Back to school...
An album to encourage teachers to teach traditional songs in their classes. It may not come as a surprise that this is a Scottish album, presenting a cross section of classic traditional Scottish songs. As the sleeve notes say, "in the past, the teaching of our history and culture in school was a low priority". With the importance of children having an understanding of your roots in his mind, Scottish musician Hamish Moore approached Ian Green of Greentrax with the idea of producing a CD of some Scotland's best loved traditional songs, aimed at teachers in Scotland, as he feels "passionately that all children in Scottish schools should have the chance to be exposed to this rich heritage."
So the album "Favourite Scottish Songs - for a' the bairnes and awbuddie else" is not one of children's music, but it is an album aimed at children to give them a grounding in traditional songs in Scots language. It presents 11 traditional Scottish songs, including "Freedom come all ye", "A Man's A Man", "My love is like a red red rose", "Both Sides the Tweed", "Sic a parcel of rogues in a nation" and the essential "Auld Lang Syne" - from some of the great Scottish singers, such as Sheena Wellington, the late Davy Steele, Rod Paterson, Tonny Cuffe and The Cast. The titles are all very much focussed on the vocals, with a traditional feel to it - not trying to appeal to young people by being cool, but just by their simple beauty.
I like the idea, I like the songs, and I wish this CD good luck in finding its way into many Scottish classrooms, as well as into the CD shelves of Scottish families. And yes, also recommended for anybody else, young or old, who likes good traditional songs.
While being on the subject of schools, I had recently a brilliant folky night out organised by the "Friends" group of my daughter's primary school. They had the great idea to organise a Ceilidh in a part of the UK where many people would first ask "Kylie - who or what is that?"
The band was East Anglian barn dance band Stumpy Oak, featuring one of the school's teachers. The band gave a great evening of excellent ceilidh music with straight forward "calling", allowing everybody from Foundation to Yr 6 children to parents to join in and enjoy themselves.
And what a great success it was - with a turn-out of over 200 people, and everybody being on the dancefloor (even though hardly anybody would have done the dances before), it surpassed all expectations. And apart from being great fun, it educated the children of folk music and traditional dances. No doubt one that will be repeated by the school in future years.
Photo Credits: (1),(3) CD Cover, (2) Stumpy Oak (from website).