Nessie at Stirling Brig?

In Howe of the Mearns school Laurencekirk Primary, startling and hilarious new songs have been written, the topics ranging from an imaginary Kirkie Gala day, to Nessie at the Battle of Stirling Brig, through songmaking workshops run by the Ceilidhmakers project.

Ceilidhmakers organiser, noted Scots traditional singer Christine Kydd of Kirriemuir, explains.

“During the school year, we have been helping all the pupils of Luthermuir, Auchenblae and Laurencekirk primaries celebrate in new songs not just about the Mearns and their own communities, but also the topics they are studying.

“We start with the Great Scots Song Treasure Hunt, created by my colleague Ewan McVicar, to help pupils and teachers engage with the national Scotland’s Songs website he was commissioned to make.

“Then we show how to use rhyme, meter and ideas, by making new fun verses for old Scots songs “The children get particular pleasure thinking up actions to accompany the new songs they proudly perform, and creating illustrations of their songs to be added to the new moremearnssangs website that Ceilidhmakers has made to celebrate and showcase the work of the children.”

Each Ceilidhmakers project is bespoke. We variously involve a range of musicians and activities in our work, as time permits. Recording of the songs recently made in Laurencekirk PS takes place this week, and on Tuesday19th May a showcase ceilidh of the work takes place at the school in the afternoon.

The songs from all three schools, along with remarkable song illustrations, can be seen at This work builds on the previous projects on and, all projects funded and supported by Aberdeenshire Council’s YMI Officer through the national Youth Music Initiative of Creative Scotland.