The Scranky Black Farmer
10" vinyl recording
An obscure bothy ballad from Aberdeenshire, The Scranky Black Farmer tells the story of a young sea-faring man who travels inland in search of seasonal employment. Under the watchful eye of his new employer, the hardships of farming life soon become apparent to the migrant worker. The song itself is an interesting reflection of the social and cultural divisions that existed between farming and fishing communities in the North East of Scotland.
The vinyl record features a collection of eight known versions of the song recorded between 1950 to the present day (2006). The research involved access to archives at the School of Scottish Studies, Edinburgh; and the Grieg-Duncan folk song collection.
Versions by William Milne, Ewan MacColl, Clive's Own Band, Ian Manuel, The Gaugers, Ian F Benzie, Jock Duncan, Shona Donaldson.
The project was funded by Deveron Arts, Huntly