Music Lyric Video of Up the Noran Water.

‘Up the Noran Water’, it’s a song I heard first from the late Jim Reid. He had put the melody to the words of a poem written many years earlier by Helen Cruickshank (1886-1975).  The poem was called ‘Shy Geordie’ and features a young Angus mother who is pregnant out of wedlock. It was first published in her collection of poems called “Up the Noran Water” in 1934.

Helen Cruickshank was a Scottish poet though not a very well-known one. She was a suffragette and was best known for her Scottish resistance and political activism. She was also a Scottish Nationalist.   Born at Hillside, near Montrose she grew up in Angus and later moved to London for work,  1903-1912 and then she returned to Edinburgh where she spent the remainder of her days until she passed in 1975.

Jim Reid (1934-2009) was one of my favourite Scottish singers and I was glad to have had the privilege of his company on a few occasions. Even sharing the bill on stage with him at a concert on a few of the occasions. He was a well-kent face in Scottish traditional music. As well as being well known for his ceilidh work with the Foundry Bar Band he was eventually awarded Scottish Singer of the year in 2005 in recognition of his talents and contribution to Scottish traditional music.

Herald article on Jim Reid

Independent Article on Jim Reid

A Virtual Recitation by Helen Cruickshank

I came across this fantastic video on Youtube by Jim Clark.

All rights reserved on this video recording copyright Jim Clark 2012

There’s a lot of details on Helen Cruickshank in the following YouTube video’s description if you want to learn more about Helen.

Up the Noran Water
In by Inglismaddy,
Annie’s got a bairnie
That hisna got a daddy.
Some say it’s Tammas’s
An ithers say it’s Chay’s
An naebody expectit it,
Wi Annie’s quiet ways

Up the Noran Water
The bonnie little mannie
Is dandlit an cuddled close
By Inglismaddy’s Annie.
Wha the bairnie’s faither is
The lassie never says
But some think it’s Tammas’s
An ithers think it’s Chay’s

Up the Noran Water
The country folk are kind
An wha the bairnie’s faither is
They dinna muckle mind.
But oh! The bairn at Annie’s breist,
The love in Annie’s ee –
Wid mak me wish wi a’ my micht
The lucky lad was me!

But oh! The bairn at Annie’s breist,
The love in Annie’s ee –
Wid mak me wish wi a’ my micht
The lucky lad was me!