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My Rainbow Race (Pete Seeger)



One blue sky above us
One ocean, lapping all our shores
One earth so green and round
Who could ask for more?

And because I love you
I'll give it one more try
To show my rainbow race
It's too soon to die

Some folks want to be like an ostrich;
Bury their heads in the sand
Some hope for plastic dreams
To unclench all those greedy hands

Some want to take the easy way:
Poisons, bombs! They think we need 'em
Don't they know you can't kill all the unbelievers
There's no shortcut to freedom

Go tell, go tell all the little children!
Go tell mothers and fathers, too:
Now's our last chance to learn to share
What's been given to me and you

Threads (Pernille R. Quigg)

The needle is threaded pinned in the cloth 

left for a moment just to be picked up

the cross stitching neat straight lines at the back

the skilled precision that my hands lack.


The thread that lead from you to me

the past that sets the present free

It lay in the drawer with needles and thread

alongside the memories of something you said

the rust from needle I gently release

I unfold the cloth and smooth every crease.

The first stitch is slow as I try to recall

the patterns to follow and though one stitch is small

when stitch upon stitch is carefully placed 

like life upon life I remember your face.

Keepers (Nick Keir)


Ardnamurchan, Loch Indaal, Rattray Head The Isle of May
Not an eye to watch the sea from Eileann Glas or Copinsay
Still they guard the shore.
Fair Isle North and Skerryvore

The empty room, the untrod stairway
The only sound, the roaring sea
The tables and the chairs wait still for one last supper
As the mist closes in unseen

Proud men they were who manned the beacon,
A sense of worth was in their mind
Maybe they're on shore now, aye, but still on look-out
As the doors rattle in an unsensed wind.

And still at night, I hear the fog horn sweep across the seas,
I wonder if old lighthouse keepers hear it
And remember nights like these....

Hard lives they had, and near to danger
Long lonely months they'd have their fill
Ah but if I were some storm bound sailor,
I'd wish the keepers were watching still.

The Fox (Pernille R. Quigg)

I watch her saunter down the street
Her watchful eye light on her feet
The moon too far away to care
The lazy lamplights stand and stare
I thought your home was far from here.

And from the corner of my eye
I see the cars are flying by
A coat of fur as red as rust
Exotic as the desert dust
I thought your home was far from here.

I thought the forest was your home 
The morning fields for prey you’d roam
But here you stand and catch my eye
As if to say this place was mine
And once your home was far from here.


From Greenland (Ian McCalman)

The mist was hanging on the hill,
The sun was still deciding
The old piper called the tune
And I was on my way
I called out your name
So loud you could have heard me
And the snow goose flies in the northern sky
From Greenland

Darkness comes with winter speed
They journey far from home
Always struggling to survive
Ever more to roam
They come back to Scotland
We’re brothers you and I
And the snow goose flies in the northern sky
From Greenland

Seize the day, for life is short
Live it while you can
I’ve never seen the highland hill
I didn’t want to climb
But I will stop to watch the cloud
That flies across the moon
And the snow goose flies in the northern sky
From Greenland


Planting trees. (Pernille R. Quigg)

They say that society grows great
when old men go planting trees
knowing they will never know their shade
for they know their day is running late
but the children of tomorrow 
may find shade beneath its leaves
and that is why old men go planting trees.

She carried on her walking frame a bag of bulbs for planting
Poet’s Narcissus and Purple Queen of Night
flowers for the springtime
though every step was pained
but anything that’s done in love 
is never done in vain.

And I still see the silhouette of the old man with the barrow
bringing home the fruits of his labour for us to taste
and when the words would fail you 
we tried to find our laughter
and anything that’s done in love
will last forever after.

In your life you planted trees of many colours
to comfort us, to shade us, to strengthen us with roots
and as the trees grew higher
spreading dreams upon the sky
of a seed that fell from branches
and a bird that learned to fly.

