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FERGUSSON'S AULD REIKIE

Rare

 

Smiddymade Recordings 2000, SMD617.

 

12 tracks including: The Flowers o' Edinburgh, Auld Reikie, Mallie Leigh, Cauler Water, The Yellow-haired Laddie, Leith Races, Duncan MacCallipin, Hallow Fair, Hunting the Hare, Caller Oysters, The Daft Days, Tullochgorum, Torry Burn, Elegy on the Death of Scots Music, The Birks of Invermay, The Ghaists, The New Game of 41, Such a Parcel of Rogues in a Nation, Canongate Cadgers, Lassies o' the Canongate, The Caller Shades, The Gates o' Edinburgh.

 

This CD has been re-released to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of one of Scotland's greatest poets, Robert Fergusson. The album portrays the teeming life of Edinburgh's closes, tenements and taverns in the 1770's through the vivid poetry of Fergusson and the great Scots songs and airs that he loved.

 

Fergusson was born in the Cap and Feather Close off the High Street of Edinburgh on September 5th 1750, and died tragically in the city's Bedlam or madhouse a mere 24 years later. Yet in a short lifetime he established himself as one of the country's greatest poets. Sydney Goodsir Smith referred to the "fizzing vitality" of his verse, Robert Louis Stevenson acknowledged his debt, writing, "I believe Fergusson lives in me", while Robert Burns not only paid for the erection of his gravestone in the Canongate Kirkyaird, he described him as "by far my elder brother in the muse". This recording is dedicated to Fergusson's memory.

 

The poetry is read by Billy Kay, and the music and songs of 18th Century Edinburgh played by Tony Cuffe (an original member of the Bairns) of Ossian, and Norman Chalmers, Derek Hoy and Rod Paterson of Jock Tamson's Bairns.

 

A live performance of this was Karine Polwart's Gig of the Year in 2001 (The Herald).

 

Order it from MusicScotland.