldna go aboot
leaving doors open, but round the farms too they went, oh
yes, an of course, at Christmas ye filled yer stocking. It
wis the same thing in it every time a little bag of sweeties,
an apple, an a orange and a string o beads. I hivna likit
[TM] Was was Christmas much celebrated?
[MT] Not, no jist a religious occasion, Christmas
wis, oh no nithing like noo. Oh no there wis nithin like at
at all. We'd church, we'd tae go to an no, no, Christmas wis
strictly Christmas, religious. But Hogmanay everybody went
[TM] Would you have a stocking on Hogmanay?
[MT] Yes, some folk kept it till Hogmanay night,
but we always put it up the night before Christmas and then
we got a shout early in the morning. We come doon in oor night-dress
it wis cold (there wis no central heating then) an we wis
this excited ye eagerly opened it. [It] wis great, but we
really thought Santa gave us it, ye see, really did. Oh aye
it wis great fun at, but no we niver got nae gifts on Hogmanay,
but there wis families did but not us jist Christmas.
[TM] Did you hear of anybody celebrating the
old new year on the sixth?
[MT] Eh, some folk did certainly, that's Aul
Eel, aye, yes there wis some folk did because in fact my uncle,
ma mother's brither, he always held Aul Eel an I thought twas
queer, ye know.
[TM] Did he do anything special?
[MT] No, no, at wis when their gifts were given,
at Aul Eel; it wis aboot the sixth o January, wis it, or something
like at. Of course the Buchan Association still hold Aul Eel,
their Aul Eel dance and Aul Eel dinner.
[TM] What about em getting up to tricks on Hogmanay,
did you hear about stealing a gate or getting up to tricks
[MT] Oh they, whit the tricks wis at Aul Eel,
if ye Wisna liked in the district, yer cattle wid be let oot
o the byre, I think it wis Aul Eel, wisn't it at wis held.
No, Halloween, sorry Halloween cattle: the doors were opened
and cattle were let loose oot through tae the byre and the
horse wis let oot o the stable an a lot o nasty things done
like at. An o course some folk wid ha gone, if there wis a
lass at some farm, they wid ha hung a dead rat on the door
and, when the folk come tae see whit it wis, ran away, ye
see, but then they'd come back and if the girl ??? tied a
little brooch in a matchbox, and things like at, an the girls
would come oot and they were asked to come in and then they
got a feed: cheese and oatcakes and athing. That's whit happened,
but Aul Eel wis funny then, not now, but if ye wisna likit
they're wis fairly cattle let oot o the byre.
[TM] I heard about somebody putting a plough
on top of a house.
[MT] Ah well, things like at, they did dae things
like at that's right aye.
[TM] Or a piece of turf on the chimney.
[MT] Turf on the chimney, I forgot tae tell
ye at, turf on the chimney an they wid hiv sitting at the
fire (cause the serving class, ma mither an them hid always
tae knit, niver stopped knitting, knitting at the fireside)
an this reek come spewing doon the lum, ye see, an they wunnert
whit on earth it wis, an of course they ran outside an here
wis this lad running away tee. Aye that wis right, I forgot
[TM] What sort of a house was it?
[MT] Farmhouse, ye see, it was jist at farms
it wis mostly done, aye, oh jist a kitchen wi an open fire,
a big open fire, ye see.
[TM] Did you have a hinging
[MT] No, we hidna a hinging lum, jist the ordinary
lum, ye see, which gaed straight doon intae the big fireplace
where they hid the peats an athing like at.
[TM] Did you help with the peat cutting?
[MT] Oh we used tae get taken tae the cutting.
At that time they employed men that jist did that, cut the
peats, but then the workers on the farm went wi their horse
I canna min, it wis near Pitsligo, the moss, the peat moss
and they made up little rickles o peats tae dry. And then
a while after they'd ha gone back an brought carts cause we
used tae get a lift in the carts and there wis a little shop
wi hid ale, an bought ale
. An then there wis a big peat
stack built at the farm. An that wis a knack; it hid tae be
done properly. An I aye min my father would hae shouted, now
fill, keep the fill up the middle, cause if ye didna fill
up the middle it wid hae fell in at the sides, ye see.
