Grizzly Folk has made a brilliant series on folksongs which would serve as a great starting point for any beginner. There are contributions from Greg Russell, Jimmy Aldridge, Laura Smyth, Ben Nicholls.
See the full article here.

What makes this one of the best British folk songs?

“I heard this song from the singing of Lizzie Higgins and John MacDonald. It is also found in the Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection Volume 6 and John Ord’s Bothy Songs and Ballads. The narrative explains his love for Udny as well as his love for his significant other. Udny Green is situated in Aberdeenshire, southwest of Pitmedden. The parish of Udny is made up of Udny Green and Udny Station, which lies on the old Buchan Rail line.

The song has been sung by source and revivalist singers of the North East of Scotland such as John Strachan, Jane Turriff and John MacDonald. It was also sung by Daisy Chapman, one of the various North East source singers who toured England. Daisy was recorded singing Bonny Udny at the Kings Head Folk Club in London between 1968 and 1970, at the heart of the folksong revival.

John Mearns stated that the song is, “found in various forms in many parts of the country”. Peter Hall comments: “The theme and form of this song facilitate its attachment to any locality, and versions are known under a variety of names: Yarmouth is a Pretty TownBonny PortmoreThe Boys of Kilkenny.”

Bonny Udny, to me, highlights the universalism of folksong; the song, carrying the same message – of love for land and women – can be found in Scotland, England and Ireland, linking the British oral tradition. To me, Bonny Udny has all the properties of a lovely short folksong and would serve as a great place for a beginner of any sorts to start.”

What do we know about ‘Bonny Udny’? 

Firstly, thanks to Iona for doing most of my work for me! So much info in a single enthusiastic email – you can spot the singers who also have the scholarly bug a mile off.

So, what is there left for me to add? Only really that ‘Bonny Udny’ also turns up, under the Roud number 3450, a total of 49 times in the Vaughan Williams online library, and that the central word ‘Udny’ is never very far from the title. It seems to be about as geo-located as any folk song gets.

As beautiful as the song is, however, it has been recorded far fewer times than most of the songs that have been suggested for our British folk songs list so far. First taped in Fyvie, Aberdeenshire on July 16, 1951, less than 10 versions have been recorded in the time separating that initial session and Iona Fyfe’s own gorgeous rendition, released on her Eastcollection in 2016.

Here’s my cleck! I’ve had a mental wee time of it recently and I’m looking forward to the start of my 3rd year at Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. From playing at festivals the length of the UK from Orkney Folk Festivalto Sark, we’ve had a busy few months!

In August I had a brilliant sell-out Edinburgh Festival Fringe show at The Acoustic Music Centre and spent a lovely weekend teaching at Nomad Beat – community music school in the borders ahead of Innerleithen Music Festival. Ross Miller, Charlie Stewart, Luc McNally and myself had a brilliant sell-out Linlithgow Folk Festival show titled “Songs and Reels at The Rose” on the 7th September, then headed west to Inveraray for Best of the West festival. Our Edinburgh Folk Club slot was well attended and was the first gig at the newly re-opened Pleasance. 

This weekend I head to Poland with the Polish Association Aberdeen and the Melting Pot to play at Nakielsis Cantat festival in Naklo. I best be practicing my Polish! Next weekend, Luc McNally and I have been added to the Tarland Food & Music Festival lineup where we shall support Mairearad and Anna then on the 23rd September, Ross Miller Music Luc McNally and I will play at Wauchope Hall in Yetholm.

On 7th October, Luc and I will both be heading down to Wisdom Lodge near Biggar to take part in the semi-finals of the BBC Radio ScotlandYoung Traditional Musician of the Year 2018. Tickets are available here:…/amp

BBC Radio Scotland MusicHands Up for Trad

Tickets to all these events are available from


Delighted to announce my UK Tour! I’ll be visiting lots of folk clubs in Scotland as well as some in England! I’ll be joined by Luc McNally, Ross Miller and Charlie Grey as well as playing some intimate solo shows. Tickets can be bought on the door, or from

7/9 Linlithgow Folk Festival

9/9 True North Panel Discussion

10/9 Best Of The West Festival – Inveraray Castle

13/9 Edinburgh Folk Club

16/9 Nakielsis Cantat Festival, Poland

22/9 Tarland Food and Music Festival

23/9 Wauchope Hall Yetholm

25/9 Ivory Blacks, Glasgow  (supporting Ships Have Sailed)

10/10 Leith Folk Club

31/10 Star Folk Club, Glasgow

8/11 Aberdeen Folk Club

9/11 Folk at the Salmon Bothy

10/11 Hootananny Inverness

17/11 Strathaven Folk Club

18/11 Milngavie FolkClub 

20/11 The Burns Club of London (Koshka Duff/Carol Anderson)

14/12 Loughton Folk Club

15/12 The Big Comfy Bookshop,

Iona Fyfe (4)

There’s 31 days to help fund “Remedium”, a project linking Polish and Scots culture, sending 30 Aberdonian musicians to Nakielsis Cantat festival in Poland. There’s £4000 to raise! The visiting singers and musicians will perform over three days for a public of over 700 people, and these events will be covered by Polish national television, as well as TVP3 in Bydgoszcz, and Radio Nakło. But desperately need a little help to cover travel costs. Help fund the project by Polish Association Aberdeen. 

You can contribute here:


Looking forward to play at Linlithgow Folk Festival, where myself and Luc McNally along with Ross Miller and Charlie Stewart will play a double-bill show on 7th September at The Rose Club. Ross and Charlie will be launching their EP “Accidental Belterism” and will have CD’s on the night! Tickets for Songs and Reels at The Rose are available here or from Glenn Miller on 01506 840668.

“In a Festival first, we are bringing together four of Scotland’s finest young traditional musicians for a fabulous concert at Linlithgow Rose Social Club. They will play as two duos and then come together for an amazing finale. Linlithgow’s town piper Ross Miller joins BBC Young Traditional Musician of the Year Charlie Stewart to create a dynamic blend of traditional tunes and songs based around tight tune playing, variations, interweaving harmonies and rhythmic ideas. The piper and fiddler won a Danny Kyle award at Celtic Connections 2016. The second duo features Aberdeenshire folksinger and BBC Young Trad finalist, Iona Fyfe, who is establishing herself as one of the most stunning voices on the circuit today. She will be joined by County Durham guitarist and singer Luc McNally, who performs with Sketch, Snuffbox and Dosca.”