Folk Songs

Publicity leaflet for Marjory Kennedy-Fraser and Patuffa Kennedy-Fraser, 1916-17
and recording made by Marjory Kennedy Fraser
Gifted in 1930
Special Collections: Coll-1036 Box Gen 277

Marjory Kennedy Fraser was a major figure in the Celtic Revival who collected Gaelic song and performed with her daughter, Helen Patuffa Hood. Born in 1857, Marjory was a singer, pianist, folk-song collector and arranger. Her series of works The songs of the Hebrides, published variously between 1909 and 1922, remain a key resource for both Gaelic and English speakers. Marjory collected songs chiefly in the Western Isles. Aware that the material collected would, in the concert performance, lose something of the original essence, she provided the songs with sensitive accompaniment.

For service rendered to the cause of music in Scotland, an honorary degree of Doctor of Music was conferred on her in 1928 and in 1930 Marjory gifted her archive of song to the University. Her work influenced further ethnological fieldwork and with the establishment of the School of Scottish Studies and its archive, led to the University having one of the richest ethnological archives which collects, preserves, researches, and publishes material relating to the cultural traditions and folklore of Scotland.

Listen to the recording:

This recording was made on Eigg with Marjory, Dr. Alex Carmichael, Kenneth Macleod, Roderick Macleod and Frances Tolmie and includes a Spinning song and Flora Macdonald’s song.

Story by Rachel Hosker, Deputy Head of Special Collections and Archives Manager