Greentrax Recordings
Greentrax Recordings

Celebrating 28 years of supplying Scottish music worldwide.


cover image for Far, Far From Ypres - Songs, Poems & Music Of World War One
double CD
February 2014

£12.00
IN STOCK
despatch next working day

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).

In 2014, the 100th Anniversary of the start of World War One, Greentrax Recordings is re-launching this critically acclaimed best-selling album, first released in 2008. The 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.

Read more about the Far, Far From Ypres stage show which has been presented several times at Celtic Connections, Glasgow and The Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh. The album has been the top selling title on the Celtic Connections 2014 record stall.


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 was greatly overdue. 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. Jim Paris, who also contributed, is a Mercat Tours Battlefield Guide. Ian, who had read many books on both WW1 and WW2, was 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. June was also finally able to fulfil a life-long desire to visit the graveyard of her Grandfather McLennan, in one of the many beautifully maintained War Cemeteries.

The WW1 Cemeteries & 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 take on a new meaning. Ironically, WW1 was described as “the war to end all wars”!

CD1 consists of the soldiers’ marching and trench songs, music hall favourites of the time, a Harry Lauder track, a pipe band track consisting of tunes associated with Scottish regiments, the poignant Flooers o’ 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 Studio - 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, since disbanded. Ian was immediately excited by the project and totally immersed himself in it. His 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 then current McCalmans lineup of Ian, Stephen Quigg and the late 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 later recorded a solo album for Greentrax called Heartprint Shadow. The BBC Radio Scotland presenter Iain Anderson reads three poems and acts as narrator on stage which he does brilliantly. Greentrax is greatly indebted to all the artists on this album. The songs and music for CD2 were selected and compiled by Ian Green.

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 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 info@argyllpublishing.co.uk

The informative sleeve notes are by Des Brogan, Jim Paris and Ian Green. Greentrax will be forever grateful to Des and Jim for suggesting this extremely worthwhile project and for their enthusiasm, tireless help and advice right through to its conclusion. The outstanding artwork is by John Slavin of DesignFolk. The more recent recordings are by Kevock Digital Studio, Watercolour Studios, Bees Knees Media and Pier House Studios. Mastering is by Peter Haigh, Pier House Studios.

This project was a labour of love by Ian McCalman and Ian Green who are deeply proud of what has been achieved on this double CD and by the stage show. The album is now a Greentrax best-seller.

In a remarkable development, a copy of the CD ended up in the hands of a family in Australia where a 92 year old lady, recognised her father, John Hastings, as one of the soldiers on the front cover. John Hastings, who was born in Glasgow, was in the 51st Highlanders during WW1. He fought in France and experienced the Christmas truce – when the soldiers came out of their trenches all along the line and shared drinks, food and photos of family with the enemy – as depicted in a recent film Joyeux Noel. John shared many of his memories with his family, telling them of life in the trenches. Not all soldiers were able to speak about their experiences and this connection with John’s family gives us a rare living link through folk memory back to the trenches of WW1.

The memories clearly live on and as a result of the CD and the stage show, we expect more stories to unfold.


Other titles associated with Wars & Battles from Greentrax include:


“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)

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