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The Muckle Sangs (album)

An inspired collection. A wonderful source CD for all interested in the Scots ballads and sung by the best tradition bearers such as Jeannie Robertson, Lizzie Higgins, Sheila MacGregor and many more great singers. Chosen and prepared by the School of Scottish Studies in Edinburgh University.

The highly acclaimed "Scottish Tradition" series of recordings were prepared from the tape archives of the School of Scottish Studies. The Muckle Sangs is the first of a series of fifteen albums which are being re-released by Greentrax, having been deleted by Tangent and previously released between 1971 and 1988.

The Muckle Sangs, (the big songs or ballads), is a unique album of original source material with much of the pioneering collection work having been done by Hamish Henderson. If you are serious in any way in researching into the ballad tradition, this album is an absolute must. If you sing ballads and you learned them from revival singers, you will be fascinated by this opportunity to go back to their sources. Forget that some of these singers are old and listen through to the style and spirit of their singing.

Recorded on location, often in the singers own homes, on some of the tracks the voices are often raw and shaky but the performances represent the oral tradition as it has been handed down through generations. Among the nineteen tracks, you can hear powerful versions of ballads by the legendary Jeannie Robertson and also the magnificent voice and style of her daughter Lizzie Higgins, altogether about twenty legendary names from the Scottish tradition.


Scots song
Bella Higgins, Lizzie Higgins, Jimmy MacBeath, Shella MacGregor, Jeannie Robertson, Betsy Whyte
Tune Types:
Air, Dance tunes, Jig, Reel, Strathspey
Ceilidh, Christmas, Hogmanay, Robert Burns night
ca. 55 mins, 0 secs

Table of contents

  • Glenlogie/John Adams
  • The Gypsy Laddies /Jeannie Robertson)/The Roving Ploughboy/John MacDonald
  • The False Knight upon the Road/Bella Higgins and Duncan MacPhee and Nellie MacGregor
  • The Bonnie Banks o' Fordie/Minnie Haman
  • The Twa Brothers/Sheila MacGregor
  • Tam Lin/Betsy Johnston and Willie Whyte
  • The Knight and the Shepherd's Daughter/Lizzie Higgins
  • The Bold Pedlar/Geordie Roberston
  • The Twa Sisters Betsy Whyte
  • The Jollie Beggar/Lizzie Higgins
  • Lord Thomas and Fair Ellen/Jessie Murrary and Willie Edward
  • Young Johnston/Betsy Whyte
  • Young Beicham/Campbell MacLean and Bella Higgins
  • The Keach in the Creel/Jimmy MacBeath
  • Clyde's Water/John Strachan and Willie Edward
  • Sir Hugh and the Jew's Daughter/Margaret Stewart
  • The Broom o' the Cowdenknowes/Jimmy MacBeath
  • Jamie Telfer o' the Fair Dodhead/Willie Scott
  • Andrew Lammie/Jane Turriff and Sheila MacGregor