Carpenter recorded several sings at 18 New Street, [although Carpenter lists this as Balintore, it was surely New Street Shandwick].

The householder was David Vass, aged 58, a fisherman. He sang ‘The Duke Of Athole’s Nurse’, and ‘’The Dowie Dens Of Yarrow’, which he had learned from his mother Mrs M Vass, nee Margaret Morrison. ‘born here’.

Mrs D Vass [Margaret] was probably his wife. She sang ‘My Old Irish Home’ and ‘Broomfield Hill’.

Hugh Vass aged 48, sang ‘A sea song, I’ll fill a glass and I’ll drink it down’,’ As I Went Up To Inverness’, ‘Rigie Dee Dum Dee’. And a version of ‘Oor Guidman’ which he had learned from ‘Mr Budge from Skye’ and has two verses in Gaelic.

Alec Vass of 15 Bank St, Balintore, called ‘Alac’ by Carpenter, ‘went to sea about beginning of war, i.e. WW1’. He sang the Frisco version of ’Go To Sea Once More’, and ‘Paddy Lay Back’, which Carpenter noted as a ‘Main’ll Haul].

William Ross lived at 8 Park Street, Balintore. He sang ‘The Love Of Good Shave’, learned from John Vass 50 years before, and ‘The Turning Of The Hay’, learned from his brother George Vass of Balintore 30 years before.


Card images and 1931 recordings are used courtesy of the James Madison Carpenter Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

*Carpenter appears to list James Ross for songs with interesting titles, but they are not yet found by me in the Carpenter archives under these titles – ‘Haudin The Ploo [or The Lad That Handles The Plough?]’, ‘O but it’s bonnie o – to hear them cry with _ and woe, [Praise Of Ploughman]’, ‘ Upon My Soul’, Right Grows The Merry Gold’.