Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the southwest. In addition to the mainland, Scotland includes over 790 islands including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides.
Folk music takes many forms in a broad musical tradition, although
the dividing lines are not rigid, and many artists work across the
boundaries. Culturally, there is a split between the Gaelic tradition
and the Scots tradition.
The oldest forms of music in Scotland are theorized to be Gaelic singing and harp playing. Although much of the harp tradition was lost through extinction, the harp is being revived by contemporary players. Later, the Great Highland Bagpipe appeared on the scene. The original music of the bagpipe is called Piobaireachd, this is the classical music of the bagpipe. 'piobaireachd' means 'big music' in Gaelic. Piobaireachd consists of a theme melody called the 'ground' followed by variations. Later, the style of 'light music,' including marches, strathspeys, reels, jigs, and hornpipes, became more popular.
CALL TO THE PIPER
Step we gaily on we go,
heel for heel and toe for toe,
arm in arm and row on row,
all for Mairi's wedding.
Over hillways up and down,
myrtle green and bracken brown,
past the sheiling through the town,
all for the sake of Mairi.
Red her cheeks as rowans are,
bright her eye as any star,
fairest of them all by far,
that's our darling Mairi.
Plenty herring, plenty meal,
plenty peat to fill her creel,
plenty bonnie bairns to weel,
that's our toast to Mairi.
THE ROAD TO THE ISLES
A far croonin' is pullin' me away
As take I wi' my cromack to the road.
The far Coolins are puttin' love on me
As step I wi' the sunlight for my load.
Sure by Tummel and Loch Rannoch and Lochaber I will go
By heather tracks wi' heaven in their wiles.
If it's thinkin' in your inner heart the braggart's in my step
You've never smelled the tangle o' the Isles.
Oh the far Coolins are puttin' love on me
As step I wi' my cromack to the Isles.
It's by Shiel water the track is to the west
By Aillort and by Morar to the sea
The cool cresses I am thinkin' of for pluck
And bracken for a wink on Mother knee.
The blue islands are pullin' me away
Their laughter puts the leap upon the lame
The blue islands from the Skerries to the Lewis
Wi' heather honey taste upon each name.