I Once Loved A Lass (Orkney Blackening) – Music video premiere
A music video directed by Orcadian artist Martin Laird will be available on YouTube from noon on the 1st of September 2023. This coincides with the release of I Once Loved A Lass (Orkney Blackening) to music streaming platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music. The song, an original arrangement of a traditional ballad, is currently available to buy or listen on Bandcamp.
The video is composed from footage of blackenings and weddings taking place around Broad Street, Kirkwall, outside St. Magnus Cathedral. This is juxtaposed with imagery of a strawberry floating in Kirkwall Bay – a reference to the riddle contained within the lyrics of the ancient ballad.
A blackening is a wedding custom found in parts of Scotland. The bride-to-be and/or groom are tarred (with treacle), feathered, and paraded noisily around town on a flat-bed truck. They are then tied up, usually in a drunken state, in a prominent place such as the Mercat (Merkit) Cross.