SING A SANG AT LEAST
below for the list of Songs
Scotland has a wealth of song.
Angus McGillveray's "The Rebel Ceilidh
Song Book" has served as an excellent introduction to that richness
for visitors to "Flag in the Wind" as well as paying a small tribute to
his memory. Angus liked nothing better than a song, a dram ( or two ) and
a crack with his many friends. "Flag in the Wind" cannot supply a dram but
we can continue delving into the wealth of Scottish song. Angus would have
As a hauflin, my favourite songs were Cornkisters, Scottish and Irish
rebel Songs indeed any Protest Song, and I discovered through the
burgeoning Scottish Folk scene, in the early 60s, that many others shared
my enthusiasm for such songs. At that time, inspired by people such as Dr
Hamish Henderson, Folk Clubs were opening up all over Scotland. I joined
the Rothes Folk club in Glenrothes and did a weekly report for the
Glenrothes Gazette. I still remember the week when I upset the manager of
the Club's venue, The Golden Acorn, by reporting that over 300 people had
attended an evening with The Corrie Folk Trio - well over capacity!
Among the songs being popularised were those learned at my mother's knee -
"Mormond Braes", "Bogie's Bonnie Belle", "The Bonnie Lass o Fyvie, "Nicky
Tams" ( see The Rebel Ceilidh Song Book ) or those that I had heard on the
wonderful collection of old 78 records by Willie Kemp belonging to my
grandparents. I was a folk fan before the folk boom!
The folk song revival marched hand in hand with the rise of the Scottish
National Party. From the 1962 West Lothian by-election through to Winnie
Ewing's magnificent 1967 victory in Hamilton, Nationalist supporting
songwriters fuelled the feeling of Scottishness. Songs such as Roy
Williamson's "Flower of Scotland" seized the public imagination and
although the number of Folk Clubs has dropped considerably, the seeds
planted in the revival have borne a rich harvest. In the General Election
of 1959 the SNP only contested 5 seats, by 1974 every Westminster seat in
Scotland was contested. The Folk Song Revival more than played it's part
in that change.
Over the coming weeks I will bring you a selection of the Scottish songs
popularised in the folk boom with the occasional Irish Rebel Song thrown
in for good measure. Starting this week with perhaps the most beautiful of
our Cornkisters "Bogie's Bonnie Belle", we can together enjoy the wealth
of Scottish Song.
Peter D Wright