Hearts of Glory

Craig Herbertson & Ed Westerdale

1. McCrae’s March 1:04
2. Johnnie Cope 3:32
3. The Old Masters Set 3:37
4. Bonnie Dundee 2:44
5. The Green Fields of Tyrol 1:51
6. Lady Whisky 3:00
7. Crossing to France Set 2:22
8. The Green Eye of the Yellow God 2:48
9. Hearts of Glory 6:48
10. Hopes and Memories 4:28
11. The Gloaming Hour 3:43
12. The Old Football 3:18
13. The Flowers o’ the Forest 6:33

Produced by Craig Herbertson and Guntmar Feuerstein
Recorded and mixed by Guntmar Feuerstein
Graphics and new Pictures by Ulf Schrader

Produced by Craig Herbertson and Guntmar Feuerstein
Recorded and mixed by Guntmar Feuerstein
Graphics and new Pictures by Ulf Schrader

July 1st, 1916, was Edinburgh’s worst day in the history of the British Army. During the first hour of the Battle of the Somme some sixty thousand men were killed or wounded – among them were twelve officers and over six hundred other ranks of « McCrae’s Battalion », the 16th Royal Scots. It was Edinburgh´s blackest moment since Flodden. These lads had enlisted voluntarily under the leadership of the charismatic Lieutenant-Colonel Sir George McCrae, partly in response to suggestions in the press that young sportsmen were not ‘doing their bit’ for the war effort.

They were affectionately known as ‘The Sporting Battalion’.

This CD was inspired by Jack Alexander’s, McCrae’s Battalion.

« This is not a night for titles: I stand before you humbly as a fellow Scot, nothing more and nothing less. You know I don’t speak easily of crisis. But that is what confronts us. I have received permission from the War Office to raise a new battalion for active service. It is my intention that this unit will be characterised by such a spirit of simple excellence that the rest of Lord Kitchener’s army will be judged by our standard. Furthermore, with the agreement of the authorities, I have undertaken to lead the battalion in the field. I would not – I could not – ask you to serve unless I share the danger at your side. In a moment I will walk down to Castle Street and set my name to the list of volunteers. Who will join me? »
Lieutenant-Colonel Sir George McCrae, Usher Hall, Edinburgh, 27 November 1914

McCrae’s March
(Great Highland Pipes: Neil)
Sir George McCrae: Man of the moment; leader of the Sporting Battalion.

Johnnie Cope
Adam Skirving
(vocals & guitar: Craig – fiddle & backing vocals: Ed – drums: Frank – flute, pipes & arrangement: Quest)
War declared, Scotland begins to define its reaction. In Edinburgh the famous victory of Prince Charles Edward Stuart in 1745 over the government troops under General Cope is sung with more vigour as the armies of the Kaiser become the new demon. Although there is a version of Johnnie Cope by Robert Burns we prefer that of Adam Skirving (1719-1803).

The Old Masters Set
Master Francis Sitwell – Welcome Whisky Back Again – Mrs Forbes of Leith
(fiddle & piano: Ed)
While light opera amuses the upper classes, the pubs down the High Street entertain the common man with fiddle and piano. This set in Bb exemplifies the compositional skills of Nathanial Gow, Niel Gow and James Scott Skinner, the renowned Scottish fiddlers and composers.

Bonnie Dundee
Sir Walter Scott
(vocals & guitar: Craig – fiddle: Ed – side drums: Frank)
Sir George McCrae is identified with the brave cavalier, Bonnie Dundee, as the impetus of recruitment increases. Craig picked up this unusual arrangement at sessions in Ashton Under Lyne, England.

The Green Fields of Tyrol
(Great Highland Pipes: Neil – drums: Willie)
The battalion is formed and marches through Edinburgh.

Lady Whisky

Craig Herbertson
(vocals & whisky bottles: Craig – piano, bass & whisky bottles: Guntmar)
Whisky to cheer you up and drown your sorrows.

Whisky, whisky I loved you tae well
Promised me heaven wi’ a wee kiss and tell
Ye’ll aye be the lady in good company
My Lady Whisky, whisky and me

When first we met you were bonnie and blithe
Warming ma heart wi’ yer waters o’ life
You’re ay the cure for the trouble and strife
It’s whisky today and whisky tonight

When I picked you up you were golden and gay
Breath sweet as heather on a morning in May
We kissed and we kissed till night turned to day
Singing whisky tomorrow, whisky today

Now you have gone you bold courtesan
You’re tasting the lips o’ every young man
And just to kiss you it’s silver to pay
Singing whisky tomorrow, whisky today

Crossing to France Set
Dever the Dancer (trad.) Andrew Carr (trad.)
(fiddle: Ed – guitar: Craig – drums: Frank)
Over to the fields of France by boat and train. An Irish and a Scottish slip jig.

