We open wi lang-time freen o the programme an kenspeckle figure in the Scots warld Donald Smith, heid o TRACS. Donald is weel-kent as a Tam o Shanter performer o the first-watter. In this episode he tells us aa aboot the wakrshops he wis rinnin tae help fowk improve their ain performances o Burns’ langest an ane o his maist popular warks. It isnae aathegither sae easy. Lug in tae Donald’s interview wi Frieda fir mair…
Scots Radio is a programme fir the hail o Scotland, but its beatin hert is in Scotland’s North-East. This airt is thrang wi stories an legends o ghaists, bogles an ither hings that gae bump in the nicht. Sae o course whan twa o Scotland’s best storytellers, Sheena Blackhall an Grace Banks pit thegither a hail when o these stories intae a beuk, Scots Radio wis on the scene tae finn oot mair. Scottish Urban Myths and Ancient Legends
Blackhall an Banks were aff the back o the success o their North-East collection Aberdeenshire Folk Tales whan they were speirt bi a publishers tae mak just sic a collection fir the hail o Scotland. Grace makkit the fine point in her interview that sae mony collections o folk tales could be fae ony place on earth, sic is the wye stories are spried aawye orally. “Sae we decidit that if we’re daein ane fir Scotland, it needs tae be really Scottish” Grace telt us.
There wis a division o labour, wi Sheena daein the darg o scrievin the Urban Myths stories, an Grace wis in chairge o the ancient legends.
Sheena Blackhall, tae her stammagaster, discovert on her researches that an academic has shawn that Greyfriars Bobby, thon cheerful wee dug perched abuin Candlemaker Row, is nocht but a makey-uppey story fir tae bring in the tourists.
But she also funn mony an eldritch tale. Fir exaimple there’s a brig in Scotland “Far dogs commit suicide. They aa loup aff. They gie it the ‘goodbye cruel world’ an aff they go.”
Sheena also gied us a sang tae finish. Whit an entertainin pair the twa are. Ye can aye buy a beuk fae publishers The History Press here: https://www.thehistorypress.co.uk/publication/scottish-urban-myths-and-ancient-legends/9780750956222/
We also get in a blether anent the season wi oor programme Gairdner Davie Mitchell. He lets us ken aboot the centrality o trees in folklore an poetry. He quotes fae Rabbie Burns’ On Seein ma Favourite Walks Dispoiled, a fierce bitty critique o the Duke o Queensbury wha destroyed the wid aroon Drumlanrig.
As aye the episode wis gied a bonnie rhythm wi its braw selection o the latest musical releases. This time we haed Fiona Hunter wi ‘Lady Mary Anne Looking Owre the Castle Waa’ an the ‘Moss of Burreldale’ sung bi Steve Byrne accompanied bi Mark Dunlop an Mike Vass fae Malinky. There wis Shetland’s Jenna Reid wi ‘Johnny in the Nether Mains’ an a belter o a version o ‘The Trooper an the Maid’ bi Ainsley Hamill an her band Barluath fae their album Source.
Sae gin ye’re efter a programme anent aahin dae dee wi the Scots language, lug in noo. Ye may gang far an faur waur!