Elizabeth Stewart is a highly acclaimed singer, pianist and accordionist whose reputation has spread widely not only as an outstanding musician but as the principal inheritor and advocate of her family and their music. First discovered by folklorists in the 1950s, the Stewarts of Fetterangus, including Elizabeth's mother Jean, her uncle Ned, and her aunt Lucy, have had immense musical influence. Lucy in particular became a celebrated ballad singer and in 1961 Smithsonian Folkways released a collection of her classic ballad recordings that brought the family's music and name to an international audience.Up Yon Wide and Lonely Glen is a significant memoir of Scottish Traveller life, containing stories, music, and songs from this prominent Traveller family. The book is the result of a close partnership between Elizabeth Stewart and Scottish folk singer and writer Alison McMorland. It details the ancestral history of Elizabeth Stewart's family, the story of her mother, the story of her aunt, and her own life story, framing and contextualizing the music and song examples and showing how totally integrated these art forms are with daily life. It is a remarkable portrait of a Traveller family from the perspective of its matrilineal line. The narrative, spanning five generations and written in Scots, captures the rhythms and idioms of Elizabeth Stewart's speaking voice and is extraordinary from a musical, cultural, sociological, and historical point of view. The book features 145 songs, eight original piano compositions, folk-tale versions, rhymes and riddles, and eighty fascinating illustrations, from the family of Elizabeth, her mother Jean (1912-1962) and her aunt Lucy (1901-1982). In addition, there are notes on the songs and a series of appendices. Up Yon Wide and Lonely Glen will appeal to those interested in traditional music, folklore, and folk song--and in particular, Scottish tradition.
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