Borders author Alasdair places old Scots rhymes in safe hands

A host of Scotland's lesser-known childrens nursery rhymes have been preserved for future generations in a new book.

Alasdair Hutton
Alasdair Hutton

Borders author Alasdair Hutton’s latest children’s book, Scottish Nursery Rhymes, will be launched in St Boswells on Friday.

Alasdair, who lives in Kelso, said: “I grew up knowing many of these old rhymes and hearing my mother read them and I thought that a new generation of Scottish children might enjoy hearing the rhythm of these old verses.

“Robert Burns had commented in his First Commonplace Book on how good the Scots language is for conveying the music of words and I hope that today’s children will hear that when they hear these old rhymes.”

Alasdair Hutton.

The free launch will be held at 3pm on Friday in Mainstreet Trading, St Boswells where Alasdair will be encouraging children to create their own rhymes and pictures about the characters in his book.

A former politician, Alasdair has also been the voice behind the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo for 25 years.

“I think that the knowledge of Scots is slipping out of the ken of many children today and I hope that this book might help to kindle an interest in many of the Scots words which are distinct from English and can often express a meaning better than English,” he said.

The book, which starts with lullabies and runs up to rhymes for six year olds, is illustrated throughout by the Scottish artist Bob Dewar and has been published by Luath Press based in Edinburgh.

Alasdair Hutton.

Free tickets for the launch can be collected from Mainstreet Trading or online at