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Robert Ford

The Harp of Perthshire
A collection of Songs, Ballads, and other Poetical Pieces chiefly by local Authors with note explanatory, critical and biographical by Robert Ford (1893) (pdf)

Though Perthshire has failed as yet to produce a poet equal in popularity and genius to the great poet of Ayrshire, it has not failed to produce a goodly number of singers. Gavin Douglas stands high in Scottish literature, and has given a sort of lustre to the county which as long as Scottish literature remains it will always retain. His rugged versions of ‘Virgil’ and his ‘Palace of Honour' are admirable specimens of the old Scottish tongue, and deservedly rank with Barbour’s 'Bruce' and Blind Harry’s ‘Wallace' as among the chief poetical products of the country. Here, however, it is with the lesser poets that Mr. Ford deals. One or two extracts he has of course given from Douglas, but his pages are chiefly occupied with the verses of many whose names have not yet been admitted into histories of Scottish literature. Their verses, however, are none the less sweet; nor is Mr. Ford’s volume any the less acceptable. What strikes us most in connection with it is the poetical wealth of the county. Few counties can show more poets, and none where their work reaches a higher general standard of excellence. It would be strange if it were otherwise. What county is so rich in romance, or in romantic and magnificent scenery? The Queen of Scottish Counties, Perthshire has also the honour of being the native county of the Queen of Scottish Singers. Next to the songs of Burns, none stand higher or are more genuinely poetic than those of the Baroness Nairne. In some respects they may even be deemed superior to those of the Ayrshire Bard; but whether or not they are always sweet and pure and charming, full of genuine human nature and often touched with genuine humour. Some of her best songs and pieces Mr. Ford has included in his collection. Many others he has included do not fall far short of them. Here, however, we touch upon matters where there is likely to be the greatest diversity of opinion. And besides, our business is not so much with the comparative merits of the writers whose names appear on Mr. Ford’s pages, as with the way in which he has done his work. On this there can scarcely be two opinions. The selection and editing of the pieces has evidently had something more from Mr. Ford than care and painstaking skill. Manifestly it has been with him a work of affection. The selection be has made is deserving of the best commendation, and so far as we are able to judge, he has done everything to increase the reader’s pleasure while perusing the volume. The notes, whether critical or biographical, are informing and very acceptable. At the end of the volume is a number of pieces not by Perthshire bards, but by poets who have written about Perthshire and whose muse has been inspired by the traditions or scenic splendours of the county. The work deserves to be read beyond the borders of the county to which it refers, and will undoubtedly attain a wide popularity. Its appearance at the present season is opportune. A more admirable companion for a tour in the greatest of Scottish counties can scarcely be desired.

Ballads of Babyland
English & American, selected and edited with notes by Robert Ford (1905) (pdf)

Auld Scots Ballads
Edited by Robert Ford (1889) (pdf)

Hame-Spun Lays & Lyrics
Being Poems, Songs and Incidental Rhymes in the Scottish Dialect by Robert Ford (1878) (pdf0

Children's Rhymes, Games, Songs, and Stories
A book for Bairns and Big Folk by Robert Ford (1904) (pdf)

Tayside Songs and Other Verses
By Robert Ford (1895) (pdf)

Vagabond Songs and Ballads of Scotland
Edited, with Notes, by Robert Ford (1904) (pdf)

See our Robert Ford page under our Famous Scots section


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