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TMSA teams up with HarperCollins to re-print 101 Scottish Songs

The ‘Wee Red Book’ is republished for the first time in over 40 years. 

101 Scottish Songs, the influential songbook commonly known as the ‘Wee Bed Book’ is republished for the first time in over 40 years to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Traditional Music and Song Association of Scotland (TMSA).

First published in 1962 and conceived by the Labour politician Norman Buchan after he was inspired by a 1951 rendition of ‘Skippin’ Barfit through the Heather’ by Jessie Murray at the People’s Festival Ceilidh at the Edinburgh Festival. It led to a passion for song which he carried through his Ballad Club and other work, notably his weekly song column in The Scotsman, which eventually led to the publication of the book in the sixties. The book went on to be one of the most iconic song books for Scottish singers.

Fiona Campbell, TMSA Convener said: “We are delighted to have been able to work with Collins, in our 50th anniversary year to re-issue 101 Scottish Songs or the ‘Wee Red Book’ to introduce more people to the wealth of the song traditions of Scotland, or replace a copy that may have gone wandering over the years! We were pleased Collins agreed to the republish, as with their Scottish heritage, they have the same interest in preserving, promoting and presenting Scottish culture as we and Norman Buchan did.”

Alasdair Buchan, son of Norman said: “I’m delighted that people are again going to be able to buy book and enjoy the iconic songs of Scotland. The copies bought fifty years ago must be well thumbed by now. My family are grateful to Collins and the Traditional Music Association of Scotland for making this possible.”

The TMSA approached Collins to re-issue the book in their anniversary year, with a dedicated foreword to mark the 50th anniversary as well as an online resource to support the publication, including song examples which can be found at after the launch on 22 January 2016. The book will be celebrated in a unique concert as part of Celtic Connections featuring Sheena Wellington and Margaret Bennett, who will bring some of the famous songs to life.

There is currently a 25% discount for orders at and it will be available through good bookshops such as Waterstones.