Gifford Lind

Singer and Songwriter

Gifford Lind was born in Irvine, grew up in Greenock, and has lived in Dunfermline for more than half his life. He started singing as he learned to talk, inspired by his mother's enthusiasm for music and song. In the late 1980's he decided to try his hand at playing guitar and learn some folk songs, and this led to a growing desire to write and perform his own songs, and a longstanding involvement with the Dunfermline Folk Club. He has performed at events throughout Fife, in other parts of Scotland and in Ireland, Norway and Germany. He was instrumental in establishing The New Makars Trust which supports the development and performance of songs about life in Scottish communities, and has directed all the Trust's projects in Fife. He is still learning to play the guitar, and you can decide about his songs when you hear them.

 

In 1996 he collaborated with Alex Mackenzie to produce an album “Different Places – Different Times”. This was given limited circulation and has now sold out. Tracks were played on Radio Scotland, and one of the songs – Cross of Lorraine – was played on BBC Scotland’s Reporting Scotland on the 50th anniversary of the cross being placed at the top of the Lyle Hill behind Greenock.

 

He has just produced a new album “But Lately Seen …” of 17 songs – 4 traditional and 13 new songs created in part or wholly by Gifford.

 

Gifford says about the album:

“Songs carry so much more than words alone, so I'll keep this brief. In 1996 I was asked to sing with a group from the St Clair Centre in Kirkcaldy, and they were looking for songs about local life that they could take with them to sing in Holland. They had looked for songs but found very few. While searching in Kirkcaldy library I was shown Sir Walter Scott's poem Rosabelle which I put a tune to, and of course there was The Collier Laddie which I was advised could be the oldest song in Fife. This album starts with these two songs, and then takes a journey in song from my home town of 30 years, Dunfermline back to Greenock where I spent my childhood, and visits some of the highs, lows and loves of my life in between. A search for ricotta cheese in Tuscany, and then back across the Scotswater - the old name for the Forth - tae Fife and the East Neuk, finishing with a song inspired by my grandchildren.” – Track Listing and Lyrics appear below.

 

If you wish to obtain a copy of the album “But Lately Seen …” please send a cheque for £12.00 to:

 

Mactoots Recordings

30 Pitcorthie Road

Dunfermline

Scotland

KY11 8DR

 

Or contact at contact@giffordlind.com.

 

 

 

“But Lately Seen …”    MTS 051

Track Listing

 

  1. Rosabelle (Walter Scott)                                  6.01
  2. Collier Laddie (Traditional)                             4.18
  3. Have You Seen My Garden                              2.51
  4. Auld Grey Toun                                                3.23
  5. Winter o Life (Robert Burns)                            4.37
  6. Cross of Lorraine                                             4.51
  7. Escape to the Hills                                            2.20
  8. Spring of ‘96                                                    1.57
  9. Waiting for the Calm                                         5.08
  10. Let the Clyde Flourish                                       2.27
  11. Song Composed in August (Robert Burns)       4.40
  12. So Much                                                          2.26
  13. The Tuscan Commune                                      1.57
  14. Across the Scotswater                                      3.53
  15. Black and Yellow of the Oilskins                       4.55
  16. The Coal Dust Still Moves in the Sand              2.52
  17. My Wee Bairn                                                  2.24

Total Playing Time      55.09

 

1. Rosabelle

A song about Rosabelle St Clair who lived at Ravensheuch Castle in Kirkcaldy, and died when attempting to cross the Forth to Roslin where her mother and lover were staying.

 
O Listen, listen, ladies gay!

No haughty feat of arms I tell;

Soft is the note, and sad the lay,

That mourns the lovely Rosabelle.

 

Moor, moor thc barge, ye gallant crew

And, gentle ladye, deign to stay !

Rest thee in Castle Ravensheuch,

Nor tempt the stormy firth to-day.

 

The blackening wave is edg'd with white;

To inch and rock the sew-mews fly;

The fishers have heard the Water-Sprite,

Whose screams forebode that wreck is nigh.

 

Last night the giftcd Seer did view

A wet shroud swathed round ladye gay ;

Then stay thee, Fair, in Ravensheuch :

Why cross the gloomy firth to-day ?'

