Design: A rather sinister-looking gnome wearing red hose and a red hat, sitting in a hunched-up pose at the base of a gnarly old tree, is somehow attracting the attention of a horde of naked children ('wee bairns,' in Scottish parlance). Though the gnome is not playing a musical instrument, the image is reminiscent of both the pagan faun-god Pan, whose piping fascinated his listeners (see the Silvertone label) and the fable of the Pied Piper of Hamelin who, in retaliation after being denied his performance fee, led all the children out of the town, never to return. Why the red banner across the centre has a bridge-like hump over the spindle hole is not immediately obvious, unless it is echoing the outline of the hillside in the background; the Beltona label name also begins to follow the same gentle curve.
History: Label scan courtesy of collector and musicologist Bill Dean-Myatt of the U.K., an expert on Scottish music history, whose comprehensive book, A Scottish Vernacular Discography 1888-1960 is available at www.clpgs.org.uk. Founded in 1922, Beltona was taken over in 1927 by Edison Bell.