“Berryfields of Blair”

Author: Belle Stewart
Earliest date: 1955 (recorded from Belle Stewart)
Keywords: travel farming harvest work nonballad worker Gypsy migrant
Found in: Britain(Scotland)

Description

Singer describes migrant workers' descent on Blair in berry-picking time; there are city folks, miners, fisherfolk, and Travellers. Some are successful, some not; some work as a family, some alone. The singer praises all

Long description

Singer describes migrant workers' descent on Blair in berry-picking time; there are city folks, miners, fisherfolk, and Travellers from all parts of Scotland. Some are successful, some not; some work as a family, some alone; "some men share and share alike wi' wives that's no their ain." The singer praises them all and blesses the hand that led him to the berryfields of Blair

Notes

Kennedy does not mention Belle Stewart's claim to have written this song -- but, in this instance, I see no reason to question it; this gives every evidence of being the work of a modern who is nonetheless steeped in traditional music -- and the dialect exactly fits Stewart's own. - RBW

Hall, notes to Voice20, re "The Berry Fields O' Blair": written in 1930. - BS

Broadsides

Recordings

References

  1. Kennedy 339, "The Berryfields of Blair" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Roud #2154
  3. BI, K339