[TM] Whole thing collapsed.
[MT] Yes an at peat, when he opened up the peats
they were as dry in the centre jist the way at the stack wis
built. Oh aye min on that right enough.
[TM] How big would the stack be?
[MT] Oh it wis huge, well there wis jist the
one whole stack to do the whole winter. Wisna a lot o little
ones or anything like that a big stack did the whole winter.
[TM] Must have been some size.
[MT] Oh aye it was, God aye, an then of course
ye'd aye some sticks aboot a farm like some trees would have
blown down and then of course they were busy in the spring
time, wi the clocking hens and everything, they wis nae incubators
in those days, the clucking hens they gaed aboot sae proudly
wi their chickens. I used tae like tae see that. Ye niver
see that noo, nooadays.
[TM] How would they keep the eggs warm? Would
they bring them inside?
[MT] No they sat on them, they wis hen hooses,
ye see, wi straw and they went in there and sat on em three
weeks. They sat, then the little chickens would hiv come oot,
ye see. She ran richt proudly wi them, aye, oh God aye.
[TM] So was your father a mixed farmer?
[MT] Mixed farmer, yes aye, an of course farming
wis terrible in that days. I min one spring he niver got his
crop in at all; it wis down and it couldnae be got up, ye
[MT] When the wheat wis rotted an, God, I think
I see he's face yet, twas terrible, but of course the farmers
in those days, they don't do it now, made a mistake
A' his crops were growing and any farmer visiting, he jist
come roon an see ma craps
and the corn wis awa up like
at and they thought at wis great. They jist grow little crops
like at now, ye see, they thought the bigger the crop, the
better the farmer. It wisna; it went down in the wet and niver
came up, but now, ye see, if you look at a farm, ye jist see
a crop that high; it niver goes down. Course there's different
ways of taking in the combine and everything. But there's
a lot o farmers lost their crops in those days.
[TM] Jist cause they would go down easy.
[MT] Yes aye oh aye, my father thought he'd
a get a crop showing this farmer, look I'll stan in, he wis
a tall man it wis away above him.
[TM] And did he have any hired workers?
[MT] Oh yes he'd aye four men hired, oh aye
and I'd a brither too, ye see.
[TM] So your brother worked for him?
there wis aye a young lad on
the farm, the orra loon, he'd tae dee anything an he wis affa
I min o seeing the boy coming home walking
all the way fae farms sobbing. Jist cause he's away fae he's
home, terrible jist.
[TM] And did he stay in the
[MT] Aye and he wis affa bad used sometimes
to jist do a' the orra jobs on earth. Oh no twisna right,
[TM] So where did the lad at your fathers farm
[MT] In the chaamer, ye see
. Now they
spik aboot the bothies; there wis niver bothies in the North
East; it wis the chaamer.
[TM] That's right.
[MT] Aye wi yer box beds and chaff mattresses
sometimes wi a mouse in't [laughs]. The moose
warm an we aye hid chaff beds and
the night they were
changed, the chaff, we used tae jump in ower the bed away
tae the top [laughs]; it wis great fun whiles falling off.
[TM] Cause the mattress used to be big and fat?
[MT] Yes, ye see cause they fill't it up and
it gradually come down, ye see, but tae start wi when it wis
filled it wis great. It wis great fun tae us wrestling aboot
[TM] So what sort of food did the bothy lads
or the chaamer lads get?
[MT] Oh well, oh well, they got the same as
us in the house, aye porridge in a morning, or brose
He'd hae gotten a big bowl like is. The milk wis set oot the
night before so's there'd be cream on it, ye see, and because
if ye didna gie them creamy milk they said at's surely milk
fae the blue coo [laughs]. An they, they'd hae taken in their
the brose cup and salt and pepper and boiling water,
stir it up
. The fee'd loon wisna affa keen on the brose
an ye see wi hid tae go roon, spoon here, the next een a spoon,
and the next een at the top a spoon, and the loon wisna keeping
doon [the brose]. Keep doon yer side loon. He wisna pleased;
he didna like the brose and then he kept doon an he got a
smack ower the back o the hand fae the foreman.
