55 tracks: CD1: Your King and Country Need You (Spoken Word - Iain Anderson) * Your King and Country Need You (Song - The Scottish Pals Singers) * Regimental Tunes (The Army School of Piping and Highland Drumming) * The Last Mile Home * It's a Long Way To Tipperary * Mademoiselle From Amenities * Fred Akron's Army * We're Here * Living in a Trench * Raining * Minor Worries * If The Sergeant Steals Your Rum * Oh! It's a Lovely War * Hush! Here Comes The Whizz-bang * Bombed Last Night * Gassed Last Night * Fritz Boy * Forward Joe Soap's Army * Pack Up Your Troubles * Whiter Than Whitewash * Far, Far From Wipers I Long To Be * Take Me Back to Dear Old Blight * I'll Make a Man of You * I Wore a Tunic * Goodbye * When this Bloody War is Over * I Don't Want to be a Soldier * I Want to go Home * The Old Battalion * The Bells of Hell * It's a Long Way to Tipperary * Keep The Home Fires Burning * Sister Suzie Sewing Shirts For Soldiers * The Only Girl in The World * Roses of Peccary (All The Scottish Pals Singers) * Keep Right on to The End of The Road (Harry Lauder) * The Flowers of The Forest (Corporal Neil McNaughton) * The Last Post (John Samson).CD2: The Bloody Fields of Flanders Set (The Army School of Piping and Highland Drumming) * In Flanders Fields (Poem - Iain Anderson) * The Green Fields of France / No Man's Land / Willie McBride (The Corries) * Jimmy's Gone Tae Flanders (Jim Malcolm) * Black is The Sun (Stevie Palmer) * Mothers, Daughters, Wives (The McCalmans) * Geordie McCrae (Robin Laing) * And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda (Eric Bogle) * In Memorium (Poem - Iain Anderson) * An Eala Bhan (Roddy MacLeod) * Halloween (Sheena Wellington and Karine Polwart) * Why Old Men Cry (Dick Gaughan) * As If He Knows (Eric Bogle) * Jimmy Waddell / Battle of The Somme (Malinky) * Letters From Wilfred (Alan Bell) * Only Remembered (The McCalmans) * Cha Till MacCruemen (Poem - Iain Anderson) / MacCrimmon's Lament (Heather Heywood) / MacCrimmon's Sweeheart (Dougie Pincock).
This album is a tribute to all the soldiers from Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales, and also their Commonwealth brothers in arms from all corners of the globe, who fought and suffered together in the Great War and, in particular, all those who died.
The album has a more Scottish perspective than any of its predecessors but when one considers that Scotland suffered the most soldiers killed, per head of population, of any nation that fought in the conflict, such an album is greatly overdue - as so many people have commented to Greentrax! It is also doubtful if the songs, poems and music of WW1 have ever before been covered in such depth.
This project was first suggested to Ian Green of Greentrax Recordings in 2004 by Des Brogan, Managing Director of Mercat Tours International, who specialise in tours of both WW1 and WW2 cemeteries and battlefields and Jim Paris who is a Mercat Tours Battlefield Guide. Ian, who had read many books on both WW1 and WW2, was immediately interested but regrettably the lack of financial resources at that time caused it to be placed on the 'back-burner'. In 2007, however, Des Brogan invited Ian and his wife June on one of Mercat's WW1 coach tours of France and Belgium.
The WW1 Cemeteries and Battlefields Tour is a moving experience and it had a profound effect on Ian, as it does with most visitors. Such a visit is highly recommended. The scale of slaughter becomes very real when you are confronted with huge war cemeteries around every corner, plus large monuments containing thousands upon thousands of names of young men whose bodies were never recovered. The words 'lest we forget' and 'we will remember them' takes on a new meaning. Ironically, WW1 was described as the 'war to end all wars'!
CD1 consists of the soldiers' trench and marching songs, music hall favourites of the time, a Harry Lauder track, a pipe band track consisting of tunes associated with Scottish regiments, the poignant "Flowers of The Forest" and "The Last Post". Twenty-seven soldiers' songs and six music hall songs were recorded and produced by Ian McCalman at Kevock Digital - and what better a choice could have been made than someone who has been a professional singer most of his life and one of the internationally acclaimed 'McCalmans' folk group. Ian was immediately excited by the project and totally immersed himself in it. Ian's contribution to CD1 is immeasurable. The 'Scottish Pals' Singers, as we named them for CD1, are Fiona Forbes (Sangsters), Ian Bruce, Tich Frier, Hamish Bayne and the current 'McCalmans' lineup of Ian, Stephen Quigg and Nick Keir. Much of the instrumental work is by Maartin Allcock but Ian McCalman, Hamish Bayne and Nick Keir all contributed. Magnificent work by all concerned.
