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The Gentle Shetlander

Listen to the music of  The Gentle Shetlander performed by Dave Ramsay.
Just Click on the arrow below.

Here are the words, if you want to sing along


Oh the gentle Shetlander, Adam Christie was his name
A painter, sculptor, writer, who never tasted fame.


Born a crofter’s son in the shadow of the Mousa broch
This gentle Shetlander had talents sure enough
But leaving Shetland broke his heart, and inside his troubled mind
He never knew what lay ahead, that through his art he’d find


Sailing past the Shetland point, by ferry tae Aberdeen
I wonder if he realised that was the last he’d seen
Of his native land and kith and kin an a’ he held sae dear
As his journey took him southwards and Montrose was drawing near


The hospital which became his life, gave him his basic tools
A six – inch nail, and a heavy old file, he worked tae sculptor’s rules Though he had nae formal teaching, his sculptures looked sae trig Created from a pile of stanes frae the auld Northwater brig’


He made fiddles from old tea chests, and he could play a tune or two
With a splayed old match and some old paint, he could paint a picture too
A plywood panel from a box which once held China tea
That became his canvas for his Sea of Galilee


Did the roots of inspiration for his creative flair
Lie in ancient Celtic figures that he’d seen carved elsewhere
A face of stone carved from a block with features finely hewed
This sculptor’s gift which Adam had, could not be understood


William Lamb the sculptor took Adam ‘neath his wing
Both the Master and the Shetlander, life from stone did bring
In his sculpture of the Newsvendor, which was one of Lamb’s great works He’d captured Adam’s character, his pose, his clothes, his quirks


There is no doubt that Adam found a strong creative streak
Borne out of a troubled soul where it had lain so deep
The sculptures he created which to staff and friends he gave
Live on to tell his story from beyond his pauper’s grave

Chorus :
© Words and Music: Dave Ramsay March 2007
Recorded live at The Creel Inn, Catterline, on 25t h July 2007 Background:

The complete recording of “The Catterline Pier” is a collection of songs and poems, about the village of Catterline and the surrounding areas from Arbroath to Stonehaven, and it was appropriate that this song be part of the collection.
 Catterline is renowned for the number of famous artists who lived and worked here, and this story appealed to everyone connected with the village.



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