Born Elizabeth Ann Higgins in Guest Row, Aberdeen, she was the daughter of settled Travellers the piper Donald "Donty" Higgins and the singer Jeannie Robertson. In 1941, after her school was twice bombed during World War II, Lizzie moved with her mother to the rural town of Banchory, where the local children bullied her for her heritage. She was so unhappy in this environment that she left school at fifteen despite the pleasure she gained from studying. She moved back to Aberdeen to fillet fish and take seasonal agricultural labouring.
She did not take up public singing until 1967 because she did not wish to distract public attention from her mother. "The folk scene claimed Jeannie. I didnae want it tae claim me", she explained later. She debuted at the Aberdeen Folk Song Festival, persuaded to sing by folk song collector Peter Hall.
- The Princess of the Thistle (12" LP record. Topic 12 T 185. Mono. Recorded by Bill Leader, notes by Peter Hall. London, Topic Records Ltd., 1969)
- "Up and Awa' wi' the Laverock (Topic, 1975)
- "What a Voice" [12" LP] Lismor Folk Records 1985
- In Memory of Lizzie Higgins 1929 – 1993 (Musical Traditions, 2006)