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The Scottish Song Guide

The Scottish Song Guide

By The Sorries

An insight into the stories, events and characters which inspired the writing of some of Scotland's finest traditional songs. Written and presented by Douglas Kay & Martin Philip - The Sorries.
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Episode 11: Loch Lomond

The Scottish Song Guide

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Episode 15: MacPherson's Farewell
Episode 15: MacPherson's Farewell
We’re finishing off series 2 of the podcast with a song which has perhaps the best backstory of any Scottish folk song, MacPherson’s Farewell. Also known as MacPherson’s Rant, the song is often said to have been written on the gallows by James MacPherson, hanged at Banff on 16th November 1700. But how much of the story is actually true? Listen in as we try to wade through the legends and get to the truth. This is the last episode in the current series but we’ll be back for series 3 early next year. In the meantime, if there are any songs you’d like to hear about please let us know. Music featured: MacPherson’s Rant by The Sorries (taken from the album Auld Lang Syne - 2012) MacPherson’s Rant by The Sorries (podcast session recording, taken from Episode 7: Happy Homemany - 2020) You can listen to the full version of the song on The Sorries album Auld Lang Syne and can hear more of our songs on the major streaming services or by visiting http://thesorries.co.uk You can also get lots of Sorries-themed rewards - including exclusive videos, song tutorials and even a house concert - if you sign up to support us on Patreon : https://www.patreon.com/TheSorries Some references and further reading are to be found on the podcast site - scottishsongguide.com
33:56
November 26, 2022
Episode 14: Jock O Hazeldean
Episode 14: Jock O Hazeldean
The beautiful Border ballad Jock O Hazeldean is the subject of this week’s episode. The song tells the tale of a young woman who skips out on her handsome young groom-to-be and instead heads north to be with her true love, Jock. First collected by Sir Walter Scott for his Minstrelsy of the Scottish Borders at the beginning of the 19th century, it may actually date from almost 100 years before that. Music featured: Jock O Hazeldean by The Sorries (taken from the album The Sorries - 2009) You can listen to the full version of the song on The Sorries album The Sorries and can hear more of our songs on the major streaming services or by visiting http://thesorries.co.uk You can also get lots of Sorries-themed rewards - including exclusive videos, song tutorials and even a house concert - if you sign up to support us on Patreon : https://www.patreon.com/TheSorries Some references and further reading are to be found on the podcast site - scottishsongguide.com
23:29
November 19, 2022
Episode 13: Blue Bonnets Over the Border
Episode 13: Blue Bonnets Over the Border
A song from the pen of Walter Scott is the focus of this week’s episode as we look at Blue Bonnets Over the Border. Expect to hear talk of Covenanters, Brighton and laudanum, not to mention the sound of a fire crackling in the background and Marty coming dangerously close to acting… Music featured: Blue Bonnets by The Sorries (taken from the album The Sorries - 2009) Blue Bonnets by The Sorries (taken from the album Live at the Fringe - 2013) Oh Dear Mother, What Shall I Do (1725 melody) by The Sorries (podcast session recording - 2022) You can listen to the full version of the song on The Sorries albums Live at the Fringe and The Sorries and you can hear more of our songs on the major streaming services or by visiting https://thesorries.co.uk Some references and further reading are to be found on the podcast site - scottishsongguide.com You can also get lots of Sorries-themed rewards - including exclusive videos, song tutorials and even a house concert - if you sign up to support us on Patreon : https://www.patreon.com/TheSorries
20:47
November 12, 2022
Episode 12: Wild Mountain Thyme
Episode 12: Wild Mountain Thyme
The subject of this week's episode is the very familiar song Wild Mountain Thyme. But should we call it Will Ye Go Lassie, Go... or possibly Purple Heather... or should it actually be The Braes o’ Balquhidder?! Douglas and Marty delve into the origins and development of this much-covered song, and look at Robert Tannahill and Francis McPeake, two figures who arguably did most to shape the song we sing today.   You can listen to the full version on The Sorries album Live at the Fringe and can hear more of our songs on the major streaming services or by visiting http://thesorries.co.uk You can also get lots of Sorries-themed rewards - including exclusive videos, song tutorials and even a house concert - if you sign up to support us on Patreon : https://www.patreon.com/TheSorries Some references and further reading are to be found on the podcast site - scottishsongguide.com Music featured: Wild Mountain Thyme by The Sorries (taken from the album Live at the Fringe - 2013) The Braes of Balquidder (1821 melody) by The Sorries (podcast session recording - 2022)
28:39
November 05, 2022
Episode 11: Loch Lomond
Episode 11: Loch Lomond
This week we’re getting the spades out and digging around in the history of arguably the most widely identifiable Scottish song of all - Loch Lomond  (also referred to in some quarters as The Bonnie, Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond ). Marty and Douglas express some pretty definite opinions on a song which, in its worst guise, can become a tacky, clichéd representation of Scotland, but in its best can be a heart-wrenching ballad or a unifying, crowd-pleasing stomper.   You can listen to the full song on The Sorries album Auld Lang Syne and can hear more of our songs on the major streaming services or by visiting http://thesorries.co.uk Some references and further reading are to be found on the podcast site - scottishsongguide.com Music featured: Loch Lomond  by The Sorries (taken from the album Auld Lang Syne - 2012) Loch Lomond  (instrumental) by The Sorries (live recording, Moscow - 2019) The Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond  by The Sorries (podcast session recording - 2022) Kind Robin Lo’es Me  by The Sorries (podcast session recording - 2022)
