Up Yon Wide and Lonely GlenTravellers' Songs, Stories and Tunes of the Fetterangus Stewarts

Up Yon Wide and Lonely GlenTravellers' Songs, Stories and Tunes of the Fetterangus Stewarts

Elizabeth Stewart

Print publication date: 2014

ISBN: 9781617033087

Publisher: University Press of Mississippi

Abstract

Elizabeth Stewart is a highly acclaimed singer, pianist, and accordionist whose reputation has spread widely not only as an outstanding musician but as the principal inheritor and advocate of her family and their music. First discovered by folklorists in the 1950s, the Stewarts of Fetterangus, including Elizabeth’s mother Jean, her uncle Ned, and her aunt Lucy, have had immense musical influence. Lucy in particular became a celebrated ballad singer and in 1961 Smithsonian Folkways released a collection of her classic ballad recordings that brought the family’s music and name to an international audience. This book is a memoir of Scottish Traveller life, containing stories, music, and songs from this prominent Traveller family. It is the result of a close partnership between Elizabeth Stewart and Scottish folk singer and writer Alison McMorland. The book details the ancestral history of Elizabeth Stewart’s family, the story of her mother, the story of her aunt, and her own life story, framing and contextualizing the music and song examples and showing how totally integrated these art forms are with daily life. It is a portrait of a Traveller family from the perspective of its matrilineal line. The narrative, spanning five generations and written in Scots, captures the rhythms and idioms of Elizabeth Stewart’s speaking voice.