 

Tis not because Lord Lindesay's heir

To-night at Roslin leads the ball,

But that my ladye-mother there

Sits lonely in her castle-hall.

 

'Tis not because the ring they ride,

And Lindesay at the ring rides well

But that my sire the wine wilI chide,

 If 'tis not fill'd by Rosabelle.'

 

O'er Roslin all that dreary night

A wondrous blaze was seen to gleam;

'Twas broader than the watchfire’s light

And redder than the bright moon beam

 

It glar'd on Roslin’s castled rock,

It ruddied all the copse-wood glen;

'Twas seen from Dryden’s groves of oak,

And seen from caverned Hawthornden.

 

Seem'd all on fire that chapel proud

Where Roslin's chiefs uncoffin’d lie

Each Baron, for a sable shroud

Sheath'd in his iron panoply.

 

Seem'd all on fire within, around,

Deep sacristy and and altar’s pale;

Shone every pillar foliage-bound

And glimmer'd all the dead men’s mail

 

Blaz'd battlement and pinnet high

Blaz'd every rose-carved buttress fair

So still they blaze when fate is nigh

The lordly line of high St. Clair.

 

There are twenty of Roslin’s barons bold

Lie buried within that proud chapelle;

Each one the holy vault doth hold

But the sea holds lovely Rosabelle

 

And each St. Clair was buried there,

With candle, book and knell

But the sea-caves rung, and the wild winds sung,

The dirge of lovely Rosabelle.

 

From The Lay of the Last Minstrel by Sir Walter Scott

 


2. Collier Laddie

I’ve traivelled east, and I’ve traivelled west

And I hae been tae Kirkcaldy;

But the bonniest lass that e’er I spied

She was followin’ her collier laddie

 

“O, whaur live ye, my bonnie lass?

Come tell me what they ca’ you.”

“Bonnie Jean Gordon is my name,

And I’m following my collier laddie.”

 

“O see ye not yon hills and dales

The sun shines on sae brawly:

They a’ are mine and they shall be thine

Gin ye’ll leave yer collier laddie.

 

“And ye shall gang in gay attire,

Weel buskit up sae gaudy;

And ain to wait on every hand,

Gin ye’ll leave yer collier laddie.”

 

“Though ye had a’ the sun shines on

And the earth conceals sae lawly,

I would turn my back on you and it a’

And embrace my collier laddie.”

 

Then he has gaen tae her faither dear

Tae her faither gane sae brawly.

“Wad ye gae tae me your bonnie lass,

That’s following a collier laddie?

 

 

I’ll gie her lands and I’ll gie her rents,

And I’ll make her a lady;

I’ll make her one of a higher degree,

Than to follow a collier laddie.”

 

Then he has tae his daughter gane,

Tae his daughter gane sae brawly;

Says: “Ye’ll gae with this gentleman

And forsake your collier laddie.”

 

“I winna hae his lands nor I winnae hae his rents,

I winna be his lady;

I’ve got gold and gear enough,

And I’m aye wi’ my collier laddie.”

 

Her faither then baith vowed and sware:

“Though he be black he’s bonnie

She’s mair delight in him I fear,

Than you wi’ a’ your money.”

 

“I can win my five pennies a’ day

And spend at nicht fu’ brawlie;

And I’ll mak’ my bed in the collier’s neuk

And lie doon wi’ my collier laddie.

 

“Love for love is the bargain for me,

The wee cot hoose should haud me,

And the world before me tae win my fee,

An’ fair fa’ my collier laddie.”

 


3. Have You Seen My Garden

Single parent mums are often blamed for there being trouble in a community. Another problem that annoys people is when gardens are not kept. One such garden was spotted, in  Abbeyview, Dunfermline and the usual complaints started to get made. One enlightened soul asked, "Do you know who lives in the house? Have they ever done a garden? Do they have any tools?" and this prompted a visit by a concerned resident who found a young woman living with her recently born baby. She had never had to keep a garden before, and had no tools or knowledge about what to do. And she had the child. On hearing this the man offered a loan of the tools, and when he arrived to find that she didn't know how to use them he suggested that he would just cut the hedge and the grass while he was at it. The song has little to do with the garden - it's more to do with how a young mother might feel about the way she was being treated.

