A Life of Song       (Marjory Kennedy-Fraser)
Item# B1245
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A Life of Song       (Marjory Kennedy-Fraser)
B1245. MARJORY KENNEDY-FRASER. A Life of Song. London, Oxford University Press, 1929. 199pp. Photos; DJ.


“Marjory Kennedy-Fraser visited many of the islands to the west of Scotland, recording the traditional songs with a wax cylinder phonograph. She later arranged them for voice and piano, or sometimes for harp or clàrsach —an instrument her daughter Helen Patuffa played. The arrangements were published, with words translated to English by the Rev. Kenneth MacLeod, in her three-volume SONGS OF THE HEBRIDES (in the years 1909, 1917 and 1921), with a fourth volume, FROM THE HEBRIDES, following a few years later. One of these songs became widely known with the title ‘Eriskay Love Lilt’.

For her contributions she was awarded with a CBE, together with an honorary degree of Doctor of Music from the University of Edinburgh, awarded in 1928. In 1930 she presented her archive of songs to the University Library, including her original wax cylinders of recordings. These have been re-recorded on tape for the Sound Archives of the School of Scottish Studies. Marjory Kennedy-Fraser died in Edinburgh in the same year.

The Russian tenor, Vladimir Rosing frequently performed Kennedy-Fraser's songs in his London recitals. Ezra Pound, reporting as William Atheling in the New Age, declared that Rosing was ‘the first singer who has been adequate to the music’."

- Zillah Dorset Akron