Charlie Abel CD Out o’ the Box



1. The Hash o’ Bennagoak

A weel kent song from George Smith Morris (1878-1958) AKA “The Buchan chiel”.

I remember my late grandpa singing this tune, he knew all the words but none of the notes. He always claimed that he must have been very musical, as none of it had ever came out of himself yet.

GS Morris wrote many Cornkister Buchan bothy ballads, such as “Aikey Brae” and “A Pair o’ Nicky Tams”.

Hash o’ Bennagoak (George Smith Morris – Mechanical Copyright Protection Society Ltd) 3:57

2.  Linda’s Anniversary Waltz (instrumental)

Written for Linda Thomson at the request of her husband Albert to mark their 50th Wedding Anniversary.

Linda’s Anniversary Waltz (C. Abel – PRS).  4:35

3. The Yellow’s on the Broom

A song by Adam McNaughtan, inspired by Betsy Whyte’s book “Yellow on the Broom” based on her own childhood. Betsy’s mum was a traveller and had married a man who wintered in town. She didn’t like to live in towns as the scaldies (townsfolk) would sconce (mock) them for being travellers, and so they would long to see the yellow flowers on the broom, which signalled it was time for the ganaboot folk to get on the road again.

The Yellow’s on the Broom (Adam McNaughtan – Mechanical Copyright Protection Society).    4.00

4. Macduff Maggie

Written for my auntie Margaret Mackey (nee Abel) who emigrated to Canada.
She left Macduff, Scotland for Canada as a young woman around 1960. Initially, it was just for a trip at the advice of her parents to broaden her horizons. There were not many opportunities in Macduff out-with fishing, farming or making whisky. Margaret was to stay in Toronto for a while with a Scottish aunt who had immigrated previously. Margaret’s parents (my grandparents) thought it was a good thing for her to do but had no idea that she’d decide to settle there and spend the rest of her life in Toronto. This song is nostalgic, but the bright side is that Margaret’s new life in Toronto paid off.

I uploaded a music video on YouTube featuring Macduff harbour and old family pictures.  Sheet music and lyrics for this song are available free on my website

Macduff Maggie (C. Abel- PRS) 5:17

5. Rev. Kim Cran of Blairdaff and Chapel of Garioch (instrumental)

Written by Ian Thow from Kemnay, Aberdeenshire for the local reverend, Kim Cran.

Kim’s husband Bill asked me to play a recording of this as a gift for his wife. He emailed me the handwritten sheet music as I’d never heard the tune. I recorded the waltz and thought it a lovely tune.  It wasn’t until later that Ian Thow pointed out that the last 2 measures of the accordion part are meant to be in Jig time!  I had miss-read the manuscript.  I hope you like my misinterpretation of a bonnie tune.

Rev. Kim Cran of Blairdaff and Chapel of Garioch (Ian Thow)  2:38

6. Jellyfish

The music is inspired by the jellyfish of the aquarium in Genoa, Italy. The lyrics came afterwards.  Visit my YouTube channel for a mesmerising music video with the jellyfish and other sea creatures of the Acquario di Genova.

Jellyfish (C. Abel-PRS). 4:51

7. Hibakusha (The Survivors) (instrumental)

Hibakusha – is a Japanese word: 被爆者 or 被曝者;

lit. “person affected by a bomb” or “person affected by exposure to radioactivity.”

The music was commissioned by Ronnie Watt (9th Dan) on behalf of the Scottish Samurai, after he heard I was playing at a Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) event.

A friend, Jonathan Russell, had asked me to play at the CND event in Aberdeen on the 7th of August 2021. The event was in remembrance of the atomic bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. It was the first time the world had seen the use of such weapons used on a civilian population, and if there’s any hope for humanity, it must be the last time.

A small crowd gathered outside the Marischal College in Aberdeen to show their respects and support nuclear disarmament. The peace sign was laid out using flowers on the grass in front of Marischal College and members of the public stood in a circle round the iconic image. Messages were read out from Japan, from Hiroshima. MSPs and activists took turns to voice their thoughts and musicians and poets entertained with music and prose. I gave a short speech and played this music for the first time.

Hibakusha (the survivors) (C. Abel – PRS).  3:59

8. Walker Dam

I first heard this song written by Bob Knight when he sang it at the Elphinstone institute, University of Aberdeen, at a small department gathering I was invited to attend.  Bob had recently received a prize for winning a folk song writing contest for it.   Walker Dam is in the west end of Aberdeen at Craigiebuckler, and if you’ve never heard of Bob Knight please go check out his great music online at He is in high demand at folk clubs all over the UK.  Thanks to Bob.

Walker Dam (Bob Knight).  4.28

9. The Rose of Montrose

Written for Helen Clink from Montrose at the request of her children.

The Rose of Montrose (C. Abel – PRS) 3.55

10. Aikey Brae

Aikey Brae, another bothy ballad favourite by George Smith Morris, telling the tale of the famous gatherings at Aikey Brae for the annual Horse Fair in days long gone by.  Duncan Harley, Fred Wilkinson and myself made a short film about Aikey Brae and were runners up in the Doric Film Festival in 2019.  The film is on my YouTube Channel and on the DFF website.  It’s called “Awa wi gaed tae Aikey”.  Go check it out!

We recorded this track for the film and released two versions online. A ‘radio edit’ shorter version, and this one, the full-length version as originally written.

Aikey Brae (George Smith Morris – Mechanical Copyright Protection Society Ltd) 6:14

11. Italian Memories (instrumental)


Written for my wife Barbara as a birthday present.  Barbara is Italian and Italy is our second home.  I made a lovely video for this music on YouTube, with old video camera footage from our own wedding in 2003.  We didn’t have a wedding videographer, but we had some friends who took footage, in the days before modern camera phones.

Italian Memories (C. Abel – PRS).  5.17

12.  The Northern Lights of Old Aberdeen

Northern Lights of Old Aberdeen is a classic anthem of our city. The song was written by a girl from London called Mary Webb, along with her Canadian husband Mel.
We recorded this track to use with our Doric Film Festival 2021 entry, “I’m affa prood o’ ma sang”, which was written by our good friend Duncan Harley and tells Mary’s story.

Check out the film on my YouTube Channel.

The Northern Lights of Old Aberdeen  (Mary Webb & Robert Wilson – MCP o/b/o Kerrs Music Corp. Ltd.)  3:41


Music arranged and performed by Charlie Abel: Accordion, keyboards, guitar and vocals.

Bouzouki and backing vocals by Fred Wilkinson on Tracks 11 and 12.

Digital arrangements and instruments created by Charlie Abel.

Recorded and mixed at Sunnyhill Studio, Aberdeen.



©CAL Records 2021

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