Song Migration

From Ireland and Scotland to North America

Workshop by Sara Grey


Over the years people have asked for something tangible to take away from workshops that I have given on ballads and songs across the Atlantic so I first developed a 'working booklet' of some permutations of songs and ballads that have travelled from East to West - some that have come back - some where tunes change and text doesn't and vice versa. I had purposely chosen songs with wide, interesting links where big, sometimes humourous changes took place.

There was such an interest in the booklet that I decided to take it a step further and add an audio clip of each British and North American version. The result has been a tidy, sturdy working booklet that has a CD in the back with at least one, sometimes two, variants of the ballads and songs. Tom Spiers, from Aberdeen, a fine fiddler and singer of old songs has done the honours by singing most of the Scottish tracks and I have sung the American and Canadian versions. The CD is interspersed with source singers from Scotland.