COD LIVER OIL and THE ORANGE JUICE
When I first recorded this song 20 years ago I didn't think anyone outside the west of Scotland would understand it. And now many friends; all over the British Isles, have heard my version — from a Dutch man in Germany a Japanese in London and a drunk Indian Doctor on a very liquid overnight flight from Canada to Scotland!
THE BALLAD OF WILLIAM BROWN
A song I heard in the early 60s which is, sadly much more topical now.
A beautiful tune from Nova Scotia. The words I use are considerably changed from the original as I heard it.
THE REPROBATE'S LAMENT
I am fat (not plump, chubby or cuddly) and lazy (not laid back, relaxed or cool) and happy with it!
First World War song from Ireland, cynical and irreverent.
KISSES SWEETER THAN WINE
I remember singing this on the first night of the Glasgow Folk Club over 25 years ago. The lyrics are set to a traditional Irish melody.
THE SMOKERS SONG
Tobacco is said to kill more people than all the other drugs put together. Since I also eat and drink too much I try to think of good health as only the slowest possible way to die.
A haunting song I heard while working in Newfoundland.
IF IT WASN'T FOR THE UNION
The press in Britain seems to blame all of our economical woes on the trade unions. This song from the late great Matt McGinn reminds us of the debt we owe the unions.
THE PARCEL OF ROGUES
Robert Burn's song about the Union of Parliament in 1707, when the English Parliament bought the Scottish one — cheap!
I DIDN'T RAISE MY SON TO BE S SOLDIER
People in England who opposed the Boer War were called "Little Englanders" by the press (because they preferred a "Little England" to a "Great Britain"). This was reconstructed from a fragment of one of their songs.
Really a mixture of several traditional songs. I can easily identify with the "hangover and never again" sentiments.
D. DAY DODGERS
An ironic song, widely sung by allied troops in Italy during World War Two.
SEVEN MEN OF KNOYDART
About a land raid in the north west of Scotland in 1948, but really a protest against absentee land owners.