Trad Events

Border Ballads on Martinmas Eve

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Border Ballads on Martinmas Eve

At the peak of the historic reiving season, join expert scholars and renowned traditional singers as we mount up and ride boldly into the worlds of folkloric past with ‘the Shirra and his gang’!
The 11th of November is Martinmas, the quarter day that traditionally marked the end of autumn and the beginning of winter. This day also marks the peak of the reiving season. Join expert scholars and renowned traditional singers as we mount up and ride boldly into the worlds of folkloric past. From the wardens of the marches to ‘the Shirra and his gang’, these “fellow travelers” will guide you through the debatable lands of the Border Ballads.  
This event brings together academics and traditional musicians in order to celebrate and publicise the ballads and underlying history of the Border region. Based on Walter Scott’s collection of traditional ballads and historical material in Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, it seeks to lift the ballads off the page and bring them to our audiences as songs which are by turns swaggering, chilling or side-splitting.
 
Traditional singers Naomi Harvey, Elsa Lemaitre, Kathy Hobkirk and Henry Douglas perform the ballads. The songs are set in context by Dr Kaye McAlpine, an expert on the history of the Borders during the tumultuous reiving era of the 15th – 17th centuries, and Dr Lucy MacRae, who was recently awarded a PhD for her research into the context and creation of Scott’s seminal collection Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border (1802-3).
 
£12 per ticket
 
Drinks served on arrival from 7pm, performance starts at 7.30pm in the Library at Abbotsford