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This is what you're doing. Glasgow Scotland. This is the seventh in our series of reports from Glasgow. But the folk music of Scotland when that sweet 16 and Ki-Jana stand. Oh man. Did I think it's the guy. We'll certainly see what is said and I guess from what I can.
For I want you to say that. I. Have a young man. That was the voice of Jeannie Robertson one of Scotland's outstanding folk singers and the song was titled When I was new but sweet 16 during my association with Glasgow University. It has been my pleasure to hear several lectures on the folk music of Scotland. Dr. Howe Mish Henderson of The School for Scottish studies in Edinburgh and one
lecturer explained the continuing national effort to collect and preserve past contributions in this field and to study current trends. He labelled Gene Robertson the best representative of the Trufant music of this country. In a few moments we'll hear from her again. Another of Scotland's foremost authorities on folk music is Norman Buckingham now a member of parliament but formerly a teacher of literature in Scotland's high schools. He was kind enough to permit me to record his lecture on folk music at Glasgow University and I would like for you to hear a few excerpts from that lecture and the course of his talk. He commented on the interest in using folk music in relation to teaching of liturgy are one of the difficulties I think that every teacher faces a problem in bridging the gap. You know the gap between the Shakespeare and Milton on the one hand pop music on the other hand
so we know that they kind of calculate that we are trying to develop in the Diskos is very much divorced from the life that the kids have to photograph. And I think this is one of the reasons that I'm looking for a method that I give a method of finding something that was simple and direct and at the same time meaningful something that had something of something to give to the kids something that. And hands to kids increased consciousness and awareness at the same time was readily and easily assimilated. And I think it seems to me that in this field of course but music is a very big role to play here. I looked at the balance we taught as poetry that it meant that on the printed page but we have learned that there was a connection between those and the kind of popular kids songs and so on. So I began to look for them that had to be quite frank I hadn't found them. And then I can almost dated you know in one weekend two things happened. One was that him in Henderson who was the
perception of the folks of pop music and school of Scottish studies put on a killer Not Butter Weber claimed on the festival but I think that day and then I had put. First time really nothing for me when I'd have set up shop. When you set up shop work and so on. National's dollars folks I was in this poll a domain you know topped up the 94 life of human beings rather than the general life of him being sober the first time I had coaxing that had been brought up in the oral tradition because a lot of those but important Scotland are happy by just inviting people like all Johns to have the pleasure to make back to meet others and and for the first time I think that the ballot became aligned with still meaningful. Julia Roberts I would sing a ballad which goes back many hundreds of years and she didn't back off in the middle of it and comment upon the people involved. Your little must go but example of what she calls a lockdown like during break up to make a comment. There's a couple of lions and this in which he talks about
I can't claim to become a naked man you've been too long between songs he was saying and he said well you can have the better start. The cost be deep in the parser. You could have the better one and I will take a walk and she breaks off and talks about it as he would have any fair minded you said in other words it was living to hear about the idiom with different but at the time I realized it was a different idiom. We did a concert Terry saying that the folks in this big meaningful sense ranked under. I think began using it educationally academically. Good night before I could see that in fact the kids themselves having handed one to saying things like this. I threw imagining that it was that kind of involvement that part of my interest. And there's a question of the day of the problem here in Scotland. It's got the relationship between Scotland and England I don't mind the relationships of two separate countries but markedly by one country it's not just the region of the others and I don't know we can call it another line is this atlas of Scottish culture the pattern
of what is clear is that a very big extent the Scottish culture tradition is a popular one and that we are teaching literature Scotland where we neglect the popular tradition of the part that it became necessary to use this aspect. Even then I condemn a form of violence in the nature of Scottish culture. They're a bit oral tradition that are valid so far and so on. That point I think is this that south. Glasgow in a sense is the last proletarian city in the sense of investing in the sense of having a specific probably Tarion culture as opposed to the absorption of the pop culture. It's still not the kind of football tradition with the football songs and the Speaks on the stove. And one saw the link the broken down by comments of some of the or the folk of folk songs to survive and very much into themselves. This is something that I'm still talking as a teacher that kids knew and understood they were mine when I first signed one of their skipping exams because they
recognized that they were with it. So at them I began to use this education I said Well from that and then developed but as cop started teaching themselves one of the things that helped me was getting up this strange phenomenon known as the skiffle movement and before long I had visited something that I wasn't playing teach at the base but the same time they were singing the Big Brothers just lifting saying that I remember singing the I'm a very bad singer by the way this is maybe what a lot of them are singing diet adds to the old model theory and what happens when the kid said yes I'm not going up. Across it but there's a lot so much distinction between your middle son and that appears so in this way I would write me as white as a teacher. Now at that time when I had passed the living tradition of singers I don't know that it was over this country. I remember I did it here with us I think to help them minders that the tradition have appreciated what they were. Then remained still nevertheless existed.
