First edition, first printing. Original blue cloth, decorated and lettered in silver, in dustwrapper. A sharp, fine copy. Minimal pushing to the foot of the spine, otherwise without marks or blemishes. The dustwrapper, lavishly illustrated in colour by Alasdair Gray, is equally fine. Not price-clipped and correctly priced (£25) to the front flap. A lovely copy.
A collection of over a hundred traditional songs (ballads, love lyrics, lullabies) complete with texts and simple musical accompaniments. Printed throughout in black and red and filled with a generous array of typographical and illustrative content from Alasdair Gray. The boards, designed and decorated by Gray with characteristic intricacy show framed images of the Saltire flag with a selection of Celtic musical intruments (bagpipes, fiddle, harp) flanking a tree-stump mounted by a singing bird and the exhortation to "SING AS IF YOU LIVE IN THE EARLY DAYS OF A BETTER NATION". This adapts the phrase familiar from the boards of more than one of Gray's books (exchanging "Sing" for "Work"). Endpapers are decorated with a repeated motif (printed in dark blue against lighter blue) of a series of figures, each sporting a feathered head-dress and holding a large thistle, while the colourful jacket depicts a singing woman in a red dress, accompanied by a seated fiddler.
Stock code: 17589