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Last update: 16th July 2012

Tom Anderson

I saw Tom Anderson play a few times, both in concert halls in Edinburgh with his friend, guitarist Willie Johnson, and also in more informal settings such as the Kinross Folk Festival. I always loved his playing, and I have the greatest admiration for his achievements as a collector. I believe that Shetland music is so popular round the world mainly because of Tom Anderson, who did so much to collect, preserve and propagate the music, and his one-time pupil Aly Bain, who with The Boys of the Lough, with Phil Cunningham, with his television work and solo performances, took Shetland music to a worldwide audience.


scvm2.jpg Scottish Violin Music - Volume 2 (Waverley ZLP 2015, 1963)

Side One: The Hen's March; Oliver Jack/Willafjord; Smith of Couster's Fancy (Anderson)/The Grocer's Reel (Anderson) Peerie Hoose Ahint the Burn/The Merry Boys of Greenland/Macdonald's Reel; Norwick Wedding/Hillswick Wedding/A Road to Houll (all Anderson); Boys of Bluehill/Londonderry Hornpipe; Captain Gillan's Reel/Bob Johnson's Reel; Barclay's Hornpipe/The Meteor (both Anderson)
Side B: Mavis Grind/Peter's Peerie Boat (Anderson); Kail and Knockit Corn/Caper Fey/Pottinger's Reel (Anderson); William Moffat's Strathspey & Reel (Anderson); Sister Jean/Midnight Polka (Anderson); A Liverpool Hornpipe/Harvest Home Hornpipe; Annie's Welcome Home (Anderson)/The Four Posted Bed; Jack Is Alive/Clettenroe

All tracks traditional unless otherwise noted

Tom Anderson (violin), Willie Johnson (guitar)


da40fid.jpg Shetland Fiddlers Society: Da Forty Fiddlers Entertain
(EP, Shetland Fiddlers Society TD5663, 1964)

Side A: The Teetotaller/The Carpenter; Soldier's Joy/Flowers of Edinburgh
Side B: The Bonnie Polka/The Seven Step Polka/Sister Jean; Da Peerie Hoose/Da Merry Boys o' Greenland/McDonald's Reel

All tracks traditional


ta1.jpg Tom Anderson & Marjory Smith: Shetland Fiddle Music
(EP, Thule Records SNI214, no date)

Side One: Sail her O'er the Raftrees/Deil Stick da Minister/Taste Da Green; The Second Star/Madam Vanoni (JS Skinner)
Side Two: Da Forefit o' da Ship/Sleep Soond Ida Mornin'/Lasses Trust in Providence; Soo's Lament for Tatties; The Hen's March O'er da Midden

All tracks traditional except where indicated


onstage.jpg Shetland Fiddlers: Shetland Fiddlers On Stage
(LP, Thule Records SLP116, no date)

Side A: Da Sooth End (Willie Hunter Jr)/Peter's Peerie Boat (T Anderson)/Mavis Grind (T Anderson)/Miss Jenny Slater (T Anderson); Da Lerwick Lasses/Da Scallowa' Lasses/Underhill/Da Bonnie Lass o' Bekka Hill; Faroe Rum/Aandowin at da Bow/Da Forefit o' da Ship; Mangaster Voe (T Anderson)/The Headlands (R Cooper); Da Hill o' Finnigarth (Peter Fraser)/Da Burn o' Finnigarth(Peter Fraser); Gordon's Favourite (R Cooper)/Da Laird o' Gulberwick (T Anderson); Da Ferry Reel/Lay Dee At Dee/Spence's Reel
Side B: Da Burn o' Wiendia Little/Da Fashion o' da Delting Lasses/Galley Watch/Kail an Knockit Coarn; Jim Anderson's Delight (R Cooper)/Magnie o' da Daeks (T Anderson); Auld Hill Grind/Fram Upon Him; Peerie Hoose Under da Hill/Sillocks an Tatties/Canna Get Me Mare Tamed; Da Unst Bridal March/Da Bride's a Bonnie Ting; Oliver Jack/Willafjord

All tracks traditional except where indicated


shetfid.jpg Shetland Fiddlers
(LP, Leader Records LED2052, 1973)

Side A: The Galley Watch/Kail an Knockit Coarn; Da Burn o' Wienadalittle/Da Fashion o' da Delting Lasses; Oliver Jack/Willafjord; Shaalds o' Foula/Garster's Dream/Da Brig; Faeroe Rum/Aandowin at da Bow/Da Forefit o' da Ship; Come Agen Ye're Welcome/Da Black Hat; Da Faery Reel/De'il Amang the Tailors; Spence's Reel/Lay Dee At Dee; Oot and In da Harbour/High Road to Linton
Side B: Yellow Haired Lassie/Sleep Soond ida Mornin'; Da Crab and da Capstan/Haad da Thing ta Gibbie; Wynadebla/Soldier's Joy; Craw Dang Pussy/Da Wattle O't; Gordon's Favourite (R Cooper)/Da Laird o' Gulberwick (T Anderson); Auld Hill Grind/Fram Upon Him; Jack Broke da Prison Door/Donal' Blue; Sail 'er Ower da Raftrees/Deil Stick da Minister/Taste Da Green; Harlock's Reel (T Anderson)/Robertson's Reel; Da Hamefarer's/Da Sixereen