 

 

 
Have you seen my garden?

And have you seen my child?

The one I hold so close to me

The garden that grows wild

I've no time or money

To keep the weeds from growing

It's not a thing my life has ever known

It's not a thing my life has ever known

 

I sometimes wish that life

Had dealt another hand

That motherhood was understood

As I now understand

And men could find that fatherhood

Was not a one-night stand

It's not a thing my life has ever known

It's not a thing my life has ever known

 

I know you've seen my garden

And you've seen my child

The only one that's close to me

The garden that grows wild

I've no time or money

To keep the weeds from growing

It's not a thing my life has ever known

It's not a thing my life has ever known

 

© Gifford Lind


4. The Auld Grey Toun

Dunfermline has been my home for thirty years, and the birthplace of all my children. As an incomer I have been astonished at the part played by Dunfermline in the history of our land, and the extent of change that I have seen since moving here. Every year there is a children’s gala when all the children of the town march down the High Street, pictured above, and play games in  Pittencrieff Park. This was in my mind when writing the last verse.

 
Kings and queens came here to stay

Courts, processions had their day

King Malcolm worshipped Margaret's ways

The auld grey toun was changing.

Carnegie plundered stateside steel

To keep his mother's spinning wheel

A glen, a hall, a swimming pool

The auld grey toun was changing

Chorus

No more linen, no more mines

Or gable ends in crooked wynds

No more Kings to drink their wine 

The auld grey toun was/is changing

Now Burgh, District, both have gone

The kingdom comes, a brand new throne

The provost's chain and gown have gone

The auld grey toun is changing

And Bruce's bones lie here today

The brave king's heart lies far away

Dunfermline's heart is here to stay

The auld grey toun is changing

Chorus

Each year sees changes coming round

New life soon fills this auld grey toun

The sovereign line keeps marching down

The auld grey toun is changing

Chorus x 2

© Gifford Lind,   March 1996


5. Winter o Life

But lately seen in gladsome green

The woods rejoiced the day

The laughing flowers

through gentle showers

In double pride are gay

But soon their joys are fled

On winter's blasts awa

Yet maiden May in rich array

Again shall bring them aw

 

But my white pow nae kindly thaw

Shall melt the snows of age

My trunk of eild,

nae bush nor beild

Sinks in time's wintry rage

Oh age has weary days

And nights o sleepless pain

Oh golden time o youthful prime

Why comes thou not again

Robert Burns

 


6. Cross of Lorraine

The Free French navy was formed in Greenock when ships of the French navy were mustered at the Tail of the Bank to sail on the Norwegian campaign in 1940. It is often thought that the cross was put up to remember the sailors that died when the biggest French boat, the Maille Breze exploded and sank off Princes Pier on 30th April 1940. However this was not the case, and only the boats that joined the Free French navy are mentioned. The memorial was unveiled in January 1946, and this song was played on BBC TV's Reporting Scotland in January 1996.

 
At the Tail o the Bank up high on Lyle Hill

There's a peace to be found there, a freedom, a thrill

You can climb to Craig's Top and gaze out enthralled

At the sights of Argyll and the Clyde

The world that you'll find as you stand there alone

By a cross that's held high in an anchor of stone

Looking out on the river o'er hills and o'er homes

A world that's so precious to see

 

Cross on the hill looking out o'er the bay

To the coast of Argyll and the hills far away

To remember the sailors who passed by this way

And never returned to their home

That cross of Lorraine is for sailors that died

To win back their country, their freedom, their pride

A tribute from sailors of  France that survived

Anchored up high on Lyle hill.

The words that were heard when the cross was unveiled

Were for justice and freedom and peace guaranteed

Liberte, egalite et fraternite

Vive la France, vive la paix, vive la paix.

 

Now can we remember those times in the past

The sadness and longing for peace that would last

And tears fill our hearts when each new day  is cast

With more news of slaughter and war

And French test their bombs in the bright Southern seas

And fighting men hold onto power with such ease

The wars still continue - o where is that peace?

That justice and freedom could bring.

