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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Drumshanty Lyr Req: The Traveller's Trade (10) Lyr Add: TRAVELLERS' TRADE (MacGregor, Skinner) 15 Oct 05


So there I am, in Coda on the Mound in Embra, birthday vouchers clasped in sticky mitt, when I stumble over "The Birnam Oak". I didn't buy it, but I did get the words. And the CD cover contains a very interesting wee piece written by Ian MacGregor about the history and background to his song.

I've added the lines I found. It has to be said, however, that Shannus's Gillian does not sing the same words to the third line of the third verse. It sounds like she's singing "The skill knaws where tae look, in twist or maybe crook".

The Travellers' Trade
(Words: Ian MacGregor; Music J Scott Skinner)

O'er hill, glen and moor, you'll witness life's still poor
For the men wha plunder the shell
They'll work till the day has darkened then they'll say
That this way of life just isnae goin well

The reason you'll hear, oor laws just arenae clear
As the search for the pearl murders on
And soon there will be nae fishin left for me
And the skill acquired will never see my son

So alter your way or soon we'll see the day
When this traveller's trade won't stay alive
And hunt if you can wi' thoughts o' fellow man
And all forms of life whose right is tae survive


To know where to find some treasure you should mind
That the mussel shouldnae die for your gain
The skill's there to look, for twist, or maybe crook
It's the only way, so listen what I'm sayin'

So alter your way...

This tale here's nae lie, Spey River soon will die
When the final mussel has been taken from her sand
And traveller though I've been, it's by far the worst I've seen
And it's no' just here, it's rife in other lands

So alter your way...


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