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VARIOUS ARTISTS - Favourite Scottish Songs (For A The Bairns And Awbuddie Else)

VARIOUS ARTISTS - Favourite Scottish Songs (For A The Bairns And Awbuddie Else)
Greentrax Recordings CDGMP8016

In what is almost Greentrax’s version of Scotland’s greatest hits (but none the worse for that!), the label’s latest volume consists of well-known standards, with two aims in mind, namely: - expressing hopes for “a fairer and more just society, freedom and love” and secondly, attempting to open a discussion about a Scottish national anthem.

The album begins with the live recording of Sheena Wellington’s stunning rendition of A Man’s A Man at the opening of Scotland’s Parliament. Five Burns songs in total are included, the others being Ae Fond Kiss (Rod Patterson), My Love Is Like A Red Red Rose (Davy Steele), Sic A Parcel Of Rogues (Fiona Forbes of the Sangsters) and Auld Lang Syne (Mairi Campbell and David Francis).

Jim Reid, with his soft and homely brogue, sings Freedom Come All Ye. Follow The Heron (Karine Polwart) and Both Sides The Tweed (Dick Gaughan) are more contemporary, and one surprising and delightful inclusion is Scotland’s Story, written by the Proclaimers and sung by Tom Lawrie. There are chorus songs as well, these being Sae Will We Yet (Tony Cuffe/Jock Tamson’s Bairns) and In Freendships Name (Gordeanna McCulloch).

The usual comprehensive booklet is included with full lyrics and background notes to the songs and singers. There is even space to cite Simone Weill!

Anyone wanting one album to give a flavour of all that is good in Scots music need look no further than Favourite Scottish Songs. Its warmth, range and excellent quality of beautiful singing and diction are of the best.

Jim McCourt

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This album was reviewed in Issue 105 of The Living Tradition magazine.