While the version on Spotify is great and of course well worth a listen - the version of the track you need to hear is this live performance on YouTube - it is truly magical:
Yes I'm Scottish and I can romanticize Scotland - (along with a crazy amount of Outlander fans!) - but this track’s about more than that - to me it's about the idea of home and the strange relationship we often have with it.
It’s the same idea with Malcolm Middleton’s Red Travellin’ Songs - another itinerant Scottish singer songwriter - we miss home like hell when we’re away but - take us back there and it’s not long before we’re off again. There’s this weird dichotomy between the melancholy sadness we feel when we’re far from home and the reality of how quickly we need to be away from it once we get there.
With all that said, this is a beautiful song and a beautiful video - the setups - the musicians - the playing - watch it 10 times and tell me how you can't fall in love with it.
As for Dougie Maclean - there’s a saying in Scotland “he could sing the phone book…” listen to that voice and you’ll know what they mean. There’s a depth, a maturity to the timbre, there's a reason the Scots sell things that cost more with age!
But - for you - for me - for those of us who are listening to this playlist 'cos we're sad - there's just something about this track - this melody, this lyric, this delivery - no matter what nationality you are or where you are in the world - that encourages you to sit back and reflect on the beauty of life.
Best done with a ten year old Oban and a tear in your eye.
You can learn more about Dougie MacLean here:
About the Curator - Andrew McCluskey
The first visual memory I have is that of the white upright piano in Singapore, Hell and the dark forces lived at the bottom, Heaven and the Angels at the top. They would play battles through my fingers and I was hooked.
After my dad died I was very sad - I couldn't play for a while and when I did, the music that came out reflected my grieving state. I wrote an album of solo piano music called Music to Grieve to - from which the idea of the Music to community originated.
If you'd like to know more you should read Nicole's fabulous article on why listening to sad music can make you feel better.