Literatures, Languages & Cultures

Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection

Filmed performances featuring the most extensive historical collection of Scots ballads and songs are being made available online for the first time.

Old Scots songs gain new lease of life online

Some of the most acclaimed singers in Scotland have come together to perform songs from The Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection - a treasure trove of songs associated with the North East of Scotland.

Sixteen singers have been filmed performing 35 songs which were collected in the early 20th century by schoolmaster Gavin Greig and minister James Bruce Duncan.

The singers taking part are Aileen Carr, Jo Miller, Alison McMorland, Geordie McIntyre, The Spiers Family, Lucy Pringle, Steve Byrne, Siobhan Miller, Brian Miller, David Francis, Mairi Campbell, Scott Gardiner, Kath Campbell and Frieda Morrison.

This will be the first time that these filmed performances will be available.

The songs have all been edited by Dr Emily Lyle of the Department of Celtic and Scottish Studies, at the University of Edinburgh, and her associates, in a series of eight volumes (1981-2002).

The online songs project has been developed by broadcaster and traditional singer Frieda Morrison who is Artist in Residence at Celtic and Scottish Studies, the home of the School of Scottish Studies Archives.

Her role is to promote Scots language and song, and her latest project seeks to make some of the Greig-Duncan songs available to fans of the Scots singing tradition around the world. She has also been involved in introducing songs to schools and other groups via workshops and performances.

Frieda Morrison said: “This is a huge step. It will help widen access to this important collection by enabling students from all over the world to see live performances of these precious songs. It is a great opportunity for Scotland to shine brightly.”

The new online resource can be accessed at: