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The Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border was a tremendous undertaking. Scott had been collecting material from the 1790s, but, as Robert Shortreed, his compatriot in the “Liddesdale Raids”, noted, the concept of  Minstrelsy did not seem to have been conceived by Scott then: “He was makin’ himsell a’ the time … but he didna ken maybe what he was about till years had passed: at first he thought o’ little, I dare say, but the queerness and the fun”.

Many of the people who contributed versions of songs and ballads may never be identified. However, those who recorded them, copying out verses as people sang, “chaunted”, or recited them, are known, and we have listed several of the people who were instrumental in helping create The Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border.





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