No More Forever (1972)
[Trailer LER 2072]
Recorded and produced by Bill Leader
Artist : Dick Gaughan
Dick Gaughan : Vocal, Guitar, Mandolin
Aly Bain : Fiddle
Rattlin Roarin Willie (Trad. arr. Gaughan)
Deals with the terrible dilemma facing Willie the fiddler when the only way he could afford a drink would be to sell his instrument. The guitar tuning used on this track was DADEAE, a tuning I learned from Martin Carthy.
The Friar's Britches (Trad. arr. Gaughan)
This is actually called "The Frieze Britches" but somewhere along the way it was renamed. It was quite a popular tune around pub sessions at that time. The guitar was tuned DADGBE, standard tuning with the 6th string dropped to 'D'.
MacCrimmon's Lament (Trad. arr. Gaughan)
I learned this version of MacCrimmon from the singing of the great Jeannie Robertson. I used to often hear Dolinna MacLennan sing it in Gaelic when I used to visit her as a teenager at her house in Morningside, usually looking for a bowl of her superb soup.
Jock o Hazeldean (Trad. arr. Gaughan)
A reworking by Walter Scott of the old ballad Jock O Hazelgreen. Like many a Scots kid, I learned this from my mother. The guitar was tuned in the standard EADGBE tuning
Cam Ye Ower Frae France (Trad. arr. Gaughan)
This comes from volume 1 of James Hogg's Jacobite Relics of Scotland and is a scathing commentary on the political situation, and in particular on the members of the Scottish Establishment comfortably esconced in exile in France, prior to the first Jacobite Rising of 1715. All the names in the song refer to actual people, although some are obscure these days. e.g., "Geordie Whelps" was George I, "Bobbing John" was the Earl of Mar, known as "Bobbing" because of his tendency to shift his allegiance to whoever looked like being victorious.
The Bonnie Banks o Fordie (Trad. arr. Gaughan)
Some versions of this ancient murder ballad are known as The Bonnie Banks O Airdrie. I learned it from my mother who sang it as a skipping game as a child in Bohenie, Lochaber. The guitar was tuned in the standard EADGBE tuning.
The Thatchers o Glenrae (Trad. arr. Gaughan)
Gordon MacAuley from Campbeltown, Kintyre gave me this song. Unfortunately, I appear to have forgotten the tune by the time I came to sing it and the tune I used is a variant of Erin Go Bragh. But I was adamant it was the tune I had learned from him until he sang it to me again. Naturally, it was totally different! The guitar was tuned in the standard EADGBE tuning.
The Fair Flower of Northumberland (Trad. arr. Gaughan)
I learned this from Gordon MacCulloch. He recorded it with the Exiles on their Topic recording The Hale and the Hanged. The guitar was tuned DADGBE, standard tuning with the 6th string dropped to 'D'.
The Teatotaller (Trad. arr. Gaughan) / Da Tushker (Ronnie Cooper)
The first is one of those tunes common to both the Irish and Scots; the second was written by the Shetland musician/composer Ronnie Cooper and I learned it from Aly Bain. The guitar was tuned in the standard EADGBE tuning.
The Three Healths (Trad. arr. Gaughan)
Another song from volume 1 of James Hogg's Jacobite Relics of Scotland about the 1715 Jacobite Rising. The 'landlord' was the exiled James Stewart whom the Jacobites regarded as rightful monarch. It was a tough choice for Scottish Republicans of the day. The guitar tuning used on this track was DADEAE.
The John MacLean March (Hamish Henderson)
Hamish Henderson's great tribute to the Glasgow schoolteacher and Marxist John MacLean, this song describes MacLean's release from prison after serving 7 months of a two year sentence for anti-war agitation and refusing conscription during World War 1. He died in 1923 as a result of ill health due to the barbarous treatment he received in prison.
The Green Linnet (Trad. arr. Gaughan)
I learned this from Maureen Pendrydd, an Irish friend of mine who lived in Edinburgh, now in Sutherland. About Napoleon Bonaparte, who was popular with the Irish and Scots as he promised us military assistance in dealing with our problems with England. He was quite widely regarded throughout Europe as a progressive force until he exhibited imperialist tendencies. The guitar was tuned in the standard EADGBE tuning.
This was recorded on a 2-Track Revox in Bill Leader's front room in July 1971. We had to stop recording and go to the pub when the traffic noise was too heavy!
It was my first record. In January that year, I had moved to London at the invitation of Robin Dransfield to explore the possibility of teaming up with him and Barry. I had known them for several years - Robin was a regular visitor to Edinburgh and Barry lived there for a while in the late 60s. They had just had great acclaim for their Rout of the Blues album with Bill Leader's Trailer label. The combination didn't actually work out but they took me round to Bill's house in Camden Town and introduced me to him and recommended that he make a record of me. I got the guitar out and sang him a couple of songs and he said OK.
I phoned Aly who I had known since he came to Edinburgh from Shetland and was playing in a duo with Mike Whellans and he agreed to play on a couple of tracks. At the time, I was living in a hippy community in Wimbledon, making almost a living by busking the London Underground and Portobello Road - it was a really hot summer and Aly and I rehearsed for the record sitting on the grass at the Crooked Billet outside 'our' pubs, the King of Denmark and the Hand in Hand. A year later, I moved back to Scotland to join him in Boys of the Lough after Mike Whellans' departure.
After all these years, the thing which strikes me about this record is that it fell between two stools regarding the use of Lowland Scots language in my self-conscious attempts to 'anglify' pronunciation (as was conventional for Scots to do for many years) while remaining true to the tongue. We have learned better since that time.