A traditional North-East song for which we have to thank Janice
Clarke and which has featured at two Feisty weddings
(so far) and every gig we've done. An all-round favourite.
An all-singing, all-dancing set made up of Brenda Stubbert's Reel
Oerry Holland), The Song of the Chanter, Buan a' Rainich, Suidaibh
Bhalachaibh and Crathadh d' Aodaich. The first three are arranged
by Corrina Hewat ©1996, and the last two are puirt a beul
which can be very loosely translated as "Come on lads, get
it up! I heard them say I'm getting dumped. I'll certainly marry
her. Darling, shake out your sheets and get down the road." All
connected with boats, of course. This set gives us a chance to
stepdance in live performances.
Caroline, Corrina and Christine
DOWN WHERE THE DRUNKARDS ROLL
Written by Richard Thomson and a personal favourite of Caroline's
which has grown on the rest of us. A slice of a whole other reality.
WO WORTH THE TYME
SO far the only arrangement we've learned from written music, this
song was given to us by Bob Pegg, musician in residence in Ross
and Cromarty. Written by Robert Carver in 1545, a time when Scots
was a distinct language, rather than a dialect of English, it
is sung from the man's point of view. It was love at first sight
for him, but she breaks his heart. He is still smitten and can
see no way out of his misery: "Now am I left al comfortless
and no remeid can craif, my painis are remeideless and all the
wyt yow haif'.
GET YOUR FEET OUT OF MY SHOES
An everyday tale of a hard-done-by woman finally standing up to
her no-good man, written by Chris Thomson, of the Boothill Foottappers.
lead vocal: Christine
THIG AM BATA (THE BOAT WILL
A traditional Gaelic waulking song. The Gaels were great for work
songs and they covered all kinds of subjects. This one has a grim
story attached to it of two sisters who fall in love with the same
man. The older sister lures the younger into letting her comb her
hair while they are out collecting shellfish. The young girl sleeps
and the elder plaits her hair into the seaweed and leaves her to
drown. The words of the song, from the dead girl's mouth, include
some pretty vivid imagery as her dead body is raised on the oars
of the searching boat. Her son cries in the night for his mother's
breast and gets only salt water to drink.
lead vocal: Christina
A classic folk revival song about the plight of the Travelling
people in winter, written by the late Ewan MacColI and one
of the first songs we performed. Unusually for us, the arrangement
has hardly changed since then.
CHASE THE MAN
Christine unearthed a swashbuckling romp about a daring smuggler,
while researching her way through swashbuckling romps about
daring smugglers, but the rest of us didn't like it - so she
chose Chase the Man, by David Cross and Stewart MacNeil, instead.
Vocals: Christine, Corrina and Caroline
TURNING AWAY/ THE AWAY REEL
A Dougie Maclean composition (courtesy of Limetree Arts & Music)
about the Clearances, obliquely referring to the unseen spirits
of the Scottish Highlands. We interpret this as a song of defiance
in the face of a nineties culture riding roughshod over Highland
heritage, which also inspired Corrina to write The Away Reel.
THE WILD GEESE
Home is so much more than the place where you grew up or live,
it is also the heart of your culture and the inspiration of
your memories. This poem by Violet Jacob, set to music by Jim
Reid, paints a vivid picture of a homesick Scot in England,
his face turned to the North, imagining that the wind can bring
him news of home.
Vocals: Andrena & Corrina
THE SLAVE'S LAMENT
We were all struck by the poignancy of this unusual Burns song
highlighting the plight of a slave at work in the American
tobacco plantations and the weight of emotion behind the line "Alas!
I am weary, weary oh"
lead vocal: Caroline
A cheery little song published by Robert Burns about love on a
budget and living happily ever after.
An ancient Celtic melody, known in Scotland, England and Brittany
with sinister words collected, tidied up and popularised by
Waiter Scott. This arrangement is inspired by the Breton bombarde
way of playing where layers of music run into each other and
create a continuous whole.
GHRAIDH AN TIG THU?
A traditional Gaelic song of unrequited love. A woman stands longing
for her loved one to return from the sea. She saw him in a
dream last night with his sword catching the light. But he
returns to the arms of another. She waits for his letter. Her
reply will not be written in ink but in the blood of her heart
and that still warm. "My darling will you ever return,
to the end of time?"
lead vocal: Christina Clarsach: Corrina
ARE YE SLEEPING MAGGIE?
A song by Robert Tannahill. We never came to a definite conclusion
about whether this is a straight-forward, illicit rendezvous
or a more sinister night-visiting song. The images of a wild,
pitch-dark, stormy night with ghostly noises are spooky enough,
AGAINST THE WIND
A song by M. Brennan & T. Jarvis, about the survival of the
Celtic heritage and pride despite the threats against it, which
we feel is equally true of Scotland as Ireland.
Bodhrans: Christine and Caroline