Work patterns in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland were traditionally gender-based. Women did most of the child-caring, virtually all domestic chores, dairy tasks, carding, spinning and dyeing wool, and waulking (fulling) the cloth after it had been woven. Whatever the chore, it was made lighter by singing. This album illustrates the rich variety of this song, performed with breathtaking beauty and tenderness by women at work.
Gaelic Songs of Scotland
On a visit to Gaelic Scotland in 1951 Alan Lomax recorded over 250 songs within a few days. Struck by the stark contrast between the Gaels' material poverty and cultural richness, he wrote: 'In all my travels, I have never met such genteel, winning, and genuinely cultured people as these Hebrideans - nor have I heard anywhere folk songs of such fine quality...' His remarkable collection now documents a way of life entirely lost in twenty-first century Scotland.
The Alan Lomax Collection
The Alan Lomax Collection is an assemblage of international field recordings that anthologizes the work of folklorist Alan Lomax.