Reminscences of camping and singing on the Old Road of Lumph...
Date 18 November 1981
Track ID 49866
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Reminiscences of camping and singing on the Old Road of Lumphanan.

The Old Road of Lumphanan was referred to as "doon the back of the hills". Maggie MacGregor was a local landowner, who had gone to school with some of the Travellers and allowed them to camp there. Anecdote about another landowner trying to stop them going to see her. The contributor talks about Travellers' feelings of attachment to the Old Road and quotes a prayer. She lists families who used to camp there. There were songs and music. She diddles a few bars. As a child, she lived next door to Jeannie [Robertson]. She sings a fragment of 'Brennan on the Moor', from Jeannie's repertoire, and says that the children would wonder who Brennan was, imagining he was someone like Robin Hood. When camping the world of the songs became real. The old Travellers would talk about piping and fiddling. Janet canters some bars of the pipe tune 'Farewell to the Creeks'. It did not matter if the music or singing was in tune, it was more about the feeling of the music and being in harmony with nature. They would never be bothered by wild animals, nor would they harm them, not even poisonous snakes.

Children were treated as equals. She gives the example of her cousin, who used to sing around the campfire as a child. At the same time, the elderly were treated with reverence. Anecdote about her father waking up and spontaneously composing a song: she sings two lines of it, "Fine day the day, boys, / blossoms in the heather," to the tune of 'The Smith's a Gallant Fireman'.

Item Notes

'Farewell to the Creeks', was composed by Pipe Major James 'Pipie' Robertson of Boyne, Banffshire, in 1915 when he was a prisoner of war in Germany.

Recording Location

County - Kincardineshire

Parish - Dunnottar

Village/Place - Stonehaven

Item Location

County - Aberdeenshire

Parish - Lumphanan