Care home volunteer helps save lost songs of St Kilda

It wasn’t until Trevor Morrison’s melodies caught the ear of care home volunteer Stuart Mackenzie, that the ‘Lost Songs of St Kilda’ were saved from extinction.

Trevor Morrison

Trevor Morrison was born in Glasgow’s east end and evacuated to Bute during World War II. There, he took music lessons from a man from St Kilda, which was deserted in 1930. Trevor carried the tunes in his head for 60 years. He eventually had them recorded by Stuart at Silverlea Care Home, Edinburgh where he lived.

Stuart said:

‘He innocently asked at the end of one of our sessions if these computers could record music so I went away and bought a microphone for £3 and said, “Right, Trevor. Off you go then”.

‘The piano was in the dining room. He sat down and started to play. It was astonishing.’

‘Trevor wanted to record them. It had been troubling him his entire life. He was worried that his memory would deteriorate and he’d lose them completely.’

Stuart’s recording is exactly what you hear on ‘The Lost Songs of St Kilda’ – eight simple melodies, exactly as Trevor remembered them from those childhood lessons on Bute.

Trevor died in 2012, but the recordings were passed to Decca Records, who commissioned a number of top composers to develop the tunes along with the Scottish Festival Orchestra.

The result is a whole album entitled The Lost Songs of St Kilda, featuring some of Trevor’s solo recordings in their pure form, others mixed in with orchestral arrangements and some completely new pieces inspired by the music.

Find out more on the Lost Songs of St Kilda website:


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