Friday, June 27, 2008

The sound of music for Glenbuchat

Ryntaing in Glenbuchat

The BBC report the following

The songs and history of a remote Aberdeenshire community are being brought back to life after lying undiscovered for generations. The "Glenbuchat ballads" are being performed in the local village hall. Sometime in the early 19th Century, the Reverend Robert Scott, minister of the parish, compiled a collection of traditional ballads. The minister did not give the precise locations of where he collected his ballads, or name the performers, but the texts are unique and appear to have been drawn from oral sources. As such, the ballads revealed a great deal about the nature of traditional music at the time they were collected. The collection included one of the best-known ballads, "The Bonnie Lass O' Fyvie", and provided an invaluable insight into the culture and history of the area.
Many years ago my Great-great Grandfather, William Mcrobbie, left Glenbuchat to go to the Northern Lights of Old Aberdeen. His family had lived in Glenbuchat for the previous 100 years and some of my direct family finally left the Glen in the 1920's with some more distant relatives living there until the 1950's. My Great-Great-Great Grandfather, Harry Mcrobbie, died in 1881 at his farm at the far far end of Glenbuchat and the above picture shows where his farm was.

The BBC add
One of the performers, Marc Ellington, said: "Aberdeenshire has been 'mission control' for our ballad resource for a couple of hundred years." He added: "Versions of some ballads have been recorded by people as wide-ranging as Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead. "They are a cornerstone of major cultural influences globally and we haven't, I don't think in Scotland, embraced these ballads enough. "They are an amazing resource."

Strange to think that my relations might have helped sing these ballads almost 200 years ago and have helped them stay alive.
Harry Mcrobbie and families gravestone in Strathdon churchyard

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