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  • Writer's pictureSheena at Playsongs

A pair o' nicky tams


This one is for John Waterworth, grandad, Playsongs supporter and ceilidh band classmate, who suddenly asked me over a pint after the class - oh! are you Sheena at Playsongs? He'd bought all the Playsongs titles without realising we knew each other. A supporter in the flesh! I felt like asking him for his autograph!


I learned the trick of rocking a baby in a blanket from my old friend, Heather, whose dad gave her shoudies when she was a very little girl in Aberdeen.


Shoud is an old Scots word for rock or sway. Shoudin boats - show boats - were a great attraction at the old fairs. Take the corners of a little blanket firmly in your hands with baby snuggled inside, carefully lift your shoudin boat a little off the ground and gently rock back and forth between your legs.


So, John, this one's for you. The melody of the Scots song, A pair o' nicky tams, makes a fine rocking accompaniment and it's played for us by Sandra Kerr (concertina), Nancy Kerr (fiddle) and Tom Wright (guitar). I thought you'd enjoy the ceilidh band instrumentation.


Find Shoudin Boats in Playsongs Grand Sleepover, track 33.



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