Information about Willie Mathieson's collecting and his lost ledger.
Willie Mathieson wrote down the ballad 'Andrew Lammie' when he was ten, and neither the dominie [schoolmaster] nor his parents knew that he wrote songs down. Willie's first ballad book was a small ledger, which he lent to Mitchell, a sort of tramp and casual farm worker from New Deer, in 1902. It was never returned; it contained ballads he doesn't know now. He never heard Mitchell sing but he was a fine diddler.
A ballad is different from a song, because it ends in tragedy: 'The Gypsies' is a ballad because the Gypsies were to be hanged for abducting the lady; 'Andrew Lammie' is a ballad and 'Jim the Cairter' is a song. There is a large memorial to Mill o Tifty's Annie in Fyvie churchyard and her gravestone can be seen though the lettering is difficult and all that Willie could make out was the name Agnes.