‘The Road’ – Ollaberry Hall

Again only one person for my evening session but, as last night, what a creative person.

I had Isla aged 11 from the school. She persuaded her dad to take her there and we suggested he returned in an hour, so he dutifully returned at 7.

By that time we had composed a tune and a song and Isla wanted to do more, so he went away and when he came back we had made another one and a half songs.

We sang them all to him and then called it a day and I drove back to Lerwick in the storm, with car moving all over the road.

Sad to miss the chip shop in Bray – it had closed 25 minutes before I got there, so supper was a sandwich from the Co-op.

Isla made up her name and place (Ollaberry) as a melody and played it on the keyboard – a really good little tune, with me accompanying. We then talked about what to make a song about as Isla doesn’t live on or even very near ‘the road’. So we did it about modes of transport. Great words and melodies and three verses, a chorus and an ‘extra’ bit (the middle 8?)

Isla on Isla


The way I get around

By pony, bike and car

Northmainland and out

I can go quite far

verse 1

Dad’s got a sports car

And a new red pick-up

Mam’s is silver wide and big

Bigger than you think

verse 2

It’s at granny’s house

I don’t use it much

It’s lime and white

It’s my ordinary bike

verse 3

I used to go by pony

To Auntie Kath’s beach

The pony was called Isla

We rode in sunny weather


Grandad works on the fishing boat

The weather topples and turns

I stay here – nice and dry

While out there there’s a storm

We recorded it and then Isla got my map out and started to look at the places en route and this song emerged again very quickly. Ilsa really liked all the names of places like Fladdabister and Helsingott.

Shetlands Travels


All the way from Skaw to Sumburgh Head

All the way from Unst to Yell

From Yell to the Mainland

Now on the Mainland

verse 1

Go past Mossbank

Go past Hillside

Go past Girlsta

Till you find yourself in Lerwick

You’re in Lerwick

verse 2

Go past Easter Quarff

Go past Fladdabister

Go past Cunningsburgh

Till you find yourself in Sandwick

You’re in Sandwick

verse 3

Go past Northpunds

Go past Skelberry

Go past Hestingott

Till you find yourself in Sumburgh

You’re at Sumburgh Head

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