Also the mind of this there was in a digital form of music existing in America that was somewhat shipped what things of the Gospel that I never heard an accounting of that letter in which you sing a song called The Gospel and he's talked about that he said this happened to me that he had broken one of the Jim Crow laws and so this time of our losses of course but let me believe that because of course the song itself was a very very old Scots and English ballad made from the gallows you know they're still alive and he had he created reality about fixing it in his own setting so that the kind of strength that comes with indigenous and then a form of folk music jazz and that and so on and so on began to back and make alive the kids who were singing Scripture and so on in this country. And from this almost the early injection. Another thing happened to develop their interest in their own kind of folk music and books on another
place the kind of combine took place. That is Skipper kits and so on were singing on the really good songs writes Honestly us songs of protest that so many of that. But of course the form itself was better. I think that on the form dissatisfying for two reasons I think one is that a serious guitar became popular and a good sense that it became pop in the bandstand and when you get sophisticated commercial skillful players when you begin to do it themselves so they tend to collapse because of that and secondly because it was one step is fine with the start up question back which tended to down the meaningful tax of good songs. And then never Schiphol but those two didn't die the way what was left was a smattering of the folks all clubs and so on in this country. So you have this kind of mixture of the kids wanting to make their own music. The academics like myself are the mission that in this girl's got these studies where they're going to the back of an academic back and the two things question is whether we
contributed of kind of awareness and knowledge and back they contributed to live in this in this age for the meaningful ones and finally here are Mr Buchan's comments on the bases of folk music and its international character. I always used to say you know that folks are the star. One of the first group of people had to walk together a group about it for the people that were shipped a lot to struggle one man about the push at the same time. What's the best way of putting at the same time setting up some kind of rhythm so leaders that I'm some kind of resin you begin to have music but there are some tidbits about the hollow log. But as soon as you do not a lot of different size you can have a couple of notes and I think that it began in this way became involved in magic and so on. It's a curious thing no one thinks of a magical light for planting seeds. So you go through your magic by going diners that are to make sure that the seed will grow next year. And I've done this to him saying it doesn't grow so the better but it proved itself
to advocacy of folk that are folks on Broome itself have begun to The Magic by simply ensuring the seed would too but you're a good girl and that sort of became an integral part I think it began in this kind kind way develop in its own form into a means of providing the group history a means of enhancing the stature of the group likely to get on here used to it. So indeed I think there's a common theme throughout all or folk music is the creation of that on here is making making that heroes in their own image. And then having made it here to a little image of themselves that enhanced and developed and then allowed because of that one thing sir and the American scene John Henry so that their work is singing about John Handley the need but I Here are the negro worker whatever you need but here in this way In fact it feeds back into them and he does become enhanced and to that extent normal and then it becomes a bit and I think this is one of the reasons that it was a form of wait and then began to
plan a more important function. There's no discussion. I don't suppose the themes is going to put me to sleep because that is the nature of music of folk songs at the ones National and the kind of specific concrete examples. But the universal in the natives It seems they are simply out there and that love the tragedy and so on. And this is why one finds the ease of change of scene from country to country was things of Edward Edward the Scottish ballad but even then it shows he has got this ballad because we find it in Scandinavia you find in Italy this seems a common not necessarily because it was a begin to change way back in the P medieval period but because these teams would inevitably arise from human to human existence that there seems a universe of all the forms alter the specific examples that altered the basis of the kind of instrument that develops the kind of need to develop one sings of bagpipes and
Highland there in or live in the area not just the Scottish higher than there used to see a band of gawkers from a mountain this didn't out of India playing Scottish bagpipe music. So the big instruments of course also begin to affect the form of the content universal in the south the Greek tragedies is Universal will lend itself to this is easier to change. The previous comments were by Norman Bach a member of parliament and authority on the fork music of Scotland. Let's hear now some other recordings of Jeannie Robertson and I'd like to mention again that Dr. Henderson whom I referred to earlier in this program told me the genie comes from a roving stock on both her father's and mother's side. Her ancestors belonged to the traveling clans who roam the North East of Scotland. Jeannie herself although born in the city spent much of her youth travelling up the river Dee and down the river dawn with her people and learned many of her
songs at their camp fires. Music is in the blood of the travelling folk of Scotland. Johnny's mother was a great singer and about half of her vast repertoire of folk songs come from her mother. Her daughter is also a fine singer. Many authorities have a claimed Jeannie Robertson statue as a form artist with such expressions as monumental sweet and her like and a glorious singer. Listen to her again unaccompanied as she sings first ballad in a solemn mood titled lard love it which is based on a famous name in Scottish history. Lard love it. Clan chief who was captured and executed for his part and the 1745 rebellion following two verses of this ballad you will hear a song in a lighter vein titled The bonnie wee lassie who never said no. And finally a portion of the gypsy laddies. He.
