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As I read Ritchie one of the nation's outstanding This was produced by Riverside Radio in New York City and regret from the National Association of educational broadcasters. Today's trip will take us through Scotland. A country that I love very much. And as our special guest we have with us a Scots lassie. We first met June out in San Francisco Berkeley where I was singing at the Berkeley festival. Before we talk to him I'd like to sing a song from Kentucky which talks about the place in Scotland. Our songs had many place names and references to Scotland because our people the riches in their neighbors in Kentucky in the mountains there came originally from Scotland Ireland and England. The song My father had taught me and he said that from his grandfather who had fought in the revolution and the Revolutionary War and then he came dancing in London playing playing this tune on the facts.
It's called a cranky cranky is a little town in Scotland. But this is a children's game about you know where you wind up the grapevine. And the older boys and girls used to do it in my grandfather's day because it was one way of getting their arms around each other properly. You never hear me cranky is in Scotland.
It's just a hamlet. Hardly even a village very close to but luckily in past. That's most famous for the pass. Very deep gorge the mountain river flows through the scene of a battle and I would hazard alley 18th century and have heard of the battle of Kili cranky. You probably get a guided tour or something there when you go through one of these many old men who pride themselves in knowing everything that's ever been written or phoned Killie cranky and tell you the same story in exactly the same words with the brass at the end of the same sentences every day for perhaps 15 years after they retire. What did you say about a gorgeous they're all is that of historic interest there are two others so what they call the soldiers leap across this river. We I heard it was that. A small group of. Soldiers had been backed against the river and were going ice being cut down when at the time and the last one turned and jumped and I think it's a distance of about anything from 18 to 22 feet.
The sun behind it and we could still call it soldiers only only one soldier did only one of them hit it. Well that that's believable that it's like a whole army would go in sometimes. Once those workouts were you born. Well I was actually born in Edinburgh but just in the more my home has been the first 18 years of my life I was in Leven and East Fife on the coast just opposite. And. It's all right if you've got to stay there brother dead and alive place by more standards but it's got a lot to commend particularly the course you know I think that the kingdom of facts used to be the kingdom they don't they don't really still cling to that anymore. Well you find quite a few people are still a factor as a kingdom. Most of the old timers it's not a kingdom anymore of course but it still has. An awful lot to the mind you have the fact like the powerless and for cloned and the right of way between the powerless and the boar hunting areas and the east knew where the kings
used to raid and go hunting wild boar. So places that are called boreholes Kingsbarns have you been all over the country. It's got you know Scotland well. Well the only part that I don't know at all that was the extreme south west that I should have that I've travelled by car. By door immobile and and a good deal of on foot and by truck. Tell us about your about your travels on foot. Well when I went to university in Edinburgh this was the. Beginning of freedom from it was no longer an adventure to take a train to Edinburgh It was much more of an adventure to take off without rock sack and go hitchhiking for new weeks in the Highlands and for years I think I must have covered. 10 15000 miles in Scotland itself and hitchhiking trips. With your girl whether it's up to me and said Kit is from Edinburgh to Glasgow up to home and Sade to Fort William right up the Great Glen blast block Nace. To
Inverness and back down the kit through the kitchen gardens. But luckily Can you see. The other door to them how they're not on tone First can you sleep again. But after we've done this two or three times and really got to know the road well and tried out all the various hostels that people had recommended we get a bit more adventuresome and headed for. The islands with a tent and I didn't. The wilder parts of the Highlands where there was only. One remote youth hostels not many miles from anywhere. Jeanie you are a singer and a very good one. Singer of Scottish songs did you run into any songs on your travels are deducing things to make the walking go lighter. Anything or sure of my walking song. Very sensible very practical purpose for us at the end of a long day's hiking when you felt you could quite cheerfully picture a rucksack into the nearest law dropping songs from the island's did wonders when I spark back into your stare.
And this one was a sort of combination we like most people we forget words once in a while so you just went rapidly one from one song to the other. This is a collection of the island walking songs. There's a Their song and it's a song. So does the bird. And it isn't seeing it fall. I still owe for. That.
You come come come. Well. Yes but there's a saying that says a lot of certainly good luck to them I think you should look for everyone. With a really good beat like that. How long have you been singing. You certainly have a very full natural voice just about as long as I can remember I suppose I was one of these this gusting children was to be coaxed for two and a half hours to render a cradle song and a trembling Soprano when I was about
to have a quickly get over that to this song as I could I could feel. Do you remember any natural songs from your childhood that is like a children's school ground games or songs or anything like that. That you liked. Sure I it seems to me that most of the games I got the most fun from were the wilder ones like you know kick the can with an empty set up then in the middle of the street so the neighbors over and while we did have. Many of the. Interestingly enough the same games that kids still play in this country. We've been experimenting with some of the children here and they get quite excited when they hear somebody with a foreign accent. Run to speed he said. Then chocolates. I one of the many variations of the same thing. This is of a widespread in this country. Nothing that fascinated me just recently was to discover that doublers juggling with two balls against a
wall which is one of my favorite ball games when I was small to tune something like. Up against the wall. Up against. And it says the game itself is practically unknown and all the people have asked about it in this country that you have a plate when you go to two of them. Two of them at once looked like Junior juggling before you got to go against the wall and into that in England. Something like it I suppose. Or they bounce the ball against the wall and then under their knees and all kinds of tricks things you know they go right from testing. But I remember one of those little things from from Devon sure they were a nice one and was about the polar bear. I see it as more of a chance
to have a cigarette. Sir no sir because I've got the code. Where did you get the cold sir. From the North Pole sir. What are you doing there sir. Catching polar bear. Have a cigarette. So no other serve because of the you know somewhere. Yeah I did things with tunes too but we know what that we never did in this country that I know of and we never did at home when no one in Massachusetts should remember playing that when she was small. We did of course rope skipping rhymes and how many roses on my grave and things like that. The original question I meant to ask you about singing was when did you get started singing more or less professionally I mean for people in stages and things like that. Well I suppose it would be somewhere back to my early teens. The family suddenly decided that perhaps I was fit to be seen in public.
