My grateful thanks to Katzel Henderson, Margaret MacKay, of The School of Scottish Studies, Tony Engle, of Topic Records, Jim McLean, Ronnie Browne, Bill Smith & the Trustees of the Roy Williamson Estate & all the singers & musicians who gave of their talents so willingly. Thanks to Dr. Ray Ross (Editor Hamish Henderson Collected Poems & Songs) for providing reliable texts. Special thanks to Dr. Fred Freeman who showed so much enthusiasm for the project & worked tirelessly to complete it, also Peter Haigh & John Slavin.
Ian Green of Greentrax Recordings
Sleeve Notes (Excerpts)
Poet, songwriter, soldier, collector, academic - none of these pigeon -holes do justice to the late Hamish Henderson, one of the great cultural figures of 20th century Scotland. Most of the tracks were recorded specially for this album by artists who were personal friends of Hamish, or greatly admired his work.
Concerning the track — "Rivonia" — all the sources I found note that this song was recorded in 1968, two years after Bill Smith left the (Corrie Folk) trio — see below.
"One very unusual track on the album was found amongst Hamish's personal things where it had lain for some years. In 1968 Hamish invited The Corrie Folk Trio (Ronnie Browne, Bill Smith and the late Roy Williamson) to the School of Scottish Studies to record his song Rivonia (Free Mandela). Martin Carthy, by chance, was visiting Roy Williamson and remembers the occasion. Without much arm-twisting Hamish convinced The Corrie Folk Trio to rehearse and record the song on the spot, a recording earmarked specifically for Nelson Mandela and the freedom fighters in South Africa.
A copy of the recording was in fact smuggled on to Robben Island where Mandela heard and received it with delight. Hamish later telephoned Bill Smith to say he had received a letter from Mandela thanking him for his ‘time, effort and concern'. Years later Mandela thanked Hamish in person while visiting Scotland - on the occasion of Nelson Mandela being presented with the Freedom of the City of Glasgow."