Sunday, November 18, 2007

Looking for a Christmas present idea?

Here's a great way to spend a tenner. "The Grassmarket Butchers / Tales of the Covenanters" is a cd of 13 songs, all written by contemporary Scottish singer/songwriters. My good friend David Scott tipped me off about this CD a few months ago, so I ordered a few copies and have hardly stopped playing it since. Really good stuff, mostly acoustic, mostly male vocalists. It was produced by the New Makars Trust in 2005.

The songs I like best on it are "John Craig the Covenanter" and "The Covenanter Soldier", both performed by Billy Stewart, who is part of a band called Haggerdash

Here's a wee taster:


The Covenanter Soldier

Yestre’en A was named outlaw, an A fought against the King
My wife an weans condemn’d wi’ me, for the praises we did sing
Four little words we’ll never say, we’ll no say them at all
An A’ll gie ma life for ma beliefs, against King Cherlie’s law

A’m a Covenanter soldier an A haud tae ma beliefs
Against dragoons an lairds sae fine who are little mair than thieves
But though A was an outlaw when A stairted on this fight
A noo stand for the King sir, on the side of truth and right

At Drumclog and Bothwell Bridge we tried tae make a stand
If they caught us they would hang us, an cut aff oor heids and hauns
Wi' ministers tae lead us and despite the prayers we prayed
Many died in battle through the errors that were made


It was the Graham o' Claiverhoose who hurried through oor land
Cuttin doon the common folk, he’d blood upon his hands
But little did he know then that his line was runnin thin
For soon the Covenanters would be comin efter him!


When William and Mary were crowned the King and Queen
The Kirk it was pit back tae the way that it had been
But Claiverhoose he went an raised an army frae the North
An this time for the King again we had tae prove oor worth


We met at Killiecrankie and ootnumbered though he was
Dundee he was experienced fae fightin many wars
But even though he won the day, history will recall
James Stuart’s plans were thwarted when Claiverhoose did fall


Ma fightin days are over and A’m back home once again
I’ve been outlaw and King’s soldier, I’ve seen my share of pain
But if my life and my beliefs are once more under threat
Then rest assured that once more I’ll defend them tae the death


You can order the cd here


Anonymous said...

This stuff on the Covenanters is great.
Please keep it coming and I hope that groups will be able to use some of it in their projects next year.

Jim Armstrong

Mark said...

Thanks for the feedback - it's a fascinating story and I have high hopes for 2008!