Steal Away. (Phil Coulter)


Steal away, let's steal away
No reason left to stay
For me and you, let's start anew
And darlin' steal away

Let's steal away and chase our dreams
And hope they'll never find us
The weary days, the empty nights
We'll leave them all behind us

We'll leave behind the city streets
The gloom and desolation
The rain, the cold, just growing old
God knows it's a hard out station

We'll leave with just our memories
And we'll make a new beginning
For we have to choose, to win or loose
And it's time we started winning

The Two Sisters (Pernille R. Quigg)

There were two sisters walking
in the green light of spring in Beechwood
they came upon a clearing
as the sun it was appearing
watching there the first leaves unfold
and the tree was a hundred years old.

For many years those sisters walked
to the spot that they claimed as their own
where they shared their joys and woes
in the green and leafy grove
watching there the first leaves unfold
and the tree was a hundred years old.

But seasons turned as seasons must
and the frost held its grip on Beechwood
the younger sister felt its hand
on her bones and could no longer stand
so she lay in her bed and so wished to be
under a beechwood tree.

The older sister broke her heart 
as the thorns grew high round the deathbed
when she came upon a way to ease
the pain and for loneliness to cease
she said we’ll meet each night at nine
in the place that was yours and mine.

There were two sisters walking
in the green light of spring in Beechwood
they felt the warm breeze blowing 
and the sun on their cheeks a-glowing
watching there the first leaves unfold 
and the tree was a hundred years old.

Our Ain Fireside (Joe Corrie/J. Scott Skinner)

Noo the bairnies awe are sleepin
Dreamin oh their pranks and play
Wearied oot the restless rascals 
Wi steerin awe the lea lang day

Blessed be the the peace oh gloamin
Sweet the mothers joy and pride
As she settles doon, 
tae share the pleasure
And comfort of our ain fireside

Cuddled in sae warm and cosy
Like wee birdies in their nest
Each one has a joy that's bringing
The happiness within my breast

May the days and years be for them
Awe that's good in life provide
And a share oh the joys they bring us
When resting by oor ain fireside.

Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears (Brendan Graham)

On the first day of January 1892
They opened Ellis Island and they let the people through
And the first to cross the threshold
Of that isle of hope and tears
Was Annie Moore from Ireland
Who was all of 15 years.

Isle of hope, Isle of tears
Isle of freedom, isle of fears
But it's not the isle you left behind
That isle of hunger, isle of pain
Isle you'll never see again
But the isle of home is always on your mind.

In a little bag, she carried all her past and history
And her dreams for the future in the land of liberty
And courage is the passport
When your old world disappears
But there's no future in the past
When you're 15 years.

When they closed down Ellis Island In 1943
17 million people had come there for sanctuary
And in springtime when I came here
And I stepped onto its piers
I thought of how it must have been
When you're 15 years.

My Johnny is a Shoemaker (Trad)

My Johnny is a shoemaker and he has gone to sea

my Johnny is a shoemaker and he has gone to sea

to reive the topsails he has gone far across the raging sea

His jacket was a deep sea blue and golden was his hair

his jacket was a deep sea blue and golden was his hair

that I know and I do declare my Johnny is a shoemaker

Our captain will be by and by with a brave and a gallant crew

our captain will be by and by with a sword and a musket too

that I know and I do declare my Johnny is a shoemaker

The Missing Piece. (Pernille R. Quigg)

She’s always watching for the other girls 
as they play the games that she would like to play
but there’s never any knowing if she stays or goes 
she’s a butterfly and she might fly away

And the gulls are wheeling white 
on a heavy granite sky
she sees them from the window
wants to feel the wind blow
gets up and runs outside
Oh, child you’re a wonder and a worry
iridescent as you’re dancing on the wind
like the bubbles I am blowing for your pleasure
won’t you open up the door and let me in

She’s a lioness in pigtails as she thunders forth
when the frustration hangs to heavy on her heart
but let the music play and the sweetest voice
carries the sun that makes the shadows fall apart

There’s the brown-eyed boy he’s speaking only with his hands
sometimes he’ll come and take you by the hand
he’s the master of puzzles and the missing piece
is in our inability to understand

The Earl of March's Daughter (Lionel McClelland)

Young Toshy Law's a huntin gane
And gallant is his steed
For he's taen the heart of Lady March
The fairest maid in Tweed
But the faither he has banished him
For he's below her station
And Toshy Law has fled to France
To fight for king and nation