29:36
October 29, 2022
Episode 10: The Bonnie Lass of Fyvie
Episode 10: The Bonnie Lass of Fyvie
The song we’re analysing in the latest episode of the Scottish Song Guide is one which features in folk song collections in a number of countries - The Bonnie Lass of Fyvie. Also variously known as Pretty Peggy of Derby, Pretty Peggy-O, The Maid of Fife and Fennario, there’s lots in this song to speculate about, a few things to draw conclusions from and even a bit of evidence to help unravel its story. We hope you enjoy our take on it… As a post-recording note, it was Joan Baez’s maternal grandfather, rather than her dad, who was based at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh. It’ll make sense once you’ve listened. You can listen to the full song on The Sorries album Land of the Leal and can hear more of our songs on the major streaming services or by visiting http://thesorries.co.uk Some references and further reading are to be found on the podcast site - scottishsongguide.com Music featured: The Bonnie Lass of Fyvie by The Sorries (taken from the album Land of the Leal - 2010) Peggy of Darby or The Dandys  by The Sorries (podcast session recording - 2022) Eveleen’s Bower (Pretty Girl of Derby O)  by The Sorries (podcast session recording - 2022)
31:45
October 22, 2022
Episode 9: Dumbarton's Drums
Episode 9: Dumbarton's Drums
For the second episode in the new series of the Scottish Song Guide we're investigating a song which first appeared very nearly 300 years ago, Dumbarton’s Drums. This one is almost a tale of two songs, however, as the original version - with words by Allan Ramsay and a tune which has its roots in the early 1600s - differs fairly considerably from the version that most people are familiar with now. You can listen to the full song on The Sorries album Auld Lang Syne and can hear more of our songs on the major streaming services or by visiting http://thesorries.co.uk You can find some references and further reading on the podcast site - scottishsongguide.com Music featured: Dumbarton's Drums (later words & melody) by The Sorries (taken from the album Auld Lang syne - 2012) Dumbarton's Drums (original words & melody) by The Sorries (podcast session recording - 2022) Dumbarton's Drums (later words & melody) by The Sorries (live recording - 2017)
24:49
October 15, 2022
Episode 8: Cam Ye By Atholl
Episode 8: Cam Ye By Atholl
We're back for a brand new series of the Scottish Song Guide, and first up we're looking into the origins of the song Cam Ye By Atholl. Originally entitled "Charlie", this song was written by James Hogg and has a tune attributed to Neil Gow Jr. You can listen to the full song on The Sorries album Land of the Leal and can hear more of our songs on the major streaming services or by visiting http://thesorries.co.uk Music featured: Cam Ye By Atholl by The Sorries (taken from the album Land of the Leal - 2010) Cam Ye By Atholl by The Sorries (live recording - 2017) Cam Ye By Atholl by The Sorries (live recording - 2022)
21:57
October 08, 2022
Episode 7: Happy Homemanay!
Episode 7: Happy Homemanay!
A special episode just to say a quick “Happy Homemanay” (boom, boom) to everyone out there and to offer up some music in lieu of us being out there playing live this New Year’s Eve. We’ve recorded a couple of session tracks, a new version of the old favourite MacPherson’s Rant, and another popular choice but one which we haven’t previously recorded in the studio – Will Ye No Come Back Again. Please enjoy, keep safe and we wish you all the best for the year ahead.
22:59
December 31, 2020
Episode 6: Land of the Leal
Episode 6: Land of the Leal
In Episode 6 of The Scottish Song Guide, Marty & Douglas investigate the origins of Lady Nairne's song, Land of the Leal. The song was the title track for our second album and although not usually regarded as one of the best known Scottish songs, it has had – and continues to have – quite a legacy.
39:02
November 29, 2020
Episode 5: The Four Maries
Episode 5: The Four Maries
After a little break, we’re back with the 5th episode of the series and in this podcast we’re discussing The Four Maries, sometimes known as The Ballad of Mary Hamilton but first published by Sir Walter Scott as The Queen’s Marie. The song features on our latest album, Bends of the Bow.
15:08
October 25, 2016
Episode 4: Bonnie Dundee
Episode 4: Bonnie Dundee
Episode 4 sees Douglas & Marty considering Walter Scott’s song about John Graham of Claverhouse, Bonnie Dundee. With words penned at the end of 1825, the song has become one of the staples of the Scottish song collection and its popularity has seen it parodied and reworked throughout the English speaking world. Keep listening at the end to hear our full length version of Bonnie Dundee, newly recorded for our album Bends of the Bow. 
32:20
March 30, 2016
Episode 3: Hey Johnnie Cope / Tranent Muir
Episode 3: Hey Johnnie Cope / Tranent Muir
The third episode of The Scottish Song Guide sees Marty & Douglas discuss two songs written by Adam Skirving during the 1745-46 Jacobite Uprising, Hey Johnnie Cope and Tranent Muir (now better known as "The Battle of Prestonpans"). To full versions of the songs in the podcast, please visit www.thesorries.co.uk
22:07
December 18, 2015
Episode 2: Auld Lang Syne
Episode 2: Auld Lang Syne
Episode 2 of The Scottish Song Guide sees Marty & Douglas discuss the origins of Auld Lang Syne, the meaning and sentiments expressed in the lyrics and the different tunes to which the words have been set through the centuries.
13:42
October 12, 2015
The Scottish Song Guide – Episode 1: Killiecrankie
The Scottish Song Guide – Episode 1: Killiecrankie
Listen in to the first episode of our Scottish Song Guide, in which we discuss The Braes Of Killiecrankie. The Braes Of Killiecrankie is one of Scotland’s best known folk songs, published by James Hogg but thought to have been penned in part by Robert Burns. In this podcast Douglas Kay & Martin Philip discuss the publication of the song, the figures and the events which inspired it, and how the song played a pivotal role in bringing Marty & Doug together to form The Sorries.
13:35
September 29, 2015