[TM] So it wis the one big bowl.
[MT] [A big] bowl and
the foreman the first
spoon. Oh they watched; they were very good that way: the
first, the second man, the next een the third, the next een,
an then the loon and he wis in sic ???. He missed a turn an
he got smack on the back o the hand [laughs]. Oh dear
An they come in, the fee'd lads, the foreman first, the second,
the third an jist in line. They wir proud at way, went out
the same way, in order o rank [laughs].
[TM] What about the other meals?
[MT] Oh well, eh, aye brose or porridge in the
morning an a couple a slice o loaf. There wis aye oatcakes,
of course, well at dinner time. Well Sunday wis broth, a great
big pot o broth, an boiling beef, carrots and turnip in't
an pudding, maistly aye milk pudding, semolina or tapioca
or something like at an a drink o milk and oatcakes, maybe
cheese on't, plenty cheese cause they made it on the farm.
And on the Monday, well, there wis some beef left usually
it wis second days broth it wis ??? broth.
[TM] ??? broth mhm mhm.
[MT] An second days, broth an pudding got at
and then, if there wis ony meat left, it wis stovies the next
day, an pudding. There wis aye plenty milk pudding and then
there wis jist cheese, something again, ye see,
mince one day but twice meat in a week they got.
[TM] Would they be growing there own kale an
[MT] Oh aye the farm wid hae vegetables, oh
aye. The broth wis made wi home made vegetables an fine broth
it wis too, God aye, an we used tae mak beef brose (meal in
a little bowl and pepper and salt and the boiling broth bree),
michty whit tasty at wis, oh God, affa tasty. I think I'll
hae tae mak it some day.
[TM] You make it just the way, just like brose?
[MT] Jist the very same but
[MT] Wi broth, bree o the broth and affa tasty
[TM] Did you ever have meal an ale?
[MT] We used tae get that afore. Oh aye we aye
got meal and ale. Beef brose afore we gaed awa tae the Sunday
school; I used tae ask for it fae may mither, likit that,
cause ye wis in at the Sunday school and I became a Sunday
school teacher efter at and ye got oot
. Used tae [ging]
intae the kirk and it wis an hour and a half o a service,
so it wis a lang time without anything tae eat, ye see. Oh
aye there wis meal and ale every year and it wis held in the
barn an afore it wis held the cement flair wis I scrubbed
and brushed clean and ??? taen in and ma mother made the meal
[TM] How did she do that?
[MT] Well I made it on Grampian television
Well ye put yer meal in black treacle and stout, ye mixed
that an ye left it a night. The night o the meal and ale ye
took mair porter ale an then a nip, a little glass o whisky,
afore it wis served, o it wis fine, tasty, aye. And then my
mother made, what wis't that she made again now, porter ale,
she made porter ale. She made porter ale wi hops or something
like that, she made at. Oh it wis a great nicht, and somebody
would hae played the fiddle, there wis a row aboot the finish
[laughs]. Some o the lads hid gaen up tae the village and
got sae much drink there ye see.
[TM] Something a bit stronger eh?
[MT] Aye that's right.
[TM] So would there be dancing.
[MT] Oh ye wis dancing aye an neighbouring folk
in about to ye see, an then they did the same an invited back
an, oh aye.
[TM] So what kind of dances would they do?
[MT] Oh Hielan Schottische and Eightsome Reel,
athing like at, oh aye, or jist dancing aboot jist kicking
[TM] Do you remember what sort of dances the
older folk did, was it more old fashioned?
[MT] Waltzes, old fashioned waltzes and two
steps and things like at that wis whit they would hae danced
ye see, nae twisting aboot like whit the dae theday [laughs].