 

© Gifford Lind  September 1995

 


7. Escape to the Hills

Ralph Glasser writes about how during times of unemployment or war men from the Gorbals would leave the city, sometimes for a number of days, to spend time in the hills. He also describes how they would take tea to make and share a ‘drum up’ using one of the communal billy cans that could be found near the site of any campfire. As a boy I walked in the hills behind Greenock and herd stories that suggested that people from Greenock, Gourock and Port Glasgow had done the same.

 
There's a place for me up in the hills

A place where I belong

Where the heather and the rowans grow

And man it fills my heart with song

 

Chorus

Come on and hae a drum up man

Sit and ease yer weary feet

Tell us where your path is taking you

Far away from city streets

 

Embers glowing on an open fire

Sparks go drifting in the wind

It's the closing of another day

Time to leave the world behind

 

Chorus

 

Feel the wind upon my face

This is where I want to be

As I sit in this holy place

My fears disappear and I'm free

 

City lights are far away from here

Like a wild bird in its nest

Till the morning sunshine wakens me

I'll lie doon and hae my rest

 

Chorus x 2

© Gifford Lind

 


8. Spring of ‘96

On 13th March 1996 18 children and their teacher were killed when an armed man walked into Dunblane Primary School and opened fire. The incident shocked the whole nation. On the Friday following the shooting I was singing at a charity event in Kirkcaldy, and on the way home saw bulbs beginning to appear by the roadside. My initial feeling of joy was quickly overtaken by  an immense sadness - that the 18 Dunblane children would never grow, to experience and give joy to others. I wrote this song when I got home.

 
Some little buds keep flowering in my mind

Pictures where the words are hard to find

Then their springtime goes so wrong

And the flowers are dead and gone

It's a spring I wish that I could leave behind

 

Flowers push their heads into the sun

Hope and joy are with them when they come

And their new life brings us cheer

Like no other in the year

It's a living sign that new life has begun.

 

Flowers bring a message from your heart

They carry love when loved ones are apart

And when flowers that are so fine

Are cut before their time

There's a pain that lingers on and lingers hard.

 

Repeat first verse

© Gifford Lind

 

 


9. Waiting for the Calm

I’ve travelled far across this land

This song is about a cave at Barnhill Point between Aberdour and Dalgety Bay on the Fife coast which is known locally as the Monk’s Cave. The cave is man made, and was built in the 13th or 14th century probably as a waiting room for people travelling to the Abbey at Inchcolm, a small island where some of the remains of StColumba were buried - often referred to as the Iona of the East. The cave is now surrounded by Second World War gun placements, a golf course, and the Braefoot Bay Gas terminal - the cause of worry to many in the local community because of the explosion risks.

 

 
Trying to hold out a helping hand

I’m going to pray for my fellow man

And wait for the calm

I’ve passed some troubles on my way

Some will fade and some remain

Somewhere there will be some pain

Waiting for the calm

 

Chorus

Waiting for the storm to calm

Waiting for my boat to come

Waiting for the calm to return

 

Wind blows and the waves are high

Storm clouds are in the sky

I need a place that’s warm and dry

To wait for the calm

So I’ll climb to the holy cave

Sit and wonder at the waves

It’s a place where I’ll be safe

Waiting for the calm

 

Chorus

 

I watch the wind and watch the tide

Stormy water’s not too wide

Peace lies on the other side

Out there when it’s calm

Storm fades in the dead of night

I wake to the morning light

Holy island’s in my sights

Out there in the calm

So I stand at the doorway now

Calm’s here so I’m passing through

Now I know just what to do

Now it’s calm

 

Chorus

 

Now this ancient resting place

Is closed in by the human race

The world wears a different face

Waiting for the calm

And wars have passed this way

The land still holds the scars today

And danger hides in Braefoot Bay

Waiting for the calm

 

Chorus

Repeat last line

 

© Gifford Lind, 24 March 1997

 


10. Let the Clyde Flourish

Chorus

Written on the Waverley at the Imagine the Clyde event on 22nd June 2004. Developed in a New Makars Trust workshop by Brian Griffin and Alan McLean working with Ian Davison and Gifford Lind of The New Makars Trust.  See http://www.imaginescotland.com/.

