> Folk Music > Songs > Love and Freedom

Love and Freedom / Strathmartine Mains / Hey Donal, Ho Donal

[ Roud 6258 ; Ballad Index Gath066 ; Mudcat 11089 ; Mary Brooksbank (1897-1978)]

Nigel Gatherer, Songs and Ballads of Dundee

Mary Brooksbank sings her own song Love and Freedom in a recording made by Hamish Henderson in 1964 on Tobar an Dualchais.

Cilla Fisher and Artie Trezise sang Love and Freedom in 1976 on their Trailer album Balcanquhal.

Jim Reid sang Hey Donald (Strathmartine Braes) in 1990 on his and John Huband’s Springthyme album Freewheeling Now. He noted:

A gem of a song composed by the author of Dundee’s famous Jute Mill Song, Mary Brooksbank. Mary often told how she was inspired to write this song after hearing a young tinker boy playing the pipes at her door.

Janet Russell & Christine Kydd sang Strathmartine Braes in 1994 on their Greentrax CD Dancin’ Chantin’.

Maureen Jelks sang Hey Donald in 1988 on her Dunkeld album First Time Ever.

Susie Allan (Malcolm) sang Hey Donal on her 1998 album Tipsy Courting, and she and Jim Malcolm sang it on their 2017 CD Spring Will Follow On. Susie noted on rhe first album:

Another song learned from Maureen Jelks—this time a delightfully romantic story with a happy ending.

… and both noted on the second:

This is perhaps the song we’ve been singing together the longest and somehow it sneaked onto this album. It has always painted a lovely picture of the Sidlaw hills, where we like to spend time picking berries, cycling and walking.

Karine Polwart and Steve Byrne sang Strathmartine Mains (Love and Freedom) in 2000 on Malinky’s Greentrax CD Last Leaves. They noted:

Mary Brooksbank was a jute mill worker from Dundee. She is said to have written this song to celebrate the free way of life of the Travelling People and itinerant workers in Scotland, who largely kept the Scots music and song traditions alive. We’ve bent the tune from reel to jig-time (thank you Davy) which allows us to weave in Banish Misfortune. The sentiment seemed just right.

All singers of the “Scotland’s Queens of Songs Recorded Live on Tour 2002” sang Hey Donald (Strathmartine Braes) on their Greentrax tour CD Scottish Women.

This video shows Barbara Dymock, accompanied by Maureen Jelks, singing Hey Donal, Ho Donal at the Caledonian Hotel, Brechin, in September 2010 as part of the annual Dundee & Angus Roots Festival:

Ella Munro, Iona Fyfe and Kim Cairnie sang Strathmartine Braes on the TMSA Young Trad Tour 2017.


Hey Donal Ho Donal from the Linlithgow Sangschule

As I cam by Strathmartine Mains
Wha dae ye think I seen
But a braw young piper laddie cam
A-linkin ower the green

Chorus (after each verse):
Singin, Hey Donal, Ho Donal
Dirrum a doo a day

He played a reel, an he played a jig
An he played a sweet strathspey
He roosed ma hairt till the beat kept time
Tae the tappin o my tae

Oh I’ve nae gowd tae offer ye
For I’ve gaithered little gear
But we’ll hae love an freedom
Gin ye’ll follow me my dear

There’s gowd in the broom o the Sidlaw Hills
Honey frae the heather sweet
There’s a speckled troot in the purlin tarn
A velvet carpet ’neath oor feet

Syne he blew up his chanter
An sic a spring he plays
That I chose love an freedom
Now ah wander a’ my days

Malinky sing Strathmartine Mains (Love and Freedom)

As I cam owre Strathmartine Mains
Wha dae ye think I seen?
But a braw young piper laddie
Cam a-linkin owre the green

Chorus (after each verse):
Singing hey Donald, ho Donald

He played a jig and he played a reel
And he played a sweet strathspey
He roused my hairt ’til the beat skipped time
Tae the tappin’ o’ ma tae

Well, I’ve nae gowd tae offer ye
I hae but little gear
But we’ll hae love and freedom
Gin ye’ll gang wi’ me, my dear

There’s gowd in the broom o’ the Sidlaw Hills
Honey in the heather sweet
There’s a speckled trout in the henlinn tarn
A cairpet ’neath oor feet

He blew up his chanter
An’ it’s sic a spring he plays
So I chose love and freedom
An’ I’ll wander all my days