To find the meaning of any Scots word - enter in the box above and press return. For full song texts click on a song title in the left table.

1. SALLY HUNTER: Jigs 3.17

A good starter . . . a set of three cheery jigs.

2. MISS SINE FLEMINGTON: Slow air 4.30
THE ALE IS DEAR: Strathspey & Reel

A beautiful slow air composed by Alan Bruford, followed by an old traditional tune played first as a strathspey and then as a reel.

3. IN DISPRAISE OF WHISKY: Slip jigs 3.20

An unusual arrangement of two slip jigs from the Simon Fraser collection featuring four fiddles and two concertinas.

4. ALASDAIR MacCOLLA Waulking song (Mary) 2.21

A Gaelic women’s work-song sung while shrinking the cloth, in praise of Alasdair MacColla who was in charge of the Highlanders fighting with Montrose in the 1640s.

1: Alasdair a Mhic, ? h?,
Cholla ghasda, ? h?,
?s do l?imh-’s gun, ? h?,
earbainn tapaichd trom ?ile.

[Oh Alasdair son of excellent Colla,
From your hand I would expect bravery.]

S?isd/ Chorus:
Chall ?il ? h?, chall a hor?,
Chall ?il ? h?, chall a hor?,
Chall oro hao ri ri, chall a hor?,
Hao i oho trom ?ile.

2: Mharbhadh Tighearn, ? h?,
Ach nam Breac leat, ? h?,
th?odhlaic thu e, ? h?,
’n ?ir a lochain, ? h?,
’s ged’s beag mi fhin, ? h?,
Chuir mi ploc air.

[You killed the Laird of Auchinbreck,
You buried him at the edge of the lochan,
And although I was small I threw a sod on him.]

3: Chuala mi’n d?, ? h?,
Sgeul nach b’ait leam, ? h?,
Glasch? bheag, ? h?,
Dol na lasair, ? h?,
’s Obair-Dheathain, ? h?,
deis a ghlacadh.

[Yesterday I heard news that didn’t please me,
Little Glasgow was burned and Aberdeen was taken.]

5. O’CAROLAN’S DRAUGHT Slow air 3.19

An elegant and powerful arrangement of a tune by the Irish harper O’Carolan reflecting the classical and traditional influences of his time.

6. GYPSY’S WARNING: Pipe retreat 4.07
FLORA MacDONALD: Slow reel

An atmospheric and slightly menacing set which builds to a frenetic finish.

7. MISS SHEPHERD: Reels 3.07

Three reels for three women whose names have been carried throughout the world by the titles of these popular tunes.

8. BRAES OF STRATHBLANE: Song air 4.34
SGIAN DUBH: Pipe jigs

A harp duet on the slow air leads into two syncopated jigs.

9. LOVELY MOLLY: Song (Patsy) 4.10

A strange song about a young man who tricks an old shepherd into parting with his daughter instead of a sheep . . . . . from Robert Ford’s ‘Vagabond Songs and Ballads of Scotland’.

1: As Molly was milking her yowes on a day,
Oh by came young Jamie who to her did say,
“Your fingers go nimbly, your yowes they milk free,
Ca’ the yowes tae the knowes, lovely Molly!

2: “Oh where is your father?” the young man he said,
“Oh where is your father my tender young maid?”
“He’s up in yon greenwood a-waiting for me?”
Ca’ the yowes tae the knowes, lovely Molly!

3: “My father’s a shepherd has sheep on yon hill,
If you get his sanction I’ll be at your will,
And if he does grant it right glad will I be.”
Ca’ the yowes tae the knowes, lovely Molly!

4: “Good morning old man, you are herding your flock,
I want a yowe lamb to rear a new stock;
I want a yowe lamb and the best she maun be.”
Ca’ the yowes tae the knowes, lovely Molly!

5: “Go down to yon meadow, choose out your own lamb,
And be sure you’re as welcome an any young man;
You are heartily welcome - the best she maun be.”
Ca’ the yowes tae the knowes, lovely Molly!

6: He’s down to yon meadow, taen Moll by the hand,
And soon before the old man the couple did stand;
Says, “This is the yowe lamb I purchased from thee.”
Ca’ the yowes tae the knowes, lovely Molly!

7: “Oh was e’er an auld man so beguiled as I am,
To sell my ae daughter instead of a lamb;
Yet, since I have said it, e’en sae let it be.”
Ca’ the yowes tae the knowes, lovely Molly!

10. BRAIGH LOCH IALL: Slow air 4.30
MISS LYALL: Strathspey

The set starts with a popular old Gaelic song tune played as a harp and flute duet, joined by the band for a traditional strathspey and reel.

11. CIAMAR A NI MI AN DANNSA DIREACH: Port a beul 4.31
Pipe Marches

‘How will I do the dance properly?’ go the words of the Gaelic ‘port a beul’ (mouth music for dancing) . . . ‘How will I do the reel neatly when the pin is gone from the bottom of my coat and left me all awry?’ The set ends in ranting style with two favourite pipe marches.

Credits: The recording is dedicated to the 33 cars at the Fishnish Ferry without whose help we would never have made it from Mull to Ullapool in time for the gig. Thanks to Alan Bruford for his beautiful slow air Miss S?ne Flemington and to him and the School of Scottish Studies for their help and advice. And thanks to Roy for the heuch!

Recorded at Hart Street Studios, Edinburgh
Engineered by Roy Ashby
Produced by Peter Shepheard and Sprangeen
Design: George Neill • Colin Browne Design Associates
Copyrights: All tracks are trad. arr. Sprangeen/ Springthyme Music except Miss S?ne Flemington Alan Bruford/ Springthyme Music.

c p 2012 Springthyme Records