CD2 comprises a pipe band track of tunes named after some of the major battles of WW1, songs written about WW1, or strongly connected with that war, by such amazing songwriters as Judy Small, Alan Bell, Eric Bogle, Dick Gaughan, Jim Malcolm, and the late Davy Steele. Some of the writers perform their own songs on the album but there are also contributions from The Corries, The McCalmans, Malinky, Sheena Wellington and Karine Polwart, Robin Laing and Gaelic singer Donny MacLeod. There is also a chilling contribution from a young Scottish songwriter Steven Palmer, who has since recorded a solo album - 'Heartprint Shadow' (CDTRAX347). The BBC Radio Scotland presenter Iain Anderson reads three poems, one of which has a little surprise at the end, involving a recording of singer Heather Heywood and piper Dougie Pincock. Iain's readings captures the mood of the poems admirably. Greentrax is greatly indebted to all the artists on this album and in particular to The Corries, Eric Bogle, Dick Gaughan and Jim Malcolm for licensing tracks to Greentrax.
The pipers and drummers on both CDs are from The Army School of Bagpipe Music and Highland Drumming, by kind permission of Lieutenant Colonel James Robinson, Commanding Officer, Infantry Training Centre, Catterick. Thanks to Captain Stephen Small, Director of Army Bagpipe Music, Edinburgh, for his excellent co-operation and for arranging the music. The solo piper on CD1 is Corporal Neil McNaughton, also from the Army School. "The Last Post", on CD1, is played on the bugle by the fine jazz and classical musician John Samson
The informative sleeve notes are by Des Brogan and Jim Paris, to whom Greentrax will be forever grateful for suggesting this very worthwhile project and for their enthusiasm, tireless help and advice right through to the conclusion of the project. The outstanding artwork is by John Slavin of DesignFolk. The new recordings are by Kevock Digital, Watercolour Studios, Bees Knees Media and Pier House Studios. Mastering is by Peter Haigh, Pier House Studios.
The poem 'In Memoriam' (included on the album) by Lt E Alan Mackintosh MC (1893-1917) and other poems by this Poet of the Highland Division can be found in 'Can't Shoot A Man With A Cold' by Colin Campbell and Rosalind Green, published by Argyll Publishing - email email@example.com
Other titles associated with Wars & Battles from Greentrax include:
- The Flooers O’ The Forest - The Battle of Flodden
- ¡No Pasaran! (They Shall Not Pass) - The Spanish Civil War
- The Battle Of Prestonpans 1745
"A timely reminder of the futility of war, but at the same time honouring and remembering the thousands of servicemen who have in the past suffered and indeed given their lives to both protect and preserve their country the world over... " (James Soars)
"A great CD. I'm really impressed with it all... One CD is devoted to contemporary material; the other mostly to post-war writing. The result is an impressive, entertaining and at times utterly chilling impression of the thoughts of those who were there, or who wanted young men to be there, and above all, of the way The Great War will not let people go. The line-up of participants, too, is impressive, from Iain Anderson to Sheena Wellington, from the staff of the Army School of Piping to Ian McCalman, and from Jim Malcolm to Harry Lauder himself, singing Keep Right On To The End Of The Road... it's a lot more than just an album... This is a stunning piece of folk history, of national pride and of emotion. Anyone who can listen unmoved to the troops' early merriment and naive high spirits turning into pain, sorrow and disillusionment must have a heart of stone.' (Ian Neilson, Scots Magazine)
"A stunner in from Scotland, Far Far From Ypres, a fantastic homage and study of the Scottish music of WW1... (Bill Margeson, Chicago Irish American News and LiveIreland.com)
"A labour of love and respect organised by Greentrax..." (Norman Chalmers, Scotland On Sunday)
"A wonderful collection of the music of the time treated with care by the best of traditional music's weel kent faces and more. A very special compilation..." (Irene Dick, Radio Heartbeat)
"Containing powerful, poignant and entertaining performances, these CDs are a valuable collection of WW1 music. Excellent sleeve notes educate and set the scene. The enthusiasm of all contributors and performers shines through..." (customer review)
"This is a masterpiece of a collection which is further enhanced by informative notes..." (Bobby Harvey, Scottish Memories Magazine)
"Greentrax has successfully risen to the challenge... an album which is long overdue..." (East Lothian Life)
"Beautiful songs from terrible times. This CD preserves a whiff of the spirit of those terrible times..." (Jim Gilchrist, The Scotsman)