Image Courtesy of Colin Lillie
Today is St Andrew’s Day, the day we celebrate all things Scottish. With so much amazing folk music coming out of Scotland over the years and so much international folk music being inspired by the songs and artists of Caledonia we thought we better take some time out to celebrate the day.
And what better way to celebrate St Andrew’s Day than to ask Scottish-born, Alice Springs-based singer-songwriter Colin Lillie to present to us his favourite Scottish songs – and he’s delivered in his best Scots accent. If you’re in need of subtitles hit up Colin Lillie via his Facebook page (and have a listen to some of his fabulous music while you’re there).
When Gareth asked me if a wid like ti write a top 15 fir St. Andrew’s Day an after aw the excitement had wore off, a was left wi a sudden loss o memory an a mind that wis completely void o aw hings St. Andrew an aw hings Scottish. See ave been living in Alice Springs now fir 7yrs playing an working on ma ayn music, that a had firgotten where ma musical journey had began. I mean a spoke aboot certain songs but I had no really reflected on those influences that lie deep in wha a am.
Now once a got oor the panic an began ti hink an got through yon school years that whole pick yer partner fir the Gay Gordon’s got through the shortbread commercial an whiskey drinking image. A began ti remember some songs that took me back ti the days o going through mum an da’s record collection. A wis lucky wi ma mother as she had a great taste in music and when a wis younger a thought ma da had nay taste. He had pipe bands and Jimmy Shand and his accordion band, that he aw ways took wi him on the tours as he wis a bus driver. An so its wi him a begin this journey.
A remember this day as clear mum an dad wir oot an a wis going through there vinyl records and cassettes (yes a time when music came wi sleeves an covers) A came across a tape wi twa fellas wi big wooly jumpers an these two strange looking instruments. A slid the cassette in ti the wee drawer closed it shut and began ti listen.
As the music began to play I read the cover I knew most of the title o the songs so a fast forward to the song titles a had never heard and there a found song number one.
1. “The strangest Dream” – The Corries
This is the first song that made me hink aboot the words made me listen an feel its the song that helped me descover the power o the story teller a was aboot thirteen when this happend. The song its sell was writen by American Ed McCurdy in the 50s an as been coverd by many a famous folk and country star but ti me this is by far the best.
2. “Jock O Braidsoly” – The Corries
When a did go ti school history wis one o ma fav subjects but as ye grow ye learn and discover that no aw history wis told. An fir me songs like this wan an others told me ma country’s history in a way that opened ma eyes. Great story this one!
3. “The Ark” – Gerry Rafferty
This song just reminds me that no matter where we are from or where we are going there is a place where we are all known (Alice Springs). Also it shows how an incredible song writer Gerry was. I don’t think when he started playing wi Billy Connolly in the folk clubs of Scotland that he quite knew where is music would go.
4. “St Anne’s Reels” – Aly Bain and friends
Now this is just some gid auld fiddle tunes Aly wis aw ways on the telly. But a love the way he is no afraid ti experiment wi new and auld sounds an no be to traditional.
5. “Now I’m Easy” – Eric Bogle
Ti be honest a never really listened ti Eric until a came ti Alice. A thought his songs were written by others how wrong wis a!!!! As before music for me has been the best teacher, fir me the song writer seems ti record moments in time to be rediscovered by a new generation an like many Mr Bogle leaves many a stories for people like me ti find and look in to the past and see how life was fir others. This song is just magic!
6. “Let’s Start a Band” – Amy MacDonald
I first heard Amy because ma mum sent me her CD an as a listened ti it a thought ti ma self whit and incredible mature voice an song writer then a discovered her age and was blown away. She is a folkie has won a number of folk awards and a love her. A great wee Scottish lass wi a huge voice.
7. “Parcel O Rogues” – Luke Kelly
A lived off an on in Ireland for 3yr and a wis lucky ti be introduced ti same great music an fir me a don’t think any wan has sung this Burns poem with as much soul. I think it speaks fir its sell!!
8. “A Man’s A Man Fir Aw That” – Robert Burns
This is a poem buy Burns that a feel is a gid way ti hink about life.
9. “The Galent Grahams” – Battlefield Band
Reminds me of auld family friends that were aw ways there fir me as a boy.
10. “Growing Up Beside You” – Paolo Nutini
First time a heard this guy sing a just was flattened and this song fir me just shows how good a songwriter he is. In many ways it just reminds me how a feel about me and my Son a grow each day with him in my life.
11. “When Ye Go Away” – The Waterboys
This is a song I play often in Alice as Alice is a place where you meet new folks all the time make friends quickly but as quickly as you make them they leave just as quick and that can be hard but that is the magic of Alice Springs, the Territory and music. Am blessed ti perform as its aw ways gid ti make new friends.
12. “Ae Fond Kiss” – Eddi Reader
The moment you hear Eddi sings this ye ken that she has made this song her own. That ti me is whit being a performer is aw about sure we can sing others songs but its when you make it yer ayn that when the song becomes timeless.
13. “Green Fields of France” – The Fureys
I always loved this song from the moment I heard it on a tape of my mothers. I have saw Finbar Furey perform this song as well as the whole family in Ireland and Australia. When i foond oot a Scotsman actually wrote it it took it ti another level.
14. “Take You Home” – Emily Smith
There is not much i know about Emily I just know that she has a voice that I can only describe as home!!!
15. “Caladonia” – Dougie Maclean
This song wis first used fir a Tenants Lager Ad in the 80s which wis rocked up so a grew up no hearing Dougie performing it until later years. But ti me when ever am home sick missing a bit o the auld country I get ma guitar and sing this song wi aw that a am. A love ti perform it and always get a great reception from the listeners.
Well a hope ye enjoyed ma choice an a hope we get ti meet wan day. Take care an Happy St Andrews Day!!!!!
And as a special bonus we just had to include the clip for Colin Lillie’s own “Man’s Broken Heart”.