‘I’m awfa happy that someone has done this amount o’ work for the Doric. I left Rosehearty in 1984 fan I was 20 and have lived a’ ower the island, fae Glaisga to London but I’m currently resident in Govan working as an archaeologist for the last 12 years. I was until 2006, full-time writer/ musician in a band and it’s true that I mostly wrote and performed in the Doric tongue, however, sometimes fan ye need ti’ get a message ower ti’ folk fa canna spik richt, ye hiv ti’ resort ti’ that awfa orra tongue tee! I would love to let you hear some songs and I hear that you like the two bananas in a basket?

I could news aboot Doric until the coos come hame!,

A’ the best Clarky or ‘Ingins’ as I used ti be caad’

The whole concept of keeping the Doric language alive is important to me as it works in tandem with my life as an archaeologist which is chiefly concerned with recording who was here, why, when, and what things affected them in their everyday lives. I feel a real sadness hearing it disappear from the mouths of people who live in Buchan and although I have lived away for the past 40 years, my Doric self re-appears generally around Stonehaven as I travel further towards the Broch.

I do believe that one of the main culprits for the reluctance in keeping the Doric alive is the Kailyard humour and that general view of people from Buchan which has never sat well with me as a writer. The audiences for my band’s music are generally reggae orientated and luckily have a good ear for deciphering our Doric language, but to have the message or sentiment of a song understood, I do think it’s better to mix the Doric and English.

I have found that people are far more interested in finding out what alien-sounding words mean when they are used unexpectedly in a song and are usually keen to learn more. I generally write in English then translate the words back into Doric as I listen to the music which sound’s a queer way to do things but it seems to work. I really believe that if Doric is to be accepted by the new Buchan youth, it must be spoken in a modern context, if we want them to visit us mair aften, we need to move oot o’ Geordie’s byre?

Clark Innes – ‘Reggae fae Rizarty’

Nature’s Fire (Naturally ©C.Innes 1998)

A wee background to the song is that whilst we were on tour doon in England in the mid 90s (last century)! Our roadie was a right folkie and he introduced me to the songs of Robert Burns which I took to right awa, and I still think his songs sound best when sung in Doric! The line ‘gie ma a spark o’ nature’s fire’ is from his work ‘Nature’s fire’ which is what we called the album it was included on. The actual song lyrically was inspired by a news bulletin I watched when Ronnie Reagan and other world leaders were filmed running out of their hotel and into the street during an earthquake in Japan. ‘Ah’ I thocht, ye think yer in charge, but your nae really Mr president, nature is. The words and chords all came together at one time and the song was recorded pretty soon aifter.

Did ever anyone have an answer, since the dawn o’ history, 

Aboot the little toils an’ troubles that bother you an’ me.

Or have we plain forgotten, the meanin o’ it a’,

They build their schools, ti’ mak us fools an’ lay scorn on nature’s law.

Naturally, naturally there isna ony ither law for me but naturally.


How mony moonshines shone above us, to illuminate oor path,

To steer oor feet fae obstacles an’ spare us a bleedy bath.

But in the light o’ the day time, we stumble, curse and fa’,

They build their schools ti’ mak us fools and lay scorn on nature’s law.

Naturally, naturally there isna ony ither law for me but naturally.


Gie me a spark o’ natures fire, that a’ the learnin I desire,

Gie me a spark o’ nature’s fire.. on and on an’ on.


Now it was nivver auld nature’s intention, ti’ surge her stormy seas,

Droon oot a’ foundation and ti’ cut doon men like trees.

But people mak up their ain rules, so they can have it a’

They build their schools ti’ mak us fools and lay scorn on nature’s law.

Naturally, naturally there isna ony ither law for me but naturally.

There isna ony other law for me but naturally,

Fu aboot you noo?

Fu aboot you noo?

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