Oh. Oh oh she's cold.
And. I come here you want to stay. At home. Neither did I is the look talkative.
And it lasted. Barely did does the bone. Don't remember the first night she left the church. But I. See she can take the piss. And that's not what your debut novel. Did you get the joke. Maybe in my soul. That some of it to be. And at last. I understand Miley did. Does the dog look and you might see she said you are doing six thing. Don't you know me I can I can't in my pocket.
I put my bonnet do so as I said goal. Hanna Barbera do I need to turn that not to the bone. And. So we thought. Oh. Boy. And.
This time. Then I. Heard him you. Know. She just. It is doubtful if any other country has produced so much music which is so universally enjoyed. Ascot on the more recent revival of folk music in Scotland just as in the United States has taken a somewhat commercial turn and has been thoroughly exploited by the professional entertainers. There are those who deplore this trend but the fact remains that the professional folk singers have
wide popularity. In recognition of this interest I wish now to present one of the most popular folk singing groups today in this country. It is a quartet made up of Robert Hall Jimmy McGregor Shirley bland and Leon Russell son arranger and guitarist. This group has been working together for many years and has been highly popular in his personal appearances drawing capacity crowds in all of its concerts. The group has also been quite popular in its regular series on BBC television. Robin Hall a member of the group proudly claims descendants see it from the famous Rob Roy McGregor the Robin Hood of Scotland and it was during an attack of polio that he devoted a great deal of time to his interest in folk music. Let's hear the group now in a selection titled men Googlebot song. One of the many beautiful songs produced about the western islands of Scotland. This translation of a
well-known Gaelic boating song is a fine example. Of. John. John. John. Was. Sent. Home to. Be Told what. Was.
Done to. The phone. We. See.
You. Eat. Things. To eat. Sir. Robin ha Jimmy McGregor and surly bland continue with their arrangement of the Piper o dun be the second and third verses of the song are in the form of a list of tunes played by a piper who was notorious for his running away from battle.
Come to. Think. Told me keep listening to bring your brain young the space geek. I think some may see a peek at the Wellcome coming on before I speak to students at the gangway. The things we find still
eat eat eat. The T-Pain that we can't see. On the loading dock to eat the whole day. I'm done to keep the. Diary Room with her. You know to keep a. Close close close eye on the plane but on a you have just heard the seventh in a series of
reports from Scotland in today's report on folk music our guests included Norman Buchan member of parliament and folk music authority Jimmy Robertson folk artist and a Scottish folk singing group. I hope you will be with us again for the next programme of the series when we won't learn a wee bit of Scottish history through the music of the Scots. When. I entered. The air.
This is where you're hearing among the Scots. This programme was distributed by national educational radio. This is the national educational radio network.
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Amang the Scots
Music of the people
Producing Organization
WOSU (Radio station : Columbus, Ohio)
Ohio State University
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/500-pg1hnv7z).
Episode Description
Introduction to Scottish folk music, with lecture by Norman Buchan, member of Parliament, and includes recordings by Jeannie Robertson and several popular folk singing groups.
Series Description
A documentary series about modern Scotland.
Race and Ethnicity
Media type
Host: Goldovsky, Boris
Performer: Robertson, Jeannie, 1908-1975
Producing Organization: WOSU (Radio station : Columbus, Ohio)
Producing Organization: Ohio State University
Speaker: Buchan, Norman
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 67-26-7 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:31
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “Amang the Scots; Music of the people,” 1967-07-20, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed April 25, 2024,
MLA: “Amang the Scots; Music of the people.” 1967-07-20. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. April 25, 2024. <>.
APA: Amang the Scots; Music of the people. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from