 

 
They said the Fish would never swim

They said the bird would never fly

They said the bell would never ring

But look around

It’s been a lie

At the mouth of the Kelvin the flounder and eel

Flourish with shrimps and prawns

The salmon return, coming back to their home

The oil and the acids have gone

The fish glide again on and on

Chorus

There’s scavenging gulls and old rotting hulls

On the banks of the Clyde today

But the heron stands guard by Ferguson’s yard

In plumage of black white and grey

Ready to fly away

Chorus

Sweat from our pores can save the Clyde’s shores

We’ll push till our dreams ring true

The peal of the bell will always be heard

Rung by me and you

Our spirit will see us through

 

 

 


11. Song Composed in August

Now westlin winds and slaught'ring guns    

Bring Autumn's pleasant weather;

The moorcock springs on whirring wings    

Amang the blooming heather:

Now waving grain, wide o'er the plain,    

Delights the weary farmer;

The moon shines bright, as I rove by night    

To muse upon my charmer.

The partridge loves the fruitfu' fells,    

The plover lo'es the mountains;

The woodcock haunts the lonely dells,    

The soaring heron the fountains;

Thro' lofty groves the cushat roves,    

The path o' man to shun it;

The hazel bush o'erhangs the thrush,    

The spreading thorn the linnet.

Thus ev'ry their pleasure find,    

The savage and the tender;

Some social join, and leagues combine,    

Some solitary wander:

Avaunt away, the cruel sway!    

Tyrannic man's dominion!

The sportsman's joy, the murdering cry,    

The flutt'ring, gory pinion!

But, Peggy dear, the evening's clear,    

Thick flies the skimming swallow,

The sky is blue, the fields in view    

All fading green and yellow:

Come let us stray our gladsome way,    

And view the charms of nature;

The rustling corn, the fruited thorn,    

And ilka happy creature.

We'll gently walk, and we'll sweetly talk,    

While the silent moon shines clearly;

I'll clasp thy waist, and, fondly prest,    

Swear how I love thee dearly:

Not vernal showers to budding flowers,    

Not Autumn to the farmer,

So dear can be as thou art to me,    

My fair, my lovely charmer!

Not vernal showers to budding flowers,    

Not Autumn to the farmer,

So dear can be as thou art to me,    

My fair, my lovely charmer!

 

Robert Burns

 


12.  So Much

Dunfermline’s Pittencrieff Park is known locally as the glen, and it is one of the finest places to visit for a romantic walk on a spring or summer’s day. Numerous walks in the glen inspired this song

 
I love you so much

I need your tender touch because

I love you so much

When I'm feeling sad and blue

I only need to think of you because

I love you so much

 

I love you and you are the one

I want to see when the day is done

I want to sing you a morning song

As time goes moving on

I've never felt this way before

This is what I've been waiting for

Because I love you so much

 

When we go walking in the glen

I only have to look and then

I know that it is true

That the only one I need is you

I've never felt this way before

This is what I've been waiting for

Because I love you so much

 

I love you so much

I need your tender touch because

I love you so much

I love you so much

I need your tender touch because

I love you so much

 

© Gifford Lind

 

 


13. The Tuscan Commune

Peter and his friends they went to Tuscany

I met Peter in a supermarket in Tuscany in May 2004 when I was struggling to find out why their two ricotta cheeses were differently priced. His English and Italian were both perfect, and I asked him how he came to be there. In the 60's he and his neighbours in a town in England had decided to sell their houses, buy a farmhouse in Tuscany, and form a commune. The song tells the rest of the story. The dearer ricotta was made from goats milk, and it was much better than the cows milk one.

 

 
Living together in commune company

To live the good life in god’s sweet country

And then they all fell out

Chorus

They had the birds and the bees

And the olive trees

And the vines and the hens and the sheep

They had love in abundance

And peace and goodwill

But together they could not sleep

Together they could not sleep

Now Peter goes shopping on his own in Tuscany

Living on his own he’s his own good company

Good at translating in the shops for tourists

And his grey ponytail looks fine

Chorus

He’s got the birds and ……..