The Green Eye of the Yellow God
J. Milton Hayes
(read by Robert – accordion: Thomas)
Recitation, football, cigarettes, the craze of ‘minstrel’ music in the trenches and the beginning of a peculiar form of madness. Hayes wrote this piece in 1914 claiming he didn’t do poetry, only atmosphere. Craig’s grandfather, Freddie Buglass (Black Watch) and Uncle Doug (Royal Air Force) would spill this one out at family gatherings. The narrator is the actor Robert Herbertson, Doug’s son.

Hearts of Glory

Craig Herbertson
(vocals & guitar: Craig – fiddle: Ed – resonator guitar, keyboards: Guntmar – pipes: Quest – drums: Willie – whistle: Wibke – accordion: Thomas – choir: Dave, Norbert, HyCo, Wibke, Jonna, Guntmar)
In one morning more than three-quarters of the Sporting Battalion lie dead or wounded in the fields of the Somme. Of those few men left alive fewer still will ever again practice any kind of sport.

This is my story
This is my song
It’s a long way from Gorgie
To the fields o’ the Somme
Where they played tunes of glory
As we marched along
The pals o’ the Sporting Battalion

From the Heart of Midlothian
To the Waverly train
The crowds they were singing
An auld Scots refrain
Our sweethearts and darlings
Our bonnie wee bairns
Were waving their flags
And calling our names

Sing Hearts of Glory
Dawn and sunset
Hearts of glory
Lest we forget
Young Scottish soldiers
And soldiers unknown
Who gave hearts of glory

In the trenches of Picardy
The whistles are blown
And it’s over the top lads
Through the wire and the bombs
To pain and destruction
Let the piper play
To lead us to hell
To death and dismay

There was never a moment
I was not afraid
But there by my side
Were the gallant McCrae’s
Until they fell in the slaughter
When the bayonets were out
And the few of us left
Held the auld Scots Redoubt

Ellis and Currie
Briggs, Boyd, Hazeldean
Wattie and Nisbet
He was only sixteen
Their names I’ll remember
At the end of each day
They fought and died
Wi’ Geordie McCrae

Who cared for the Kaiser
Or Imperial gains
Love of our country
Duty or fame?
Between the whim of an airman
And four feathers of shame
We fought for the pals
Of a wee fitba team

And when it was over
Just what had we done?
There were no flags of glory
For McCrae and his own
There were no graves for heroes
For our brothers and sons
Who sleep ‘neath the flowers
In the fields of the Somme

Some came back as cripples
Some couldnae kick a ball
Some wounded and broken
Most came not at all
But they remain in my memory
Forever young
The pals o’ the Sporting Battalion

Hopes and Memories Set
Memories of Vatersay – Waiting for Becky – Jim the Juggler
Ed Westerdale
(fiddle: Ed – guitar: Craig)
Memories of better days and hope through future generations. An air and two reels composed by Ed in the fine auld style. The reels are for Ed’s baby daughter Becky and Craig’s son, Jim – the consummate juggler.

The Gloaming Hour
Craig Herbertson
(vocals & guitar: Craig – fiddle: Ed – flute: Quest)
Dedicated to the memory of young Kenneth Dalgleish, a Hibernian fan, fisherman, artist, poet and fellow musician.

Ken ye the gloaming hour
Doon by the willows weeping
Doon whaur the broon trout’s rising
Ripples o’er the burn

Can you hear the bonnie lark
Ca’ing o’er the blooming heather
Paths we yince walked together
Ever tae return

Oh, can ye hear the singing
A’ through the wild woods ringing
‘Gang ye awa
Never tae return?’

Can you feel immortal spring
Stir the breeze o’ Balimeanach
Where the towers o’ Ben Vorlich
Water loch and glen

Here in the summer splendour
Flowers o’ every hue and colour
One for every day remembered
Never to return

By the ‘lady’s silver strand
Autumn breathes o’er a’ the land
The lapwing pleads, the hawk commands
Let the tide be turned

Noo in the winter’s blast
Gone is the flower o’ Edinbra
Gone aye and gone forever
Ever tae be mourned

So softly silent falls the snow
Slays spring’s sweet sister summer
Autumn falls beloved brother
Tae the gloaming hour

Then in the dusk and dawn
You will ever walk the heather
But never will we walk together
O’er the lands we loved

The Old Football
(read by Craig – accordion: Thomas)
Written in 1920 by Milton J. Hayes; fond memories of the old game, as veterans return to watch their local sides.