I min twas when the school, I wis a Sunday school teacher,
and the minister said to me, now get the children tae get
up some entertainment for Christmas. Oh well, I said, I'll
hae tae see whit they can do then. So I got some o them jist
tae bring songs an learn them an tae sing so ae night we wis
gaen over em and the minister came in jist tae start wi and
he asked several ???. He said, hello James, a little boy,
what are you doing. I'm singing. Oh ye're singing, are ye?
Tell me the name o yer song. Aye but I've got twa sangs. Oh
tell me the name of them, Jesus Loves Me an I'm Fu the Noo
[laughs] and the minister gaed awa
. It wis the time
that Harry Lauder song come oot and his folk at hame hid an
aul fashioned gramophone an heard it, but it wis the contrast
[laughs] Jesus Loves Me and I'm Fu the Noo
[TM] So do remember hearing
the lads who were fee'd there singing at all? Were they
[MT] Aye they used to sing in the kitchen, aye
an they'd aye their melodeon, an invited ither lads in aboot
an then in a summer evening they'd hae gone away wi their
bikes an their melodeons tied on tae the back, visiting a
ferm. Then some o the lads wid hae visited back. Or they'd
hae sat and played oot in the close in the open evenings,
ye see, an they were aye busy before they went tae the peat
. They set up big tables [with] the harness on o
there, polished them wi black an things like at and cleared
the back chains. They put ashes in o a bag, knocked them back
and fore like at and that cleared em, and that's whit they
no ???. But a cup o tea they got at night and some o the lads
were ???. Fiddle an the mouth organ, there wis aye music always
an ony kin o work. Maybe some o them tae help wi plooin, ye
see, an hoeing. There wis a cup o tea in the kitchen at nicht,
well it aye gaed intae music, ye see, so
they'd a good
time. But hard work, but they jist didna know anything else.
It's jist looking back that it's hard work, ye see. But everything
wis fun and music wis in my home onyway.
[TM] Did they play marches and jigs an
[MT] Nae sae much marches or jigs, jig-a-jig
[laughs]. Ye think I'm a aul feel, no, but I pick up the funny
side o a thing; I see a thing funny
[TM] Well what sort of tunes would they play
[TM] Just a stramash.
[MT] [laughs] Now but I'll never forget that
little loon saying tae the minister Jesus Loves Me and I'm
Fu the Noo [laughs].
[TM] Mhm. Mhm.
[MT] Let me see now if there's ony thing else.
[TM] Do you mind on the some
of the songs that they used to sing?
[MT] Well it wis jist a' the sangs that there
is in the books theday, ye ken?
[MT] Cornkisters aye twas a' that.
[TM] Did any of them ever make up songs? [End
of Side A.]
[MT] At wis their music and every bloomin song
wis practically the same, ye ken?
[TM] I'm sure.
[TM] Yes it fell about the Martinmas time.
[MT] [sings] Oh it fell about the Martinmas
da dee da da. I'll need tae see whit I could sing tae ye then.
[TM] Do you know,
you do anything for things like Candelmas or, em, Shrove Tuesday,
[MT] Aye well, it wis mair a religious thing
at that time; the church wis open, ye'd tae go tae the church.
My folk were Free Kirk at that time, an ye'd tae go tae the
kirk. Now Shrove Tuesday, that's when ye gaed hame shouting
something Sauty Bannocks let's hame tae fill wir stomachs.
That wis Shrove; I have it a written out someway or anither.
[TM] There also the rhyme, First comes Candelmas
[MT] ??? new meen, and next Tuesday efter at
at's Fastern's Even. That meen oot and the next meen in, the
next Tuesday efter that's aye Pace richt, or something.
[TM] Something like that, yes
[MT] Then there wis The Weary Farmers broken ???
They promised me best pair that ever I clapped een upon,
When I went hame tae the barnyards, there wis nithing there
but skin and bone.
And some farmers gie the foreman the best horses,
best tools and higher wages. Then the ither servants, in return
for treatment, the farmer expected him tae carry on the work
and get as much oot of the servants as possible:
And aye he told the farming chiel tae keep the
And dinna let the orra lads tae aye go back behind,
Fur I pay ye all a good wage and wish ye tae get on,
And when ye are not able there's anither when ye're done.
