Gavin Greig

Gavin Greig was born at Parkhill, Aberdeenshire, on 10 February 1856. He was distantly related to Robert Burns on his mother's side, and on his father's to the composer Edvard Grieg (1843-1907), who was born in Bergen of Scots descent, the family name having been changed from the Scottish form. Greig was educated at Aberdeen University, and then was a preacher at Whitehill village school until his death on 3l August1914. He wrote a weekly "ballad corner" for the Buchan Observer, and his poems, written in the style of north-east folk-song, were published in "Whistle Binkie" collections. However his fame rests on the folk song collection he made with the Rev J. B. Duncan (1848-1917), which is the greatest of its kind. Initially Greig was supposed to deal with the music while Duncan had responsibility for the words, but most of the work of gathering the three thousand songs of the collection seems to have been done by Greig, who died before finishing his annotantions to the texts. AC

Last Leaves of Traditional Ballads and Ballad Airs (1925); The Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection (ed. P. Shuldam-Shaw and E B. Lyle, 2 vols., Aberdeen, 1981-2).