Gavin Greig ran his series, "Folk-Song of the North-East" weekly in the
"Buchan Observer" from 12/3/1907 to June 6, 1911.
He printed about 600
songs & ballads, all collected locally and deeply annotated. The
collection was printed as only 42 bound sets by 1914.
Greig, and this brilliant core of the stupendous Greig-Duncan collection,
lay practically unknown until Goldstein & Argo (who had inherited it)
fax-printed FSNE in 1963. The full analysis and publication of the
tunes as well as the balance of the Greig-Duncan treasure couldn't begin
until 1981. Seven of the eight volumes are now available.
The full collection is about 3500 texts and 3300 tunes. Staggering!
Possibly excepting Sharp (and only if you include his Appalachian
material) it is the greatest collection of traditional song in the British
Isles. The work of these two unplugged men - impressive even by Digital
Tradition standards - was entirely in the North-East of Scotland. (Both
used the modern devices of bicycles for transport and Duncan was skilled
at Pitman - otherwise they worked pretty manually.) Both demanded the
"scientific" recording of songs rather than "imaginative" collecting.
[notes largely stolen from the Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection]
© Abby Sale - all rights reserved