[TM] What's that one; I haven't heard that one.
[MT] Aye well that's the jist bits that I've
taen oot o a book,
ye see, when I wis demonstrating writing.
Spikking tae them, ye ken,
The brose wis thin, the broth [wis] like bree,
I chased the barley roon the plate and a' I got wis three.
Ye see it wis showing and then there wis plenty
greedy farmers and some farmers horses and it wis better
I dinna ken whit I've deen wi a' that talks. There wis a big
washings in those days ye soaked--ye winna want tae know aboot
[MT] Eh the clothes wis gathered.
[TM] Sauty bannocks; did
you do anything? Did you actually make sauty bannocks?
[MT] Oh yes ma mother did, aye, at an great
big pancakes. Sometimes, ye see, ye filled them wi different
kinds o stuff but nae the farmers; in that days they didna
dae that. They maybe do it now, but,
Beef brose, sauty bannocks, let's hame tae fill
Well beef brose wis jist brose made the very
same wey, but at bree fae the beef boiling very same as a
wis telling ye yon time, ye see
[TM] And what about the sauty bannocks; how
do you make those?
[MT] Oh well they wir jist sauty bannocks, an
mair salt an nae sugar in em, ye see, an great big; at's whit
they were, on the big girdle. Will I sing I sang then or whit
are ye winting, more knowledge?
[TM] Em will a bit more about
how you, when did you first start singing yourself?
[MT] Well five year old I was at the church
at New Deer on the platform there, an then aboot seven year
old I wis singing on the platform, ma brither wis sitting
doon in front an he made faces an a started tae greet an [laughs]
I hid come doon off the platform. And then, ye see, aboot
fourteen I sang a lot when I went tae Peterhead Academy I
hid tae sing a lot there. An then I started going in for voice
training tae Nellie Dobbs in Aberdeen, 7 Bon Accord Crescent,
I aye min that yet. I look doon that crescent and say aboot
seventy year ago there I wis ???. An so there wis a lot laid
on ma training, cause there wis nae mony farmers daughters
got that, but then a did have the voice and then the Laird
of Brucklay took an interest in me too and he got me tae sing
at different things and course after I married I sang a lot.
I sang away up in Inverness in the islands, yonder at Inverness
and Nairn I sung in the open, doon near the beach there. And
Elgin, I sung there, Town Hall in Elgin. Speyside, cause we
lived in Speyside fur a while all over there an in fact I've
sung away near nae a' place. I've a note o them some where,
an then Dundee, Arbroath, Auchmithie.
[TM] How did you get involved
with Grampian [TV].
somebody said you should ask
Mrs Thow. It wis in Mill Inn at that time that wis when I
hid the Mill Inn at Maryculter for twenty two and half years,
a hotel, ye see, an somebody gied them ma name and they come
oot and asked, ma son Sandy wis a loon, a young lad. I pit
him fur training, but o he didna. At half past at six, efter
the news at half past six, used tae be a half hour on Grampian
and some o that young lads would hae played sometimes; he
played the guitar and sang ???. Then somebody hid suggested,
ye see, it wis haeing kinna Scotch concerts, like bothy nights
and somebody said, ye get in touch wi Mrs Thow. So oot they
came, a contingent o them, tae the Mill Inn an so we started
there and I won the medal, and an then I wis made a judge
fur a while I wis
[TM] So there were competitions at first?
[MT] Yes competitions whaur I wis
scout fur Grampian fur quite awhile.
[TM] Uh huh, very good
. Who did you discover?
[MT] Oh well there's one or two girls but it's
a funny thing
. I took the pneumonia and then I couldn't
go out again at night. Alex Sutherland, ye've heard o him,
the accordion player he wis in Grampian. He's a band noo;
he wis an affa jealous lad I brought one or two accordionists
and he did the accessing o them, ye see?