She's the Earl of March's daughter
And the fairest of them aw
But the humble squire o Toshy Law
Has taen her hert awa

Now the lady she has heard the news
That Toshy Law has fled
And the lady's looking pale and drawn
She's taen unto her bed
A physician's came to Neidpath
Four seasons she's been lying
I fear she has a broken heart
I fear my lady's dying

Now her faither he's conceded
And he's won to take the blame
And a messenger's been sent to France
To fetch her lover hame
And the lady's feeling better
She's risen to her feet
And she's taen a hoose in Peebles toun
Her true love there to meet

But she's looking tired and pallid
Her cheeks have lost their glow
She's no the handsome beauty
That she was a year ago
And when Toshy Law to Peebles came
His horse he didn't tether
He swiftly passed the lady by
And taen her for another

He's galloped on for Neidpath
To see his love again
He spurs his horse in anguish
But he spurs his horse in vain
For the lady lies in Peebles toun
It's there she's passed awa
Her wounded heart no longer beats
For handsome Toshy Law

Scotland Will Rise (Robin Watson/Wilma Duncan)

The sun is now setting over the hill
The river runs blood in the glen
Cold are the clansmen, never to see
Scotland will rise again


Rise again rise again
Rise with the sun
Scotland will rise again

Voices are silent that once cried for war
The brave ones who battled are gone
The Pibroch is sounding
But they don't hear
Scotland will rise again

Pride in our blood still answers the call
To honour the dreams of our men
Their spirit unbroken still marches on
Scotland will rise again.

Wings of Gold (Pernille R. Quigg)

A song inspired by west coast nature. In particular the graceful flight of seagulls on a stormy sky as the sun sets below the horizon.

"This song was a late addition to the album although actually a song written a year or two ago, I had never been happy with the original chorus and therefore it lay in the drawer until I found, what I think are the right words to express the feeling of awe at nature's wonders." Pernille



Wings of Gold (Pernille R. Quigg)


Black silhouettes sailing on stormy sky

caught twixt the darkness and light

an emerald ocean stretches wide

a sailor who drowns just out of sight.


Wings of gold

as the sun strikes the last match

and goes down in flames

the clear sky brings the cold.


Swift flying arrows of tempered steel

the archer he stretches his bow

a blustery kiss from the northwest wind

the songbird sleeps so too the sparrow.


The crescent moon only hangs constant

like a hook on the drapery behind

still it moves as it guides your path

but always in the shade of borrowed light.

When I’m Gone (Phil Ochs)

A “seize the day” song if ever there was one - with a little nod from both of us to one of our heroes Iain MacKintosh."The banjo played on this track belonged to a good friend from Irvine Folk club, Dick McAllister, we think he would have enjoyed it being played still, and the lyrics of this song certainly would have been to his liking"Stephen and Pernille

When I’m Gone (Phil Ochs)

There’s no place in this world where I’ll belong when I’m gone
And I won’t know the right from the wrong when I’m gone
And you won’t find me singin’ on this song when I’m gone
So I guess I’ll have to do it while I’m here

And I won’t breathe the bracing air when I’m gone
And I can’t even worry ’bout my cares when I’m gone
Won’t be asked to do my share when I’m gone
So I guess I’ll have to do it while I’m here

And I won’t feel the flowing of the time when I’m gone
All the pleasures of love will not be mine when I’m gone
My pen won’t pour a lyric line when I’m gone
So I guess I’ll have to do it while I’m here

And I won’t be running from the rain when I’m gone
And I can’t even suffer from the pain when I’m gone
Can’t say who’s to praise and who’s to blame when I’m gone
So I guess I’ll have to do it while I’m here

Won’t see the golden of the sun when I’m gone
And the evenings and the mornings will be one when I’m gone
Can’t be singing louder than the guns when I’m gone
So I guess I’ll have to do it while I’m here

And I won’t be laughing at the lies when I’m gone
And I can’t question how or when or why when I’m gone
Can’t live proud enough to die when I’m gone
So I guess I’ll have to do it while I’m here

There’s no place in this world where I’ll belong when I’m gone
And I won’t know the right from the wrong when I’m gone
And you won’t find me singin’ on this song when I’m gone
So I guess I’ll have to do it, I guess I’ll have to do it
Guess I’ll have to do it while I’m here

