- THE STOLEN PIPER
TWO TINKER TALES
Davie STEWART is a singing-traveller with many a tale to tell. First the story
of Johnny Mc Phee, a piper who was stolen away by the fairies near Pitlochry
in Perthshire. He was restored to his wife but no longer remembered by his children.
The second is a "Burker Story" (so-called after the Edinburgh doctors Burke
and Hare). It's about an old widow woman who was carried off by the body-snatchers
in a silent coach
1: THE STORY OF JOHNNY MACPHEE - [part one] - 14.10
2. [part two] The rest of the story - 2.20
3. THE STORY OF THE OLD WIDOW WOMAN - 11.50
Recorded & edited by Peter Kennedy and first published on Folktrax cassettes
DAVIE STEWART (1901-1972) was born April 1st, at Windmill Street, Peterhead.
His father, Robert, and his grandfather too, werre general hawkers and tinsmiths,
so Davie was brought up as a "traveller", spending the better part of each year
on the road. Between the ages of 4 and 9 he spent only the winter attending
school in places such as Aberdeen and Fraserburgh. He started to get known as
a singer from the age of 10 when his family were 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 (see FTX-058, FTX-059 & FTX-060).
Other cassettes of Davie Stewart: FTX-180 THE DOWIE DENS O YARROW Davie sings
some lowland Scots Songs and Bothy Ballads accompanying himself on accordion
and plays some Scots bagpipe tunes - 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.