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The High-Kilted Muse

Peter Buchan and His Secret Songs of Silence

Murray Shoolbraid, Ed Cray

Publication Year: 2010

In 1832 the Scottish ballad collector Peter Buchan of Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, presented an anthology of risqué‚ and convivial songs and ballads to a Highland laird. When Professor Francis James Child of Harvard was preparing his magisterial edition of The English and Scottish Popular Ballads, he made inquiries about it, but it was not made available in time to be considered for his work. On his death it was presented to the Child Memorial Library at Harvard. Because of its unseemly materials, the manuscript has languished there ever since, unprinted, though referred to now and again, and a few items have from time to time made an appearance.The manuscript has now been transcribed with full annotation and with an introduction on the compiler, his times, and the Scottish bawdy tradition. It contains the texts (without tunes) of seventy-six bawdy songs and ballads, along with a long-lost scatological poem attributed to the Edinburgh writer James "Balloon" Tytler. Appendices give details of Buchan's two published collections of ballads. Additionally, there is a list of tale types and motifs, a glossary of Scots and archaic words, a bibliography, and an index. The High-Kilted Muse brings to light a long-suppressed volume and fills in a great gap in published bawdy songs and ballads.

Published by: University Press of Mississippi


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pp. i-ii

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. iii-vi


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pp. vii-viii

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Foreword Peter Buchan and the Authenticity Controversy

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pp. ix-xvi

"Probably no folk song or ballad collector has quite endured the feral-eyed scrutiny of rivalrous scholars as has Peter Buchan, printer of Peterhead, Aberdeenshire. Poor Buchan, embraced in his own time by the likes of C. K. Sharpe, James Maidment and William Motherwell (he who dedicated..."

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Preface and Acknowledgments

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pp. xvii-xviii

"This is the first full publication of the Peter Buchan ‘savoury’ manuscript Secret Songs of Silence, preserved, or embalmed, at Harvard for more than a hundred years. The introductory material is in two parts, the first a foreword by Ed Cray, one of the small (but thankfully ever-growing) group of scholars..."


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pp. xix-xx

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pp. 1-42

"Peter Buchan was born in Peterhead in 1790, to parents who were quite well off. On his father’s side he traced his descent (to his own satisfaction) through a General Buchan of Rathy House, Crimond, back to the Comyns, the Earls of Buchan, renowned in Scottish history: the Black Comyn, in the thirteenth..."

Secret Songs of Silence

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pp. 43-276

Appendix 1

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pp. 277-292

Appendix 2

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pp. 293-294

First Line and Title Index

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pp. 295-298

general Index

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pp. 299-302

E-ISBN-13: 9781604734317
E-ISBN-10: 1604734310
Print-ISBN-13: 9781604734171
Print-ISBN-10: 1604734175

Page Count: 336
Publication Year: 2010

OCLC Number: 694145268
MUSE Marc Record: Download for The High-Kilted Muse