All tracks traditional except where indicated

Personnel includes Aly Bain, Tom Anderson, Da Forty Fiddlers, The Cullivoe Traditional Players, Bobby Jamieson, Willie Barclay Henderson, John Henderson, etc


sctrad.jpg Scottish Tradition 4: Shetland Fiddle Music
(LP, Tangent TNGM117, 1973)

Side One: Soldier's Joy/De'il Amang the Tailors; Walking Ower da River/Grieg's Pipes; Black Jock/Unnamed Reel/Ladie's Breast Knots; More Grog Coming/The Lass that Made the Bed for Me/Da Teif Upon da Lum; Auld Swarra; The Shaalds o' Foula/Tilley Plump; Da Flooers o' Edinburgh/Soldier's Joy/East Neuk of Fife; Side Two: The Fairy Reel (or Loddy)/Wullafjord/Kail an Knockit Corn/MacDonald's Reel/Cabister Head; Auchdon House; Pit Hame da Borraed Claes/Jeannie Choke da Bairn/Oot B'Aist da Vong; Sillocks an Tatties/Sleep Soond in da Mornin'; Leaving Lerwick Harbour/The Left-Handed Tushkar/Miss Susan Cooper; Da Heids o' Vigon/Oot an' In da Harbour/Sleep Soond in da Mornin'/Speed da Plough/Square da Mizzen

All tracks traditional except where indicated

Fiddlers include Willy Henderson, Bobby Jamieson, Andrew Polson, Gibbie Gray, Tom Anderson, Lell Robertson, George Sutherland, Bobby Peterson, Willie Hunter Sr, Willie Hunter Jr, etc.


silvbow.jpg The Silver Bow: Shetland Folk Fiddling Vol.1
(LP, Topic Records 12TS281, 1976)

Side One: Jack Broke da Prison Door/Donal' Blue/leep Soond ida Mornin'/Lasses Trust in Providence; The Day Dawn/Cross Reel; Shive Her Up/Ahint da Deakes o' Voe; Da Silver Bow; Auld Foula Reel/Wynadepla; Da Slockit Light (T Anderson)/Smith o' Couster (T Anderson)/Da Grocer (T Anderson); The Galley Watch/Kail an Knockit Coarn; Da Auld Restin' Chair (T Anderson)/Hamnavoe Polka/Maggie's Reel (T Anderson)
Side Two: Da Unst Bridal March/Da Bride's a Bonnie Ting; Jack Is Yet Alive/Auld Clettenroe; Da Mill/Doon da Rooth; Pit Hame da Borraed Claes/Wha'll Dance wi' Wattie/Bush Below da Gairden; Soldier's Joy; Shetland Moods (T Anderson/A Bain)/De'il Stick da Minister/Taste da Green; The Dean Brig o' Edinburgh/The Banks Hornpipe

All tracks traditional except where indicated

Tom Anderson, Aly Bain, Violet Tulloch (piano)


shetff2.jpg - 2764 bytes Shetland Folk Fiddling Vol.2
(LP, Topic Records 12TS379, 1978)

Side One: Ferrie Reel/Lay Dee At Dee/Spencie's Reel; Up an' Doon da Harbour/Lucky Can You Link Ony/Da Trig Bag; The Silvery Voe (T Anderson)/Mrs Babs Anderson (T Anderson)/Pottinger's Reel (T Anderson); If I Get a Bonnie Lass/Jeannie Shoke da Bairn/Oo't be Est da Vong; Auld Swarra; Faroe Rum/Aandowin' at da Bow/Da Forefit o'da Ship; Mrs Jamiseson's Favourite (Charles Grant)/Lady Mary Ramsay (Niel Gow)/Mary Ramsay; Side Two: All da Ship ir Sailin'/Shelder Geo/Mak a Kishie Needle Dye; Freddie's Tune (F Stickle)/Da Blue Yow; The Full Rigged Ship/The New Rigged Ship; Naanie an' Betty; A Yow Cam' to Wir Door Yarmin'; Maggie O' Ham/Da Foula Shaalds; Come Agen Ye're Welcome/Da Corbie an' da Craw; Ian S Robertson (Arthur S Robertson)/Madam Vanoni (JS Skinner)

All tracks traditional except where indicated

Tom Anderson, Aly Bain, Willie Johnson (guitar), Violet Tulloch (piano)



Nigel Gatherer, Crieff, Perthshire | nigelgatherer@mac.com