[MT] An so, oh yes, there wis a girl an she
went away tae Australia and did very well. I min her coming
home an seeing me at the Mill Inn an said twis the start she
got wi me
. At the bothy nichts we gaed all over wi them
efter the one where we won the brose cup all over.
[TM] Who were some of the other singers on the
[MT] Oh there wis a lot o my singers that I
had. Oh they were a' farm folk roon about the Mill Inn. There
wis Jenny Garioch, she played the fiddle; she wis the maid
supposed tae be, ye see, and then wis that Harry Nicol, that
his the two motels in Aberdeen; he wis in an he wis a farmer
at that time, but he's a hotel noo. And there wis a George
Abernethy, a farmer fae up fae the mill in aboot Abernethy.
he's dead. There wis a few different farmers at did different
things I jist picked cause they'd helped me wi concerts, ye
see, and we hid great fun practising some ???
[TM] An these were non trained?
[MT] Oh aye a wis the only trained een, but
I didna show the training, ye see, I tried nae till. An ye
jist hid tae be as ye wis at the farm, ye see. And there wis
recitations and duets, a' cornkister types
. We did one
or two duets and then I did The Bonny Briar Bush and Dae Ye
Min o Lang, Lang Syne? and they a' said aye and I felt like,
shut yer moo ye're makin ower much noise.
He's an affa fine singer, that chap, oh I'm gaen into something
[TM] Oh the one ye're in the concert party with
[MT] Aye, a very fine singer an ??? play wi
[TM] So how often do you go out and about singing
[MT] Oh well it's all winter, it's every week
we're out. I niver took any big open concerts, mostly pensioners
maybe old folks homes and things like at fur entertaining
em. It's mostly now Nazareth House we went there an Cliff
House up here.
[TM] Did you used to go around a lot of the
Strathspey and Reels and Accordion [Clubs].
[MT] Oh yes, I wis guest singer wi the Aberdeen
Strathspey and Reel for sixteen years and the same wi Banchory
and I min I got a present o a lovely brooch fur a tartan,
when I gave it up like.
[TM] When did you first sing with the Strathspey,
with the Fetterangus Strathspey and Reel?
[MT] Oh a didna sing wi the Fetterangus.
[TM] Oh did you not?
[MT] No I sang oot there.
[TM] Well, out there.
[MT] Oh yes, oh I sang, oh well it's a while ago. It'd been
aboot the time
when they started, I think. But of course
that's nae my type o music,
twas like a Lochnagar or
something like at,
Rowan Tree. Are ye needing ony mair?
[TM] No that's about it.
[MT] Oh well, I hope ye'll write something nice.
Ye want ma tae sing, no?
[TM] Yes that would be lovely.
[MT] But ye canna hear a song in a book.
[TM] No, no, no, ye can't.
[MT] No, well I needna waste my time en.
[TM] No no.
[MT] Is't jist fur a write up?
[TM] No, I might use some for a write up, but
I don't really know yet, you see?
[MT] Oh aye.
[MT] I'll jist see. Am I near enough?
[TM] Yes, it helps to be able to see.
[MT] Och I'll start an laugh that's whit I'll
do [laughs]. Oh it's nae use.
[TM] [laughs] Well you just start again.
[MT] Honestly no it ??? Now
[laughs], that's whit a do when my son comes doon he'll say,
Now mam sing is tae me noo.
Dae ye min on lang, lang syne,
When the simmer days were fine,
And the sun shone brighter far,
Since it's ever deen since syne.
Dae ye min the ???
[MT] Oh no, ye see, hear ma chest there. Wait
a minute tae I tak ma cougher.
[TM] What year were you born?
[MT] Niver min[laughs].
[MT] [coughs] ye see I'm [coughs]
[TM] Yes a bit of a host.
[MT] I kent this morning, ye see, that I wis
nae good fur singing
. It's affa o me tae be like is
feel sic a goose, ye know.
Dae ye min on lang, lang syne,
When the simmer days were fine,
And sun shone bright far,
Then it's ever deen since syne.
Di ye min the ???,
Whaur we guddled in the burn,
And wir late for the skweel in the morning.
