March 1906: “The Songs of Scotland” – A Concert-Lecture by Mr John Wilson and Miss Wilson, from Glasgow, in Edinburgh

An article on page two of The Edinburgh Evening News, on Thursday the 1st of March, 1906, reads:




Under the auspices of the St Mary’s Literary Association, a concert-lecture on Scottish songs was delivered by Mr John Wilson,

Glasgow, in the hall of St Mary’s Established Church, Bellevue, last night. The Rev. Mr Findlay was in the chair, while Miss

Wilson assisted in the singing. The hall was well filled, and the lecture was accorded a hearty reception. Mr Wilson claimed

that there were no songs in the world like Scottish songs, which being so numerous entered into every phase of Scottish

national life. Scottish songs, when sung in foreign lands, drew the singer’s mind back to his mother country. The lecturer

made his remarks more interesting by several good anecdotes, and he pictured the Scottish soldiers singing ‘Annie Laurie’ on

the evening before the storming of the forts of Redan and Malakoff. The Scottish tongue was the nearest to the Italian as regards

soft gutturals. Singing made better men and women both in the workshop and home, and the man who went to his work in the

morning with a song on his lips was bound to be a good workman. At intervals Mr Wilson sang ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie,’ ‘Hundred

Pipers,’ ‘The March of the Cameron Men,’ ‘Scots Wha Hae,’ and several others.”



The references to Redan and Malakoff relate to the Crimean War.



The British Newspaper Archive.



George Fairfull-Smith, April 2023.