Caledonia's Hardy Sons

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Caledonia's Hardy Sons
Silly Wizard - Caledonia's Hardy Sons.jpg
Studio album by Silly Wizard
Released 1978
Genre Folk
Label Shanachie
Silly Wizard chronology
Silly Wizard Caledonia's Hardy Sons So Many Partings

Caledonia's Hardy Sons is the second album by Silly Wizard originally released in the U.K. on Highway Records in 1978, and in the U.S. in 1980 on the Shanachie label.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Mo Chuachag Laghach (My Kindly Sweetheart)"
  2. "The Isla Waters"
  3. "The Twa Brithers"
  4. "The Auld Pipe Reel/The Brolum"
  5. "Glasgow Peggy"
  6. "Monymusk Lads"
  7. "The Ferryland Sealer"
  8. "Fhear A Bhata (The Boatman)"
  9. "Jack Cunningham's Farewell to Benbecula/Sweet Molly"
  10. "Broom O' the Cowdenknowes"

Song information[edit]

  1. "Mo Chuahlag Laghach" - "A fine two-part reel from the North-West Highlands of Scotland, which Phil learned from Scottish fiddler Niel Morrison."
  2. "The Isla Waters" - "The song was composed by Martin and Andy around a fragment sung by Andy's grandfather, who was born in Glen Isla in 1900. It tells of a crofter whose life was made difficult by the fact that his local 'ale hoose' was across the river from his croft, but miles from the nearest bridge. Crossing to the inn on stepping-stones was easy enough in daylight when sober, but returning after a night of song and powerful whisky was an entirely different matter."
  3. "The Twa Brithers" - "A ballad still sung in Perthshire about internal family conflict which leads to the 'accidental' death of the elder son at the hands of his younger stepbrother. With his dying breath he curses his stepmother who, he realizes, is responsible for plotting his death."
  4. "The Auld Pipe Reel/The Brolum" - "These two Highland pipe tunes are both driving four-part reels. The first is a little-known reel, but the latter is very popular in Scottish music circles."
  5. "Glasgow Peggy" - "This version of the ballad was collated by Andy and retains the story while using, we think, the best verses available from other versions. It tells the story of a highly successful abduction of a young lady by Lord Donald MacDonald of Skye."
  6. "Monymusk Lads" - "An Aberdeenshire song describing a young man's visit to his serving girl sweetheart's bedroom. He is discovered by the lady of the house who runs outraged to the Laird and berates a social system which allows servants to indulge in such pastimes, while gentlewomen must abstain (or at least use more discretion). The young man is thrown out, but intends to return once everyone has gone back to bed."
  7. "The Ferryland Sealer" (3min 24sec) is about the seasonal seal hunting expeditions from the southern Newfoundland community of Ferryland. This is another version of the more commonly referenced arrangement by Canadian folk rock band Great Big Sea. Album Notes by Silly Wizard (No Copyright stated): This song, to be found in Peacock's "Songs of the Newfoundland Outports," gives a detailed description of a sealing voyage of the time. The Scots were heavily involved in the early settlement of Canada and in the sealing industry. Ferryland itself is a small village on the east coast of the Avalon Peninsula of the south of St. John's, and Cape Broyle lies just to the north.
  8. "Fhear A Bhata (The Boatman)" - "A song known all over the Highlands and Island of Scotland telling of a young girl's love for a man whom she could never hope to keep. The version Andy sings is a translation from the Gaelic by Malcolm Lawson."
  9. "Jack Cunninghams's Farewell To Benbecula/Sweet Molly" - "Phil's inspiration for this wild air came from the many takes [tales?] his father told him of the life and people of Benbecula. Sweet Molly is a fine tune that Johnny has known for many years, and here is played both as a strathspey and as a reel."
  10. "Broom O'The Cowdenknowes" - "A song from the Borders of Scotland telling the story of a young man banished from Scotland because of his love for a girl of higher social standing than himself. It is thought that the melody was written by Rizzio, the lover of Mary[,] Queen of Scots, and the words by a lass from Mellerstane."


  • Phil Cunningham - Accordion, whistle, synthesizer, string synthesizer, harmonium, vocals
  • Johnny Cunningham - Fiddle, viola, bouzouki, mandolin, mandola, vocals
  • Martin Hadden - Bass, harmonium, vocals
  • Gordon Jones - Guitar, bodhran, bouzouki, mandola, vocals (Lead vocals on "Ferryland Sealer")
  • Andy M. Stewart - Vocals, tenor banjo, mandolin, mandola
  • Bob Thomas - Guitar, mandola