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St Andrews Scottish Songbook

St Andrews Voices and the University of St Andrews’ Laidlaw Music Centre premiered the new St Andrews Scottish Songbook on Friday 9th December 2022 














Afton Water - Robert Burns arr. Nicholas Olsen
Eilean a’ Cheò - Mairi Mhòr arr. Aileen Sweeney

Fareweel to Tarwathie - George Scroggie arr. Stuart Murray Mitchell

Thou has left me ever Jamie - Robert Burns arr. Peter Hughes

Baile M' Àrach - Iain Dòmhnallach arr. Alistair Iain Paterson

Coulter's Candy - Robert Coltart arr. Robert Reid Allan

Ca' the Yowes - Isabel Pagan arr. Rylan Gleave

Colla Mo Rùn - arr. Màiri Anna NicUalraig

Why should I feign - Anon arr. Alasdair Nicolson

Michael Colliery - Sheila Douglas arr. Ronald MacDonald

The Beefcan Close - Trad. Arr. Ailsa Di Emidio


My love is like a red, red rose - Robert Burns arr. Harry Baines

Òran an Ròin - arr. Pàdruig Moireasdan

By Yon Castle Wa' - Robert Burns arr. Tom David Wilson

Braes o' Killiecrankie - Robert Burns arr. Eddie McGuire

Rorate Ceoli - William Dunbar arr. Sir James MacMillan

Bothan Àirigh am Bràigh Raithneach - arr. Jay Capperauld

Both sides the Tweed - J Hogg arr. Karen MacIver

Caller Herrin - Baroness Nairne arr. Graham McCusker

Seinn an Duan Seo - Dr Iain MacLachlainn arr. Lisa Robertson

The Northern Lights of Old Aberdeen - Mary Webb arr. Erin Thomson

Cailleach Mhòr Stadhlaigh - arr. Màiri A Callan





St Andrews Voices, Scotland’s Singing Festival, will publish a new Scottish Song Book. The songbook will consist of 22 settings for voice and piano of existing (text + melody) Scottish traditional songs. The project seeks to


  • Provide a new body of art song repertoire for voice and piano based on traditional Scottish songs.

  • Honour the legacy of former St Andrews Professor of Music Cedric Thorpe Davie and others such as George McPhee, George McVicar and Frank Spedding in bringing traditional Scottish songs to a wider public through their celebrated collections.

  • Present a collection of songs representing a broad survey of traditions, dialects and geographical areas, including the Gaelic tradition, in new, creative arrangements.

  • Provide an opportunity for composers of all ages to creatively engage with the cultural legacy of traditional Scottish songs and to have their work published, performed and recorded.

  • Provide selected young/student composers with mentoring during the composition process.

  • Promote and revitalise the public performance of art song in Scotland.


The Collection


The St Andrews Scottish Songbook will consist of 22 songs. The first five of these have been commissioned from a group of Scottish and/or Scottish-based composers:


  • Sir James MacMillan (world-renowned composer) 

  • Tom David Wilson (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, St Mary’s Music School)

  • Mary Ann Kennedy (celebrated performer, composer, broadcaster and champion of Gaelic song)

  • Alasdair Nicolson (Artistic Director, St Magnus International Festival, compositions performed by leading ensembles throughout the world)

  • Eddie McGuire (versatile and celebrated Scottish composer whose work encompasses classical and folk traditions)


The composers of the remaining 17 songs are Aileen Sweeney, Ailsa Di Emidio, Alistair Iain Paterson, Erin Thomson, Graham McCusker, Harry Baines, Jay Capperauld, Karen McIver, Lisa Robertson, Mairi Callan, Nicholas Olsen, Padruig Morrison, Peter Hughes, Robert Reid Allan, Ronald MacDonald, Rylan Gleave, and Stuart Murray Mitchell.

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