Scotland's Best! Scotland is best, Scotland's best songs, what's best for Scotland … Modesty forbids that Robin and I should offer any further interpretation of our title, but read it as you will, we certainly have with us some of Scotland's best musicians. The flute was fruitily tootled by Jimmy Hill, and our old friend Ricky Fernandez played ultra-suave contra-bass. Archie Duncan plays the mangle, (Accordion to you,) and Angus Cameron is on the Hi-diddle-diddle, (Violin). Big Billy Thom, the Floo'er o' Dunblane, provided the very intricate drumming on the theme music for the B.B.C. television series, The Master of Ballantrae. I based the Ballantrae music on a very old Jacobite song, Cam Ye O'er Frae France, and we have combined it here with The Dark Island, written by Ian McLachlan of Benbecula, and originally recorded by Archie Duncan.
Of the remaining items, The Gaudie and Goodnight and Joy be Wi' You are to be found in some very old song collections, ('though I have re-written the latter for our own purposes,) and Busk and Go was taught to us note by note and syllable by syllable by the late Jeannie Robertson; surely one of the most personable and imposing figures to grace the world of folk-music. Fail-Oro We're Sailing, and The Fishing and Trawling are both Gaelic songs, translated by actor playwright, Roddy McMillan. From Aberdeen singers Anne and Laura Brand we learned two other translations from the Gaelic, Why Should I Sit and Sigh, and The Cockle-Gatherers. We've put them together on the record, and Robin has called the resulting medley.
Why Should the Cockle-Gatherers. What a whimsical chap he is! The Burns songs are Ca' the Yowes, and Rattlin' Roarin' Wullie, and the verse which I have rather audaciously added to the latter was intended simply to lengthen the song a little. Let Glasgow Flourish was written for the Glasgow Civic Trust's 'Face-Lift Glasgow' Campaign, and Robin and I are assisted in the singing by Anne Wightman and May Orr, with Lynn Taylor, Jimmy Woodburn and Margaret Draycup of the Killermont Young Singers. The other new song is Scotland's Dawn. I supplied the tune, and the excellent words were written by ex-actor turned shepherd, Willie Orr. For more than ten years Willie herded sheep on Arran, Mull, Ben Lomond, and in Strathfillan, and he is now reading economics and history at Stirling University. In Scotland's Dawn, Willie accurately reflects the feelings of a great many Scots at this crucial time in their country's affairs. Students of musical antiquities will note that we have up-dated Football Crazy. When we first recorded this song, the vogue among football players ran more to brylcream and baggy breeks than frizzy perms and kisses and cuddles. The game is as good as ever however, and we're still Football Crazy. Ray Horricks produced and Martin Smith engineered. — Again!