November 22, 2005
Empire Music Group Inc.
World, Celtic, Scottish Folk, Folksongs, Folk Revival, British Folk

Album Review

Ewan MacColl was a poet, a political activist, a playwright, a fine songwriter (his "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" is one of the greatest love songs ever written), and a nuanced and balanced interpreter of traditional folk songs, particularly those that were sung in his native Scotland. This unassuming album of Scots ballads was recorded in 1959 for Tradition Records, the label started in the early stages of the folk revival by song collector Diane Hamilton and Patrick Clancy of the Clancy Brothers, and prominently features MacColl's wife Peggy Seeger (sister of Mike Seeger and half-sister of Pete Seeger) on banjo, guitar, and second vocals. The versions presented here (half of which are Child ballads) are wonderfully casual and even appropriately ragged at times, with an easy intimacy that gives them the feel of field recordings. This set was previously released on CD by Tradition in 1997 with a slightly different running order.
Steve Leggett, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Johnny Lad
  2. The False Lover Won Back (Child #218)
  3. Aikendrum
  4. The Gairdener Chyld (Child #219)
  5. The Maid Gaed to the Mill
  6. The Elfin Knight (Child #2)
  7. The Banks of the Nile
  8. Hughie Grame (Child #191)
  9. Mormond Braes
  10. Glasgow Peggy (Child #228)
  11. The Monymusk Lads
  12. The Trooper and the Maid (Child #299)
  13. I Loved a Lass
  14. Lord Thomas and Fair Annie (Child #73)