White Cart Ceilidh Band

Gordon Whyte

Gordon Whyte, big boss of the band, does a bit of songwriting in his (limited!) spare time. 

Ballad of Donald Caskie

Donald Caskie, a Church of Scotland Minister from Islay, was in Paris during the German invasion of France.  Rather than return home to Scotland, he ended up being part of the network of agents who risked their lives helping stranded Allied soldiers escape to Spain and safety.  Nicknamed the 'Tartan Pimpernel', he wrote an account of his war-time adventures in a book of the same name.  A few years ago I read the book and was moved by the courage and faith of the man and of the horrors which he and his colleagues endured.  I was also saddened that, as a Scot, the story of the Tartan Pimpernel was no longer being told in homes, schools or churches.  I felt the tale was deserving of a ballad, a song story, the method by which stories of courage, love, faith and intrigue were handed down centuries ago.  The melody is simple and unassuming, simply a vehicle for the text. 

I have had the privilege of performing the song on a number of occasions, and always find it a very moving experience.  I have been able to share the song with members of the Caskie family and, recently, I have learned that the DVD is to be used as part of a Religious Education programme in schools on Islay, Donald's home island. 

You can hear the song and view a slideshow I made to accompany it by clicking the link below.  I have also included links to the lyrics, one is a PDF file and the other is a booklet I made on MS Publisher to accompany the DVD.  I have also posted it on YouTube but had to split it to meet their requirements.  If you have any comments I would love to hear from you:  you can email me at whitecart@ntlworld.com

Song and Slideshow

Song Lyrics (PDF file)

Lyrics Booklet (PUB file)

Youtube Link

You can hear a few other songs and tunes Gordon has written here