The Flowers o’ the Forest
(Great Highland Pipes: Neil)
Composed for the Ettrick archers after the disastrous Battle of Flodden, this fine lament is traditionally played for fallen Scottish soldiers.

The Rose of Picardy
Weatherly / Wood
(vocals & granddad’s violin: Craig – guitars & arrangement: Guntmar)
Written In 1916 by Haydn Wood and Fred Weatherly, one of the most popular songs among soldiers on active service in Picardy and their loved ones back home.


Craig Herbertson voice, guitar, whisky bottles, violin, narration
Craig’s musical career began in Edinburgh and has taken him through Europe and America. He is singer and guitarist with Scapa Flow, www.scapaflow.de, and was the arranger of songs for the international dance spectacular « Celtic Life ».

Ed Westerdale fiddle, piano, vocals
Bolton fiddler Ed Westerdale also plays with Scapa Flow and Fiddle & Feet – who were voted Best International Folk Ensemble at Dublin Summerfest 2001. He is a keen composer of fiddle tunes and was also co-arranger of the music for « Celtic Life ».

Guntmar Feuerstein guitars, piano, keyboards, whisky bottles, choir
Began his career at the Hochschule für Musik Westfalen Lippe. Bandleader of the « acoustic americana » Sunnysiders, comedian and man of many parts.

Neil Forrester great highland pipes
Initially taught by his grandfather William McIntosh, Neil played in folk ‘sessions’ throughout Europe, Canada and Scotland. Based in England he is now Pipe Sergeant with the West Midlands Constabulary Pipe Band under the leadership of Pipe Major Andrew Hall. Neil gained 3rd placing at the World Championships and The Cowal Gathering of Champions.

Frank Jarrett drums
Frank began playing at the age of nine with a local pipe band in Manchester, England and has had such a varied musical career it would require a week in the pub to disclose the half of it. He was a member of The Hodgkinson Bennis Pipe Band which in one season collected 39 trophies including, the English, Scottish, European, World and Cowal Championships. They won the Champion of Champions on several occasions. In 1983 Frank joined the City of Salford Pipe Band while still maintaining a foothold in rock, blues and various Celtic bands.

Christian ‘Quest’ Tewordt border pipes, great highland pipes, flute
Quest, piper with Scapa Flow, appropriately has been invited to play at Hearts and Celtic games at Stuttgart’s stadium in Germany. He is better known as Musical Director of the Celtic Life show which toured Germany in 2001/2 and as a session player from Marburg to Sandy Bells in Edinburgh. He won the Open Borderpipe Competition Edinburgh in 1999 and the duet section 2001 with Esther Kuck, Bodrhan. www.questpiper.de

Willie Bell side drum
William started drumming at the age of five. He served in the 1st Battalion Black Watch before being transferred to Scotland’s Own 4th Royal Tank Regiment. He now travels throughout Europe teaching pipe band drumming and plays regularly with a German pipe band.

Thomas Hecking accordion
Musician with the traditional Irish music band « Déirin Dé ». www.deirinde.de

HyCo Stölzig choir
Musician and sound engineer at « Blue Voice » Studio Dortmund www.bluevoice.medicmove.de

Robert Herbertson narration
A Hearts fan since his Edinburgh cousins beat it into him, Robert played rugby for, among others, the RAF Vultures. After serving his time in the RAF he turned his hand to acting. He is currently appearing with Ottawa Little Theatre. Canada’s longest continuously running theatre group.

and from the SUNNYSIDERS Band:
Wibke Trust whistle & choir
Dave Jackson choir
Jonna Wilms choir
Norbert Denninghaus choir

Photos & Graphics by Ulf Schrader

Images courtesy of Jack Alexander from his McCrae’s Battalion archive
McCrae’s Battalion is available from www.mainstreampublishing.com

Recordings England: Phil Green at Blue Room Studios, Manchester
Recordings Germany and final mix: Guntmar Feuerstein at KopfHörer Studio, Bochum

Produced by Craig Herbertson and Guntmar Feuerstein

Not to forget Rob Carroll, multi-instrumentalist, who played classical guitar on Loch Lomond / Hearts of Glory, Maxi Single.