A Life of Song by Marjory Kennedy- Fraser


Only 1 remaining

Oxford University Press, 1929. First edition. 199 pages. Jacket worn with some loss at the top and bottom of spine, remains in protective cover, not price-clipped. Some light internal foxing, text remains clean and unmarked throughout. Bound in blue and black cloth with mottled pattern. A good copy, scarce with jacket. 

'A Life In Song is an autobiography by Marjory Kennedy-Fraser, documenting her life and travels as a Scottish singer, composer and music teacher. During her lifetime she witnessed many Gaelic folk songs at risk of disappearing due to declining local populations, so fearing these old songs would be lost forever she began her to capture and transcribe the music of the Hebrides.

Over many years she visited the islands to the west of Scotland, recording their traditional music with a wax cylinder phonograph, then later arranged them for voice and piano, or sometimes for harp or clàrsach, an instrument her daughter Helen Patuffa played. The arrangements, with words translated to English by the Rev. Kenneth MacLeod, were published in her three-volume Songs of the Hebrides in the years 1909, 1917 and 1921. A fourth volume, From the Hebrides: Further Gleanings of Tale and Song, followed in 1925. One of the songs included in this collection became widely known by the title "Eriskay Love Lilt".
In 1930 she presented her archive of songs to the Edinburgh University Library, including her original wax cylinders of recordings. She died in the city the same year. Her grave lies on the Isle of Iona.'