Carradale (Alan Reid)

A journey from Glasgow to Carradale on the Mull of Kintyre full of promise as you get nearer your destination."When we heard this song sung by Alan Reid at Irvine folk club a couple of years back it instantly became a must learn song" Stephen









Tollundmanden. (Pernille R. Quigg)

 Tollundmanden is the name of a world famous mummified body found in a Danish bog in 1950. He lived approx 2200-2400 years ago. The song lets the Tollundmand tell his own story. It imagines the life he might have lived with joys, sorrows, hopes and dreams like anyone of us today."The inspiration for this song originally came when I went to Silkeborg museum to see the Tollundman as part of my research for the dissertation I was writing. The dark room was lit up only as I entered by the glass coffin in which he lay. It was impossible not to notice the strange feeling that here on display lay a tangible connection to our distant past and yet also just a man who once lived and breathed like the rest of us." Pernille

Tollundmanden. (Pernille R. Quigg)

Jeg gik mig ud en morgen tidlig

hvor forårssolen strakte sine arme

og tog verden i sin favn.

Jeg følte duggen frisk imod min pande

hørte fuglesang og lyden af din stemme

der kaldte mit navn.


Sig mig ser du den evighed

der gemmer sig bag mine øjenlåg

salt var tåren der blændede mit blik

for alt det jeg aldrig sku’ nå.


Så gik vi sammen hjemad hånd i hånd

langs stier hvor vi ofte før har gået

da unge hjerter sang.

Jeg hørte barnegråd der blev til latter

siden holdt jeg et varsomt vågent øje

for natten er mørk og lang


Nu ligger jeg som sov jeg bag ved glasset

som Snehvide lå forgiftet af et æble

og drømmer i tusinde år.

For mosens gud beskytter sine ofre

min brune hud, mit hår og mine læber

men kun guder genopstår.

What You Do With What You’ve Got. (Si Kahn)

A powerful song about our ability to be better human beings no matter what we’re born with.

What You Do With What You’ve Got. (Si Kahn)

You must know someone like him
He was tall and strong and lean
With a body like a greyhound
And a mind so sharp and keen
But his heart, just like a laurel,
Grew twisted round itself
Till almost everything he did
Caused pain to someone else

It's not just what you're born with
It's what you choose to bear
It's not how big your share is
But how much you can share
And it's not the fights you dreamed of
But those you really fought
It's not what you've been given
It's what you do with what you've got

Now what's the good of two strong legs
If you only run away?
And what use is the finest voice
If you've nothing good to say?
And what good is strength and muscle
If you only push and shove?
And what's the use of two good ears
If you can't hear those you love?

Between those who use their neighbours
And those who use a cane
Between those in constant power
And those in constant pain
Between those who run to evil
And those who cannot run
Tell me which ones are the cripples
And which ones touch the sun?

She so loved it all. (Pernille R. Quigg)

A song inspired by a series of photographs by Angelo Merendino titled “The Battle We Didn’t Choose – my wife’s fight with breast cancer”. The black and white photographs are difficult and thought provoking, a stark reminder of our mortality but also beautiful and brimming with love.


She so loved it all. (Pernille R. Quigg)


Two faces framed two lovers share
An intimate moment frozen in time
Her arm round his neck her breath on his cheek
Oh how images speak

And their love so shines in black and white
Through the darkest day and the brightest night
And she so loved it all
And she so loved it all

Her raven black hair cut shorter now
Clutching her coat in the doctor’s chair
Drowning deep dark eyes look out in fear
For words so hard to hear

A mother stroking her daughter’s face
Gently trying to turn back the time
To when bruises would heal and she could hinder a fall
Oh how she loved it all

At last she was home no more hospital beds
A Christmas stocking hung over her head
A star that once burned bright leaving behind
Her light continues to shine.