My aunt is active in organizing Rudel Institute concerts name to. So if they got stuck at the last minute you know always a last minute didn't do my morale a bit of good when I was you know somebody they call you common fellow and you know it's true. Right. So I started singing through a fairly small holes for small audiences but so the brought me in gently for that I got over stage fright fairly fairly early on in life. And by the time I left home I went to Eton but I was singing from the new cafe following in the fishing villages right along to a cord in the other industrial centers in the West from the west. When you were in when you were in the Outer Isles hitchhiking and so on. Did you meet anybody that you learned any songs from. What did you learn in you know walking songs you know that when you say you see walking that is meaning a tweet can have songs there.
Well my big drawback there one that I've never ceased to the good it is the fact that I can speak Gallic because as you know that if you travel anywhere and are interested in song you always find somebody who who knows a song you haven't heard before. But if it's in a language that you don't understand and you can't learn the words by ear and if like me you can either write down or read music then you're sort of fighting a losing battle. But both in the islands of mall where we struck up a friendship one of the storekeepers where he was selling us a quite often a tennis set up on which to exist for the next three days and then the island of Baidoa where I was staying for the month. I heard all sorts of songs that I'm afraid of just moralize gone unless I phone someone since then who knew them and could sing them over and over to me. But Annie of course is well known to the collectors at the school disco the studies they've been recording and she has an inexhaustible supply of Gallic folk songs folk tales.
She learned to be patient with you learning this song from rent you remember. Yes as of a short Cancun which was about as much as my smattering of Gallic I know it's got this quality of the working song that never seems to have a definite and it just goes on until the job's finished. And then back in there I got that right or not I thought you said milking ground that is going to sort of Sue the cab. Do you always sing on a continent or are do you ever play an instrument when you sing. While I could I could launch into about an hour's lecture on the subject I prefer to sing
unaccompanied unaccompanied. But despite the fact that I vowed I would never compromise an instrument because people said You'll never make it in America and nobody will ever listen to a song without an accompaniment behind it. I enjoy using a guitar. It would help if I could play it. This one friend says as a as a love song this particular version was collected in the south of England but that's because the Scotsman it does very well with a guitar. That is charming I like that very much. I'd like very much to sing one with you
if you can think of something lively that we can both. I didn't want to join in on the chorus. Wow. Usually the both the ballads of the Glasgow street songs that are safe for courses. I'm one of the popular ones is pretty well known over here. John a lot of the state's own groceries too so I try to get to go Johnny Johnny. Like. The glass.
I like to do and I'd like a song that we know in common I was on the impression that this was an Irish song. She says it she thinks is a Scottish song. It's a lovely thing it's called Wild Mountain time. Scott. Who.
Oh. Oh.
That was charming I like that very much. I think we have time for another one now if you just go out and you know some say I think one thing that this government this is not going to last a fighting. But that's. Thank you very much Jeanne. I'd like to sing you a song that I learned from my mother in Kentucky
and it's interesting to think because it mentions old Georges Square which is Georgia square in Edinburgh and proves that my folks also came from Scotland. Here's As I walked out one more interview old George Square really is called My parents raised me tenderly. Hope you've enjoyed coming along and I hope next week
I'll be traveling many of the portions of this program were compiled from recordings made by Gene Ritchie and her husband. She was on a Fulbright scholarship in the. Next week's program in England. Miss Ritchie will talk up and play and sing folk tunes gathered by her while on her trip in the British Isles. The programme was produced by Stuart silver and directed by Isidore hable. As I rolled out with Jean Ritchie is a recorded production of Riverside radio WRVA are in New York City produced under a grant from the National Association of educational broadcasters. This is the NEA AB Radio Network.
As I roved out
Episode Number
Jean Redpath Interview
Producing Organization
National Association of Educational Broadcasters
WRVR (Radio station : New York, N.Y.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Series Description
Hosted by folksinger Jean Ritchie, As I Roved Out explores folk music of America and the British Isles and the people who make it.
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Host: Ritchie, Jean
Producer: Gouds, Moyra
Producing Organization: National Association of Educational Broadcasters
Producing Organization: WRVR (Radio station : New York, N.Y.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 64-4-5 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:30
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Chicago: “As I roved out; 5; Jean Redpath Interview,” University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed September 28, 2023,
MLA: “As I roved out; 5; Jean Redpath Interview.” University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. September 28, 2023. <>.
APA: As I roved out; 5; Jean Redpath Interview. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from