Dae ye min the sunny braes,
Whaur we gathered hips and sloes,
And fell among the bramble bushes,
Teering all oor claes
And fur fear we wid be seen,
We gaed slipping hame at een
An were lickit for wir pains in the morning.
Dae ye min the miller's dam,
When the frosty winter come,
We slid across the curlers rink,
And made there game a sham.
When they chased us through the snow,
We took leg ??? and a ???
But did it ower again in the morning.
Whaur are those bricht hearts noo
That wir aye sae ?? and true?
Oh some hae left life's troubled scene,
Some still are struggling through,
And some hae risen high in life's changeful destiny,
For they rose with the lark in the morning.
Noo life's sweet spring is past,
And oor autumns come at last,
Wir simmer days his passed away,
Life's winter's coming fast,
But though lang the nicht may seem,
We will sleep without a dream,
Till we waken on yon bricht Sabbath morning.
[MT] Nae good. Och that'll dee onywey.
[TM] Did either of your parents sing?
[MT] Oh ma parents were both singers, especially
ma father. He wis one o the loveliest tenor singers that ever
ye heard, beautiful tenor ma brothers too
. Oh yes.
[TM] What sort of songs did your father sing?
[MT] Eh Lass o Ballochmyle and everything like
. I used tae sing a' that eens
I think I hear him singing The Lass of Ballochmyle
[TM] And he never had any training, no?
[MT] No, no, no, his father died at thirty eight
and ma father wis jist little and yet that mother made two
of the daughters teachers and the two were on the farm.
[TM] Mhm mhm. So he had to take over the farm?
[MT] Yes aye, well she'd a grieve tae start
with, see, cause they were jist kids when the father died
and then when the ither sons grew up
they took over the
farm, ye see. My grandmother come in and retired in Aberdeen,
one sister taught in Cults here, one aunt o mine taught here
and then they both went down to West Calder and one was the
headmistress in Addiewells schools, a little school it wis
at that time, and the ither wis in West Calder. Then they
both retired tae Inverkeithing. I used go doon and stay holiday
there, I thought it wis great.
[TM] Mhm mhm.
[MT] Ma mither his three
[MT] Aye platies.
Ma mither his three butter platies,
And she's nae ither dochters but me.
But I maun gang tae the garret.
[TM] The garret?
[MT] Aye the garret,
For I maun gang tae the garret,
For there's nae bonny laddie for me.
My faither's a wee white horsie,
[MT] Aye a horsie,
Ma faithers a wee white horsie,
And nae ither dochters but me.
[TM] The garret?
[MT] Aye the garrret,
But I maun gang tae the garret,
For there's nae bonny laddie for me.
Ma mither his forty white shillings.
[MT] Aye shillings,
Ma mither his forty white shillings,
And nae ither dochters but me.
But I maun gang tae the garret.
[TM] The garret?
[MT] Aye the garret, aye the garret,
But I maun gang tae the garret,
For there's nae bonny laddie for me.
But doon in yon howe there's a miller.
[TM] A miller
[MT] Aye a miller,
But doon in yon howe there's a miller,
And he often comes and courts me.
So noo am gan tae be married.
[MT] Aye married.
So noo I'm, going tae be married
And the garret will no be for me.
At's better noo.
[MT] There ye go, aye.
[TM] Did I do alright?
[MT] Aye ye did fine, yes, uh huh
jist come in, jist wi the beat, ye se, or that spoils it aye,
eence or twice a thought ye wis gaan tae forget at
[TM] How many years did you
do the bothy nichts wi Grampian?
[MT] How many years?
Oh well I went till
they stopped, ye see
. They began tae think, well we
better stop, ye can go on wi that too long, which wis beginning
to be that way aye. In fact, the last een I gaed on cause
I [wis] put on for a judge, ye see, and I preferred at, cause
I hidnae the blooming learning. Ye see, ye practised at the
hotel and ye dinna wint tae fa oot wi them or ony thing, but
o they were a good crowd, that lassie played the fiddle wis
a grand fiddler
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