 

Peter seemed fine in the shop in Tuscany

Wanted to talk and keep me company

Treated me like a commune colleague

And his grey pony tail looked fine

Chorus

© Gifford Lind


14. Across the Scotswater

We met the young Princess that married oor king by the place that now carries her name

She worked for a land that had justice for all where the poor should ne'er suffer again

And David her youngest he followed her cause made laws that brought freedom tae life

Fae lands far away the pilgrims soon came across the Scotswater tae Fife

 

Across the Scotswater tae Fife

Across the Scotswater tae Fife

Fae lands far away the pilgrims soon came

Across the Scotswater tae Fife

 

We left wi the heart o' a king who had fought for the heart and the soul of our land

With his dying breath he had sworn us to fight and crusade against infidel hands

And we marched and we fought 'till our valour ran out and we lost many fine Scottish lives

I longed for the day when my boat would make way across the Scotswater tae Fife

 

Across the …

I longed for the day when my boat would make way

Across the Scotswater tae Fife

 

 

Unless we forget, just let it be said that the heart and the soul of oor land

Came frae a toun where the well trodden ground saw the birth o what's now in our hands

And the powers that have passed intae auld reekie's halls - a page in the book of our life

They came fae the toun where the auld book was written across the Scotswater in Fife

 

Across the …

They came fae a toun where the auld book was written

Across the Scotswater in Fife

 

© Gifford Lind 15th April 2003


15. Black and Yellow of the Oilskins

A song about Tom Grieve who travelled from Aberdeen to sell tar and oil coatings in Anstruther and Cellardyke. He now comes to stay in Lady Walk, Anstruther home every now and again, and lives in Tayport, North Fife. Thanks to Andy Shanks for helping to inspire the tune, and for his accompaniment on this track.

 

 
Black and Yellow of the oilskins

Rainbow marks for the fleece

Tar for the buoys and the fishing boat hold

From the cold White Russian seas

Look at the sea and the sky and the land

And the colourful plants in the ground

Yet yellow and black on a fisherman’s back

Were the only colours found

Chorus

And the moon shines bright on the Firth of Forth

And the May light blinks on the sea

And the colourful world of a chemical man

Shines like a colourful dream

What makes a colour

It’s a chemistry nobody knows

In the colourful mind of a chemical man

A vision of colour still glows/grows

His artist son paints the colours of life

The other’s a chemical loon

Workin the mines o the cold far North

And the rocks brought doon fae the moon

Chorus

Tom now paints on a clean white sheet

Wi colours bright and bold

A love of his life that’s taken him far

A story that had to be told

And Tom can sit by his own fireside,

And gaze at the wall in his room

At the colours found by his chemical son

On a mineral rock from the moon

Chorus

© Gifford Lind

 


16. The Coal Dust Still Moves in the Sand

Walkin In the East Neuk o Fife

Lookin out for the spires o the toun

And the tiles of red brought in by the sea

Where crabs and prawns live with fishermen's bones

The wee black lines that can be found in the sand along the Fife coast tell of the mining history that is largely gone from the area. This song reflects on some of the things that can be found in the East Neuk of Fife, and asks where next for East Neuk communities.

 

 
While the stones of the past wear away

Washed into sea

And the coal dust still moves in the sand

And the coal dust still moves in the sand

Where holy men lived in the caves

And churches and martyrs burned

Where Beaton first sailed to Mary's right hand

Where fights were fought and the ruins still stand

And the great wise men of old

That ran the land

Were left out in the cold

Were left out in the cold

I see in a moment that time has moved on

And summer's been put to the plough

And I stand in a land of forgotten dreams

And wonder where can it go now

And wonder where can it go now

Where the haar o the sea meets the land

Lookin out to the Bass and the May

Where the black boats once drifted with fish in the hold

A haven for oil skinned men of old

And fiery volcanoes once roared

Long before there was man

And the coal dust still moves in the sand

And the coal dust still moves in the sand

© Gifford Lind 13th October 2004

 


17. My Wee Bairn

My wee bairn is wearin on

Wearin, wearin, wearin on

My wee bairn is wearin on

Wearin, wearin on.

 

My wee bairn is fu o fun

Smiles when e'er she sees the sun

Noo she's walkin, soon she'll run

Aye she's wearin on

 

My wee bairn is greetin sair

Toys aw scattered on the flair

Ower tired she'll play nae mair

Aye she's wearin on

 

My wee bairn's a joy tae see

In his life what shall he be

Happy, cheerful, runnin free

As he's wearin on

 

Repeat v1.

 

© Gifford Lind