Scots Sangs Fur Schools

Traditional and new Scots songs for use in Scottish schools

THE red bings of west lothian

This song was written in 2010 by Gill Bowan with West Lothian pupils at Holy Family RC Primary, Winchburgh,as part of the Shale Villages project organised by John Holt of the Shale Oil Museum and Nancy Douglas , Cultural Co-ordinator, West Lothian Council.  

It is sung here by Carmondean Folkscene.

 Man made the landscape,
Man made the view
And the red bings in West Lothian
They mind baith me and you.

1.Thousands came from far and near tae dig deep underground
Tae sink the shafts and shift the soil, shove the hutches, spill the spoil
And blast away the shale for oil that made West Lothian
And lives were lost; sadly, that’s the price of progress   CHORUS

2.The women had it hard enough wi’ a’ they mouths tae feed
Coals tae cairry, weans tae tend, tubs tae fill and claes tae mend,
Workin’ a’ the ‘oors God sends and never get nae rest

3.Just a room and kitchen for two and six a week
Little left tae spend on beer, we’re raisin’ seven children here
We’ll tak a lodger for a year and try tae mak ends meet.

4. Scottish ingenuity, Scottish brains and brawn
Raised a row of chimney stacks, built upon our aching backs
Open sores and paraffin hacks were a’ we had tae show
And lives were lost; sadly that’s the price of progress
CHORUS, repeat last line.

From an original composition by Gill Bowman with children from Holy Family Primary, Winchburgh, adapted and arranged for Carmondean Folkscene  by Liz Reid.