Frank Taylor, The Flying Scotsman - An Immigrant's Prayer

The Tradition of Folk Music

From the age of sixteen, when my mother helped me buy my first Martin guitar, I was an active participant in the thriving folk music scene in Scotland.  Through the 1960's Glasgow was the mecca for folk lore in the British Isles. I had the opportunity to down a pint and play music with the great writers and leading authorities in folk music such as Matt McGinn, Archie Fisher, Hamish Imlach, Alex Campbell, Danny Kyle, Josh Macrae, the Incredible String Band, The Corries, the Clutha and the million more that graced the Marilyn Bar.  Then we went onto 45 Montrose Street where Drew Moyes and Tam Kearney ran the Glasgow Folk Center.  This was a weekly ritual and anyone not living in and around Glasgow would have been malnourished from the lack of this.  This early exposure to such musical giants, sparked my interest in folk music.  I immigrated to Canada to work as a furrier, and folk music continued to be my hobby.  My musical interest and ability quickly turned into my career after the collapse of the fur trade in the mid 1970's.

Throughout history, family and community have gathered at the end of a week to share a cuppa tea, a wee dram and an appreciation for common experiences and journeys.  These words and melodies have enabled generations to share memories of families and events and the songs have become a part of our culture.  Songs educate those outside the community who know very little about the circumstances, hardships and way of life that developed where the song originated. Through songs, I have learned and written about the contribution the early settlers made in the making of Canada.

Expressing the emotions and images that transcend ordinary existence of everyday life provide ample details for my folk songs.  We all encounter passion, laughter, cheer, sorrow and suffering.  I want to express ideas of being moved by unity, rebellion, social conscience, and protest.  Most important to me are songs which hearken back to better (?) days and those which come directly from my heart, expressing my love for my wife, life and country.

The sources for my material come from the very life I live: family, friends, community, country, geography, culture, dreams, remembrances.  I have intertwined in my compositions, the first 20 years of my life in Scotland and travelling throughout Europe with the last 25 years living primarily in Eastern Canada, and travelling across North America.

Return to Frank Taylor's introduction