The Goose and the Common (unknown/Pernille R. Quigg)

Originally an English nursery rhyme, but a succinct protest song against the landowning gentry.
"I first found this poem, I'm afraid to say, scrolling through facebook. It seems the words are as relevant now as they were in the 17th Century, and it seemed to suit the melody that came into my head while reading it" Pernille

The Goose and the Common (unknown/Pernille R. Quigg)

They hang the man and flog the woman
Who steals the goose from off the common
Yet let the greater villain loose
That steals the common from the goose

The law demands that we atone
When we take things we do not own
But leaves the lords and ladies fine
Who take things that are yours and mine

The poor and wretched don't escape
If they conspire the law to break
This must be so but they endure
Those who conspire to make the law

The law locks up the man or woman
Who steals the goose from off the common
And geese will still a common lack
Till they go and steal it back


The Shearing's No for You. (trad.)

A song from the Scottish tradition from our part of the world, Ayrshire.

The Shearing's No for You. (trad.)

O the shearing's no' for you, my bonnie lassie O,
O the shearing's no' for you, my bonnie lassie O,
O the shearing's no' for you, for your back it wouldna' pu',
And your belly's roarin' full my bonnie lassie O.

Do you mind the banks o' Ayr, my bonnie laddie O,
Do you mind the banks o' Ayr, my bonnie laddie O,
Do you mind the banks o' Ayr, where my heart you did ensnare,
And you left me in despair, my bonnie laddie O?

Tak' the buckles frae your shin, my bonnie lassie O,
Tak' the buckles frae your shin, my bonnie lassie O,
Tak' the buckles frae your shin, for you married sic a yen,
And your dancing days are done, my bonnie lassie O.

Tak' the ribbons frae your hair, my bonnie lassie O,
Tak' the ribbons frae your hair, my bonnie lassie O,
Tak' the ribbons frae your hair, and let doon your ringlets fair,
For you've naught but want and care, my bonnie lassie O.

O the shearing's not for you, my bonnie lassie O,
O the shearing's not for you, my bonnie lassie O,
O the shearing's not for you, for your back it wouldna' pu',
And your belly's roarin' full my bonnie lassie O.

Dandelion Wine. (unknown)

Memory is strongly connected to our senses and sometimes the scent or taste of something brings back vivid memories of times past. This song does it beautifully."We got this from the singing of Liam Clancy and it's a great though gentle chorus song.We still haven't been able to find out who wrote it."

Dandelion Wine. (unknown)

When I was very small my grandmother told me
two things in life are finer than fine
to love when you’re young and then when you’re older
to dream by the fire with dandelion wine

Dandelion wine will make you remember
the first days of spring
in the middle of December
Dandelion Wine, Dandelion Wine

The first time I kissed him I felt the earth tremble
the sky turned around and the fields were aflame
the dandelions bloomed in their millions and millions
and each golden blossom was singing his name

The summer was dry and the autumn was bitter
the year and my love both drifted away
but the magic lives on in the glass as I raise it
I offer a toast to the past and I sing

Silver and Gold (Bryn Phillips)

We first heard this sung by the great Vin Garbutt, a true story about a coal miner called John Gates. Triumph over adversity!

Silver and Gold (Bryn Phillips)

My name is John Gates and I worked down the pit
Til they closed it a few years ago
It was all that I knew, it was all I could do
I was broken apart by the blow
Most of my friends were in the same boat
When they closed that colliery down
And at fifty years old I knew I was through
There was no work for me in the town

Give me the silver and gold
Give me the silver and gold
My hands must be clean
When I'm picking the seam
Not black with the dust of the coal
give me the silver and gold

We still met at the club but it wasn't the same
The comradeship somehow had gone
I remembered the time on that cold picket line
When our union bond made us strong
And I never thought I would see grown men cry
They were hard men, proud and true
as they sipped at their beer they fought back their tears
And I shared their despairing too

All that was left for me was the thread
The thread of the silver and gold
An interest for years allayed all my fears
I gave it my whole heart and soul
When an advert for a dressmaking class caught my eye
I enrolled as the only man there
And as my skill grew, I finally knew
I had something so precious to share

I laboured for months on my girl's wedding dress
Stitching dreams through the silk with the thread
Intricate patterns of silver and gold
All thoughts of the colliery dead
And as we walked arm in arm down the aisle
She smiled as I caught her eye
that moment so rare - was too much to bear
This hard man started to cry

Syvmilestøvler (Pernille R. Quigg)

A Danish summer’s song written on a beautiful day in the garden in Grættrup in Denmark. One of those lazy days when nature heightens your senses and you wish time would stand still - just for a moment.

