Biography and family history of Willie Mathieson.

Date April 1952
Track ID 15027
Part 1
Part 2

Track Information

Original Track ID

SA1952.02.B9; SA1952.02.A1(A10)

Original Tape ID



Biography and family history of Willie Mathieson.

Willie Mathieson first started writing down songs as a hobby when he was eight. He continued when he was fee'd [hired] at his first farm and he wrote in the gas-lit chaumer [farmservant's accommodation]. The farmer was pleased, as he was always available while the others were out; the farmservants thought it was a bit strange. He was not a rover. The first song he wrote down was 'I Think I Hear a Reaper'. He didn't sing until he went to Rhynie in 1909 and at a wedding at Berters Hotel he sang 'Scarborough's Banks', learned between Cairndale and Ellon while carting. He was married in February 1923 to his first wife, from Logie Buchan: he quotes the first few lines of the song 'Logie o Buchan'. His second wife came from Grange.

Willie's second wife was Barbara Daws. Her grandfather, Sandy Ross, was a shoemaker who had a lot of songs, which Willie learned from him through Barbara. Sandy was a fine singer and is mentioned in 'The Lothian Hairst'. Sandy met his wife in Castletown and came to fetch her on a shelt [pony]. They lived in an old-fashioned bigging [building] till his widowed daughter rebuilt the house with her own money. The house has been altered, and the trees knocked down which the daughter of the house used to climb when anyone suspicious - tramp or stranger - approached.

Item Notes

Some inconsistency of dates. Some words indistinct.

Item Subject/Person

Mathieson, Willie; Ross, Sandy

Item Location

County - Aberdeenshire

Parish - Rhynie







Source Type

Reel to reel

Audio Quality