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Francis George Scott - Composer

He was born on 25th January 1880 in Hawick, Scotland, the son of a mill furnisher. He was educated at Hawick Academy and privately at Brand's Teviot Grove Academy, before matriculating at the University of Edinburgh and as a student-teacher at Moray House College of Education in 1897. Although he chose not to graduate, Scott became a teacher in 1898 and remained in various posts until 1925, when he was appointed a lecturer at Jordanhill College of Education. He received an external degree in music from Durham University in 1909. While working in Langholm (1903-12),. Scott taught the future poet Hugh MacDiarmid, with whom he was later to enjoy a long friendship and collaboration. Between 1923 and 1933 Scott set several of MacDiarmid's early lyrics to music, including 'Wheesht, wheesht, foolish hert' (1924), 'The Eeemis Stane' (1924), The Watergaw' (1927), 'Moonstruck' (1929), 'Milk Whort and Bog Cotton' (1932) and 'An Apprentice Angel' (1933). In 1926 he collaborated in the construction of MacDiarmid's long poem A Drunk Man Looks At A Thistle, a poetic sequence examining Scotland from the widest possible world viewpoint. Scott also set the woric of other Scots poets to music, including poems by William Dunbar. Robert Burns, William Soutar and George Campbell Hay. A centenary album of his songs was published in 1980. Scott was connected with the Scottish Renaissance movement of the 1920s and 1930s and enjoyed the friendship of many of its
leading writers. He was the cousin of William Johnstone (1897 -1981) the painter and friend of Hugh MacDiarmid. Scott died on 6 November 1958.

Works: Three Short Songs (1920); Scottish Lyrics Set to Music, 5 vols. (1922-39); Seven Songs for Baritone Voice (1946); Songs: Thirty-five Scottish Lyrics and Other Poems Set To Music (1949); Songs of Francis George Scott: Centenary Album (1980).

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