Hamish Henderson

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b. 11 November 1919, Blairgowrie, Perthshire, Scotland, d. 8 March 2002, Scotland. Noted Scottish poet, folklorist and ‘father of the Scottish folk revival’. Henderson’s mother sang in Scots, French,…
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b. 11 November 1919, Blairgowrie, Perthshire, Scotland, d. 8 March 2002, Scotland. Noted Scottish poet, folklorist and ‘father of the Scottish folk revival’. Henderson’s mother sang in Scots, French, and Gaelic, and this laid the foundation of his later interest in folk songs. During his service in the Intelligence Corps in World War II, he came into contact with German and Italian soldiers, as well as the Allies, and made notes of many of the songs and tunes that he heard. Henderson’s Elegies For The Dead In Cyrenaica, a collection of poems started in Tunisia in 1943, and completed in Scotland in 1947, won him the Somerset Maugham Award in 1949, and he chose to travel to Italy with the prize money. After the war he was contacted by Alan Lomax, whom he assisted on a collecting tour of Scotland in 1951. Henderson acquired, for the then newly formed School Of Scottish Studies, the Scottish recordings made by Lomax, and ‘discovered’ Jeannie Robertson in 1953. His ‘The Freedom Come-All-Ye’ came to be regarded as an unofficial Scottish anthem. In 1955, he became a representative of the School Of Scottish Studies, and continued to make appearances at festivals. Henderson was a lifelong passionate socialist and refused an OBE in the 80s.