Anonymous Items

This page contains artefacts such as poetry or songs etc., whose origin is unknown or uncertain and cannot be attributed to any known author.

There were three poems found amongst papers of the website author’s (Bill’s) deceased parents, Roger and Lizzie McKay, by brother Robert.  One of these was already published elsewhere on this website, called ‘The Montgrew Poem’.   It has therefore not been reproduced for this page.

The second poem, named ‘Bessie Bell and Mary Gray’ on a typewritten page, was discovered by Bill to be a known traditional folk poem sometimes set to music, related to a plague which caused death in Britain in the 17th century, affecting Scotland (Perthshire is the focus of the poem) before reaching England in the 1650’s.  The progressive folk band called Steeleye Span did a version of it in the 1960’s.  For that reason it is not included on this page.  It is thought likely that this poem was originally in the possession of Bill’s grandparents John and Ida who farmed Montgrew near Keith in Banffshire.

A third poem simply named ‘Jean’ is shown below in the original Doric wording with an offered translation to English alongside by the website author, Bill, for readers unschooled in the mysteries of the Doric dialect.  No supporting information has been found for this one, and it’s not thought to have been penned by the hand of a McKay family member, however it is published here as ‘an item of interest’.


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August 2018