FTX-180 - THE DOWIE DENS O
DAVIE STEWART (with accordion)
Like Jimmy MacBeath, the "super-tramp", with whom Davie worked on occasions,
he is a street-singer, accordionist, story-teller, entertainer, man of the road.
Here he performs some of the North-East "cornkisters" (Bothy Ballads),
Lowland Scots Sangs and pipe tunes. These Davie plays on a large piano-accordion,
which the collector had to buy out of the Dundee pawnshop in order to make these
recordings of him in 1956. He was also recorded in London the same year.
1. THE NICKY TAMS - 3'01"
2. MORMOND BRAES - 3'38"
3. THE HASH O' BELNAGOAK - 2'51"
4. JIMMY RAEBURN - 4'36"
5. AULD JOCKEY BRUCE O' THE FORNET - 3'30"
6. THE TARVES RANT - 5'40"
7. Instrumental: Pipe tunes: March: GLENDUAREL HIGHLANDERS/ Strathspey: THE
LAIRD O' DRUMBLAIR/ Reel - 1'36"
8. THE DYING PLOUGHBOY - 4'04"
9. BOGIE'S BONNY BELLE - 3'41"
10. McGINTY'S MEAL AN' ALE - 4'52"
11. THE HASH O DRUMDELGIE - 3'23"
12. THE LADY O' THE DENTY DOON-BY - 2'35"
13. GO AND LEAVE ME IF YOU WISH IT - 2'36"
14. THE DOWIE DENS O' YARROW - 6'33"
Recorded by Peter Kennedy in Dundee, Angus 1956. Edited by Peter Kennedy and
first published on Folktrax Cassettes 1975.
DAVIE STEWART (1901-1972) was born April 1st, at Windmill Street, Peterhead.
His father, Robert, and his grandfather too, were general hawkers and tinsmiths,
so Davie was brought up as a "traveller", spending the better part of a year
on the road. Between the ages of 4 and 9 he spent only the winters at school
in places such as Aberdeen and Fraserburgh.
He started to get known as a singer from the age of 10 when his family was
working in the farm bothies. Davie was 13 when the 14-18 War began. Twice he
tried to join the Gordons but he was called back by his father. The third time,
at the age of 16, he was sent to France where he was wounded on 3 occasions.
However he joined a pipe band and was tutored by the great Scottish piper, John
MacLennan. When he came out of the Army, at the age of 20, he resumed his travelling
life, singing and hawking, combining farm-life in the Aberdeenshire bothies
with playing the accordion and singing. 2 years later he fell in with another
great travelling man, Jimmy McBeath (FTX-058, FTX-059, FTX-060).
Other recordings of Davie Stewart:-
FTX-461 THE STOLEN PIPER Two Scots Tinker Tales. Side A:Johnny MacPhee, stolen
by the fairies. Side B: The old widow woman who was killed and stolen away by
the "body-snatchers". (Scots tinkers still frighten their children with
stories of the "Burkers", a term derived from the Edinburgh doctors,
Burke and Hare, who acquired bodies for their experimental surgery)
FTX-462 A TINKER'S TALE Davie Stewart tells his life story and songs including:
THE CATTLE-DROVER'S SONG, I'M OFTEN DRUNK SELDOM SOBER and THE JOLLY TINKER.