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Scots Sangs An Tunes Fur Schools

Traditional and new Scots songs and tunes
for use in Scottish schools - and everywhere else


Work songs

Songs once accompanied every kind of work in Scottish communities. There were songs for waulking tweed, for spinning wool, for rowing, milking, churning, bringing home the cattle and many other tasks. All these songs were designed to help pass the time and make the work involved a little less hard. With many of these songs, the work involved was very repetitive, and so these songs have a strong rhythmic pulse.

There are also other songs which are about work, rather than songs to be sung while working. Bothy ballads were sung in the evening after work. Sea and mining and other songs tell about the work, the people, and life in their communities. We have included songs about whaling, men and women working in coal mines, making thread, weaving, fishing for herring and working on the quayside gutting them, a disaster on a North Sea oil rig, and the first spaceman.