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About the Dreg Song Project

In the nineteenth century, Scotsmen fished for oysters in the Firth of Forth by dragging dredges over the oyster 'scalps'. To maintain a steady speed they sang as they rowed. Overfishing brought the industry to a close near the turn of the twentieth century and with it, the use of the dreg songs. In the 1930s James Madison Carpenter gathered some of these songs on wax cylinders and typewritten pages. For years the songs were hidden away - lost. Now, with the work of the James Madison Carpenter Project these songs have come back to life first at Mystic Seaport Museum and, this summer, in their home waters of the Firth! Three Scottish Coast Rowing Clubs: RowportyNewhaven Coastal Rowing and Boatie Blest  brought the songs home to the Firth at 7:30 pm on 20 June, 2012 near the Dalriada Bar. It was a memorable and historic evening!

Dregging Goes to University

Are you curious about the Dreg Songs? Come along to Celtic and Scottish Studies at the University of Edinburgh on Friday, 22nd June where Bob Walser will present “Dreg Songs: Out of the Archive and on to the Firth“. This talk will trace the history of the dreg songs from the earliest descriptions and images, on to archival recordings including those made by James Madison Carpenter, up to the present work of the Scottish Coastal Rowing clubs and the 20th June gathering in Portobello.

Where? Celtic and Scottish Studies at the University of Edinburgh, First Floor Conference Room, 27 George Square.

When? Friday, 22nd June at 1:10 PM.

University of Edinburgh

CARPENTER PROJECT SPONSORS