I play moothie (mouth-organ) and diddle; I sing popular Scottish and Doric songs including own compositions; I recite my own Doric poem; I do some ceilidh dance calling; I talk about the Box & Fiddle magazine; and I describe another way in which I carry on the country tradition.
I was brought up deep in the heart of north-east farming country, in Towie, Glenkindie. In those days practically everyone who lived there was also brought up there and spoke Doric. When I went to school in Kildrummy I had to learn to translate a lot of words into English!
My dad, an accordion player, had an amateur dance band along with his brother on fiddle and music was never far away. We listened to the Scottish dance music programmes on the radio and watched the few Scottish entertainment programmes on TV. We also went to any Scottish concerts in the vicinity which were a mixture of music and Doric songs, poems and sketches. These influences lay dormant in me for some years and, as an adult, I have gone on to play the mouth-organ and to entertain with Doric songs and poems, some of which I have written myself – writing in English and Doric came equally naturally to me.
Nowadays there seem to be few communities where most people speak Doric, so it is becoming diluted. Some entertainers might produce, for instance, a sketch featuring Doric speakers – only to throw in a word that no Doric speaker would use! It is very important therefore that we make an effort to preserve the undiluted Doric!
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