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Belle Stewart


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Belle Stewart (18 July, 1906 - 4 September 1997) was a Scottish traditional singer.

Belle McGregor was born on the banks of the River Tay at Caputh, near Blairgowrie, into a family of Highland Scottish Travellers, who lived in bow-tents (similar to dome tents). Belle married Alex Stewart, a bagpiper. Alex’s father Jock Stewart (1869-1954) had become a champion piper, supposedly the subject of the popular Scots and Irish drinking-song “Jock Stewart, A Man You Don’t Meet Every Day” recorded by The Dubliners and The Pogues, among others.

Belle Stewart began performing in folk clubs in the 1950s.

Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger compiled a collection of the folklore of Belle and other members of her family, called ‘Till Doomsday in the Afternoon’.

Belle Stewart died aged 91 in 1997.

“The Stewarts of Blair” (1965) Topic 12T138
“The Travelling Stewarts” (1968) Topic 12T179
“Queen Among the Heather” (1977) Topic 12TS307
“The Stewarts of Blair” (1986) Lismor LFLP 7010

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  • FraserElliot45

    Such a amazing singer

    16 Oct 2010 Reply
  • Rabdrake

    This 30 second sample illutrates the Sean-Nós (old way) style. Belle Stewart begins singing in a first person about a lover, a woman. At :29 you can hear her gender shift from my to “He” This is the hallmark of the Sean-Nós style. Lisa Moscatiello and Rosie Shipley do a Séan Nos Nua (old way - new) version of “Here’s A Health A Health To All True Lovers.” The absence of the gender shift in both “Here’s A Health…” and “Girl From the North Country” lends the album title “Well Kept Secrets” an intriguing subtext!

    24 Jan 2010 Reply

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