This exciting venture is devised by Hands Up For Trad as part of their ongoing Scotland Sings activities. We’ve commissioned some of Scotland’s best songwriters to take a fresh look at Robert Burns’ work and write a contemporary song in response to it. These songs have been arranged for choirs and harmony singers and are being taught at our annual Renewing The Tradition workshops each year in February since 2014. The project is now ending but a book of the songs inspired by Burns in Scots, English and Gaelic which can be ordered from the workshops.
The last of the songs are being taught at workshops in February 18 in Ayrshire, Argyle and Bute, Perth and Kinross, Highlands and Scottish Borders. This year’s songs are by Karine Polwart, Alex Hodgson and Rachel Walker. They will be added to songs from Findlay Napier, Kim Edgar, Alyth McCormack, Eilidh Mackenzie, Dave Frances and Mairi Campbell, Rab Noakes, Eric Bogle and Penny Stone.
Here’s a taster of all the songs. You can link to dropbox where you can hear them in full, along with backing tracks in some cases.
A Fork in the Road by Eric Bogle
Inspired by Robert Burns’ Auld Lang Syne this 2 part recording is arranged by Colin Douglas and sung by Amy Lord. This version with separate parts to learn by ear and a 4 part version are available in our dropbox.
Latham Dhomh by Alyth McCormack
Latham Dhomh is a beautiful wauking song from Alyth McCormack. The words are simple and are available as a slowly spoken sound file along with the music and all the separate parts are in dropbox.
The Handwash Feein Merket by Rab Noakes
The song was inspired by Rab seeing migrants being chosen for a days work at a carwash in Glasgow. Our arrangement is by Colin Douglas sung here in 2 parts by Amy Lord. A 4 part version is also available in the dropbox.
There’s Some Wad Say by David Francis and Mairi Campbell
This is inspired by the line ‘Pibroch, sang, strathspeys and reels’ from Amang the Trees, as well as the themes of A Man’s a Man for A’ That. This 3 part version is in our dropbox with the tune and lyrics also available.
Sing a New Song, O by Penny Stone
The song was inspired by The Tree of Liberty and this 3 part version is in our dropbox along with lyrics and a simple tune. The song here was arranged and sung by Penny Stone.
Seinnibh Bóidhchead by Anna Frater and Eilidh Mackenzie
Anna Frater and Eilidh Mackenzie wrote this simple Gaelic song as an introduction to non Gaelic singers. It tells of the beauty of Scotland and this 4 part version can be found in dropbox with the lyrics, spoken Gaelic and simple tune.
I Will Not Say Goodbye by Kim Edgar
Kim’s song is inspired by the love affair between Robert Burns and Nancy McLehose. This 4 part version was arranged by Colin Douglas and can be found in dropbox along with lyrics and a simple version.
Mauchline Belle by Alex Hodgson
Alex’s song is inspired by the story of Jean Armour, known as the Belle of Mauchline, who eventually became Robert Burns’ wife. This 4 part version is arranged by Dee Jarlett and is in our dropbox along with lyrics and a 2 part version and tune.
Seinnidh Mi by Rachel Walker
Rachel’s song is a gentle introduction to non Gaelic singers and is a celebration of singing together. In dropbox, you’ll find spoken lyrics as a guide, as well as a tune and 4 part version.
Petals of a Red, Red Rose by Findlay Napier
This song is inspired by the end of the affair between Robert Burns and Nancy McLehose. This 4 part version arranged by Gitika Partington and is in dropbox with a 2 part version.
Come Away In by Karine Polwart
Karine’s song celebrates Scottish hospitality and is partly inspired by The Wren’s Nest by Robert Burns. The 4 part version is arranged by Dee Jarlett and is in our dropbox along with a 2 part version, lyrics and the tune.