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TITLE
The 'Singing Molecatcher of Morayshire' (3 of 6)
EXTERNAL ID
GB1796_SINCLAIR_JOHNMACDONALD_03
PLACENAME
Inverness
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona
PERIOD
1980s
CREATOR
John MacDonald
SOURCE
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
ASSET ID
2055
KEYWORDS
ballads
diddling
audio

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The late John MacDonald of Pitgaveny, Elgin, was a ballad singer, whistler, diddler, and melodeon player. He was known as the 'Singing Molecatcher of Morayshire'.

In addition, from the 1940s to the 1980s, he was a correspondent for "World's Fair", a weekly trade newspaper for the circus and fairground industry. Writing under the pen name "WellWisher", he reported on events and developments in Scotland in a column entitled "Notes from Scotia".

John also made puppets and put on shows for children. In this audio extract, John performs for a crowd of children at Inverness Museum and Art Gallery.

An now, to conclude our show, which I hope you enjoyed, I'm to show you my favourite puppet. Here comes Fluffy! Now, Fluffy, you're a gentleman puppet aren't you? No? Ye're a lady bunny are ye? Yes. She's a lady bunny. And, what's that ye're saying? She wants you to count with her to see - She's got to get married shortly to a gentleman bunny, an she wants you to count to see how many little bunnies she's goin to have. All right, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, (goodness), nine, ten, eleven! Oh, all boys! They're goin to call [it], the bunny football team.

Well, cheerio boys and girls, an I hope ye've enjoyed the show - it'll be my last show, I think. Thank ye all for coming, anyway. Thank you very much. [Applause]

Oh no, I've something else to show you. Sit still. Just sit still an move about. Now. Now, ye dinna ken that Ah wis a maggisen. Nae a maggisen, a magician is the word. All right, I can't change - anybody like to change into a rabbit or a weasel or a fox or anything? Anyway, this is a pack of playing cards. They're all here. Whole pack of them. One for you too. Oh, this one's back to front. No, it's front to back. They're all right. Nothing wrong with any of them. There no doubles or anythin. Right. I'm goin to put them into the pack an got to - Magic before your eyes. Magic before your eyes. It's unbelievable. But there's only one can do it an that is Uncle Johnny. Ah hope. See if Ah can get them into the pack. Make the whole lot disappear. Make them go to fairyland where I come from. Now, wait till - wait till Ah get my magic wand. Wait a minute. Where it is? Where it is? Where it is? I wouldn't cheat. Now. Now, Ah'm goin to say - This is the Comanche Indian magic an Ah've another great trick to show you. This is 'pi hasca (?)', the one to make anything disappear an Ah want to bring something of use back. An out of the empty pack comes a girl's hankie, ye see? An the pack is completely empty. No cards in it at all. Empty as your head, my head. Magic! [Applause]

Now, for the last feat of magic, this is something ye'll never see again. This is the magic of Long Wolf, the chief of the Comanche, my blood brother. Now, this is a fan. Well, the boys an girls make them in the schools in Wyoming, an that's a fan's what they make. But, do ye know what a canoe is? It's a kind of boat, isn't it? Right. Well, right before yer eyes, Ah'm goin to change the fan into a canoe. Now, the Indians make the canoes jist half as big as this hall, an the boys an girls go out with their dads to fish on them at night. So I say, 'pi hasca (?)'. There's a canoe for you. Thank you. [Applause] That's all now. The show is done, an I am done too. So cheerio everyone an enjoy yerselves. May ye live till a deid horse kicks you. Thank you. [Applause]

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The 'Singing Molecatcher of Morayshire' (3 of 6)

INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona

1980s

ballads; diddling; audio

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery

Bill Sinclair Audio: Singing Molecatcher of Morayshire

The late John MacDonald of Pitgaveny, Elgin, was a ballad singer, whistler, diddler, and melodeon player. He was known as the 'Singing Molecatcher of Morayshire'. <br /> <br /> In addition, from the 1940s to the 1980s, he was a correspondent for "World's Fair", a weekly trade newspaper for the circus and fairground industry. Writing under the pen name "WellWisher", he reported on events and developments in Scotland in a column entitled "Notes from Scotia".<br /> <br /> John also made puppets and put on shows for children. In this audio extract, John performs for a crowd of children at Inverness Museum and Art Gallery. <br /> <br /> An now, to conclude our show, which I hope you enjoyed, I'm to show you my favourite puppet. Here comes Fluffy! Now, Fluffy, you're a gentleman puppet aren't you? No? Ye're a lady bunny are ye? Yes. She's a lady bunny. And, what's that ye're saying? She wants you to count with her to see - She's got to get married shortly to a gentleman bunny, an she wants you to count to see how many little bunnies she's goin to have. All right, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, (goodness), nine, ten, eleven! Oh, all boys! They're goin to call [it], the bunny football team.<br /> <br /> Well, cheerio boys and girls, an I hope ye've enjoyed the show - it'll be my last show, I think. Thank ye all for coming, anyway. Thank you very much. [Applause]<br /> <br /> Oh no, I've something else to show you. Sit still. Just sit still an move about. Now. Now, ye dinna ken that Ah wis a maggisen. Nae a maggisen, a magician is the word. All right, I can't change - anybody like to change into a rabbit or a weasel or a fox or anything? Anyway, this is a pack of playing cards. They're all here. Whole pack of them. One for you too. Oh, this one's back to front. No, it's front to back. They're all right. Nothing wrong with any of them. There no doubles or anythin. Right. I'm goin to put them into the pack an got to - Magic before your eyes. Magic before your eyes. It's unbelievable. But there's only one can do it an that is Uncle Johnny. Ah hope. See if Ah can get them into the pack. Make the whole lot disappear. Make them go to fairyland where I come from. Now, wait till - wait till Ah get my magic wand. Wait a minute. Where it is? Where it is? Where it is? I wouldn't cheat. Now. Now, Ah'm goin to say - This is the Comanche Indian magic an Ah've another great trick to show you. This is 'pi hasca (?)', the one to make anything disappear an Ah want to bring something of use back. An out of the empty pack comes a girl's hankie, ye see? An the pack is completely empty. No cards in it at all. Empty as your head, my head. Magic! [Applause] <br /> <br /> Now, for the last feat of magic, this is something ye'll never see again. This is the magic of Long Wolf, the chief of the Comanche, my blood brother. Now, this is a fan. Well, the boys an girls make them in the schools in Wyoming, an that's a fan's what they make. But, do ye know what a canoe is? It's a kind of boat, isn't it? Right. Well, right before yer eyes, Ah'm goin to change the fan into a canoe. Now, the Indians make the canoes jist half as big as this hall, an the boys an girls go out with their dads to fish on them at night. So I say, 'pi hasca (?)'. There's a canoe for you. Thank you. [Applause] That's all now. The show is done, an I am done too. So cheerio everyone an enjoy yerselves. May ye live till a deid horse kicks you. Thank you. [Applause]<br /> <br /> Image Copyright - Elvis Payne. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License.