1. Mormond Braes

From the recording One For the Road

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Mark Clavey: guitar
Mary Hanover: vocals, hammered dulcimer
Rachel Bowerman: lead vocals, percussion
Tara McCullough: vocals

Strichen is a small village lying at the foot of Mormond Hill, maybe 45 miles north of Aberdeen. Norman Buchan volunteers "The great singing area outside the Gaelic-speaking area is, of course, Aberdeenshire... their love songs are never of gushing sentimentality… they are direct, simple, and with a strength of narrative line or with an underlying humorous irony which banished any sentimentality." This characteristic song from the Buchan countryside is well known in folk-circles worldwide. It tells the story of a rejected but defiant love who doesn't waste much time grieving over misfortune, seeming determined, instead, to erase the memory of her old love with the attentions of a new one. Gavin Greig took such great delight in the song when he first heard it that he included it in his serial story "Logie o' Buchan", and gave it pride of place in the first of his weekly articles in the "Buchan Observer" in December 1907. We learned (boosted) this song from the singing of Richelle Basgall.


As I went down by Strichen town I heard a fair maid mourning, and she was making a sore complaint for her truelove never returning.

Fare ye well, ye Mormond Braes, where oft-times I've been cheery. Fare ye well, ye Mormond Braes, for it's there I lost my dearie.

There's many a good fish into the sea as ever yet was taken, so I'll cast my net and try again for I'm only once forsaken.

Fare ye well, ye Mormond Braes, &c

There's many a horse has snappert and fa'n, and risen again fu' rarely. There's many a lass has lost her lad and gotten another right early.

Fare ye well, ye Mormond Braes, &c

So I'll put on my gown of green - a sad forsaken token. And that will let the young lads know that the bonds of love are broken.

Fare ye well, ye Mormond Braes, &c

So I'll go back to Strichen toon, where I was bred and born in. And there I'll find another fine lad to marry me in the morning.

Fare ye well, ye Mormond Braes, &c