Up Yon Wide and Lonely Glen: Travellers' Songs, Stories and Tunes of the Fetterangus Stewarts

Up Yon Wide and Lonely Glen: Travellers' Songs, Stories and Tunes of the Fetterangus Stewarts


By (author) Elizabeth Stewart, Edited by Alison McMorland

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  • Publisher: University Press of Mississippi
  • Format: Hardback | 305 pages
  • Dimensions: 160mm x 236mm x 30mm | 771g
  • Publication date: 1 July 2012
  • ISBN 10: 1617033146
  • ISBN 13: 9781617033148
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations

Product description

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"Up Yon Wide and Lonely Glen" is a significant memoir of Scottish Traveller life, containing stories, music, and songs from this prominent Traveller family. The book is the result of a close partnership between Elizabeth Stewart and Scottish folk singer and writer Alison McMorland. It 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 remarkable 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 and is extraordinary from a musical, cultural, sociological, and historical point of view. The book features 145 songs, eight original piano compositions, folk-tale versions, rhymes and riddles, and eighty fascinating illustrations, from the family of Elizabeth, her mother Jean (1912-1962) and her aunt Lucy (1901-1982). In addition, there are notes on the songs and a series of appendices. "Up Yon Wide and Lonely Glen" will appeal to those interested in traditional music, folklore, and folk song--and in particular, Scottish tradition.

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Review quote

"This collection will be greatly welcomed by anyone interested in Travellers and Scottish studies in general, as well as performers, instrumentalists, and singers. The narrative avoids the folksiness of popular accounts of traditional singers and Travellers, and the many stories of second sight and encounters with the supernatural are set in a broad network of cultural practices. Stewart's repertoire is rich with ballads, lyrics, Music Hall songs, children's rhymes, parodies and often-belittled Victorian sentiment. This is an ambitious and wide-ranging collection which is not only an exemplary personal narrative but will form one of the fullest repertoires of a Traveller ever published, and extend in many ways our understanding not only of this well-known family but of Traveller culture as a whole."--Gerald Porter, University of Vaasa, Finland

Flap copy

A collection of musical transcriptions, song lyrics, memoir, stories, and lore from a matrilineal line of famed Traveller balladeers, musicians, and storytellers