The High-Kilted MusePeter Buchan and His Secret Songs of Silence

The High-Kilted MusePeter Buchan and His Secret Songs of Silence

Murray Shoolbraid

Print publication date: 2014

ISBN: 9781604734171

Publisher: University Press of Mississippi

Abstract

In 1832 the Scottish ballad collector Peter Buchan of Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, presented an anthology of risqué and convivial songs and ballads to a Highland laird. When Professor Francis James Child of Harvard was preparing his magisterial edition of The English and Scottish Popular Ballads, he made inquiries about it, but it was not made available in time to be considered for his work. On his death it was presented to the Child Memorial Library at Harvard. Because of its unseemly materials, the manuscript has languished there ever since, unprinted, though referred to now and again, and a few items have from time to time made an appearance. The manuscript has now been transcribed with full annotation and with an introduction on the compiler, his times, and the Scottish bawdy tradition. It contains the texts (without tunes) of seventy-six bawdy songs and ballads, along with a long-lost scatological poem attributed to the Edinburgh writer James “Balloon” Tytler. Appendices give details of Buchan’s two published collections of ballads. Additionally, this book inclues is a list of tale types and motifs and a glossary of Scots and archaic words.