Syvmilestøvler (Pernille R. Quigg)

Nu er det sommer og jeg gi’r mig tid til at leve
Jeg tar uret af armen og lægger det ned
Der nederst i skuffen en belutning er truffen
Den kan tikke så tosset den vil
Den kan ikke la’ vær’ og det vil være sært
Hvis tiden den pludselig slog til

Når tiden ta’r syvmilestøvlerne på
sætter jeg mig demonstrativt ned
og går bare lidt i stå

Jeg vil sætte mig ned være tæt på jorden
Se græsset gro og nyde duften
Af den sorte muld som det pureste guld
For en regnorm der snor sig blød og kold
Og for billen som løber fornøjet i solskin
Kaster blik med sit blågrønne skjold

Jeg vil sidde og nyde at skyerne glider
Og at himlen i dag står på højkant
Mens jeg ligger på langs og følger edderkoppens gang
Mellem tårnene træer af strå
Som et medfødt talent har den spundet et spind
Mens jeg bare sad og så på

Jeg vil fæstne mit blik på en prik i det fjerne
Der flimrer mod himlen foroven
Den kommer og går som en tanke når
Sindet det føles for trangt
Men lukker jeg øjnene og lytter til verden
Høres lærken’s befriende sang.

The Broom of the Cowdenknowes. (Trad)

love song from the Scottish Borders. Sung by everyone most notably the legendary Archie Fisher.

"This song reminds me of many good nights with the Macs, Nick used to take the lead in this song and it's basically his version we sing here."

The Broom of the Cowdenknowes. (Trad)

Oh the broom, the bonnie bonnie broom
Broom of the Cowdenknowes
Fain would I be in my ain country
Herding my father's ewes

How blithe was I each morn to see
My lass come over the hill
She skipped the burn and ran to me
I met her with good will

She would oblige me every hour
could I but faithful be
She stole my heart could I refuse
whate'er she asked of me

Hard fate that I should banished be
Gang wearily and mourn
Because I loved the fairest lass
That ever yet was born

Fareweel, ye Cowdenknowes, Fareweel
Fareweel all pleasures there
To wander by her side again
Is all I crave or care

Journey's End (J.B.Goodenough)

Stolen from Tommy Makem and Liam Clancy. At the end of a great gig this is our song to sing.

Journey's End (J.B.Goodenough)

The fire is out, the moon is down
The parting glass is dry and done
And I must go and leave this town
Before the rising of the sun
Long's the road and far's the mile
Before I rest my soul again
With girls that weep and girls that smile
And all the words and ways of men

For some there are, who may not bide
But wander to the journey's end
Nor take a girl to be a bride
Nor keep a man to be a friend
When I'm done with wandering
I'll sit beside the road and weep
For all the songs I did not sing
And promises I did not keep

Lullaby (Pernille R. Quigg)

A song for the children. Recorded live in Edinburgh."I wanted to write a song for the children and what was more natural than a lullaby...the children are now way past that stage and Stephen's suggestion of bringing two songs I sing together seems to work well. It is also in a way very fitting, as I seem to turn around these days and they've grown." Pernille


Lullaby (Pernille R. Quigg)

Sleep my children,
Long the night,
When the dawn breaks,
I'll be at your side.

Cold the evening,
Dew falls fast,
Close the window,
Moonlight shadows cast.

Watch the dark sky,
Like an ocean wide,
Wonder if the starfish,
Sees a brother on the sky.

Turn Around (Malvina Reynolds)

Where are you going, my little one, little one
Where are you going, my baby, my own?
Turn around and you're two
Turn around and you're four
Turn around and you're a young man going out of my door

Turn around, turn around
Turn around and you're a young man going out of my door

Where are you going, my little one, little one
Little sunsuits and petticoats, where have you gone
Turn around and you're tiny
Turn around and you're grown
Turn around and you're a young wife with babes of your own

Turn around, turn around
Turn around and you're a young wife with babes of your own.

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