The Land: The Deerness Jig * The Orkney Muckle Supper * The Maid o’ Cowdean Knowes * Making Beesmilk Pudding * Harvest Home Hornpipe * Maggie Watson’s Polka * Gripping The Cow * Circling the Cow * Rope Waltz * Moon Beliefs * Peter Pratt’s Polka.
The Sea: Sea Beliefs * The Grey Selkie * The Strynd * The Stolen Dress * The Dark-Eyed Sailor * New Year’s Day in Da Morning * The Minister and The Tinker * The Greenland Whale Fishery * Orkney Isles Hornpipe.
The Community: Mister Frog * Choosing The Bride * Diddling * Wedding Customs * Inganess * Second Sight * Tea Boiled Clean * Sam Groat * Mindin’ On * I’m Weary Night and Day * Sleepy Laddie * The Ferry Louper * Scapa Flow.
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This volume focuses on the music, song and stories of the Orkney Islands. Most of the selections were recorded by Alan Bruford, reader in Scottish Ethnology.
The first narratives and songs highlight farm life: they recall harvest celebrations, recipes, animal behaviour and related beliefs and customary practices.
The next group contains sea beliefs, songs and stories about selkies (creatures that are humans on land and seals in the water), and a legend about an Orkney crofter who saved a man from drowning.
The final group relates to community life, with stories and songs about love and marriage and family life, jokes and tall tales about remarkable people and events, and a legend about the social implications of prophetic powers.
The Scottish Tradition Series consists of a selection of material previously held in the School of Scottish Studies Archives at the University of Edinburgh. The widely acclaimed collection is quite unique, and has been regarded as “the most important series of traditional recordings ever…”.