Songs for Scotland – a festival of voices exalting the power of Yes


Shooglenifty join Songs for Scotland gig lineup

By Vonny Moyes

You’re in a room. A wee room, in a Glasgow venue. People crammed in like tinned pilchards, clutching warm plastic pints, shoulder to shoulder, gazing forward, waiting. Of course there’s some muckle great fella marking a spot he’s stratospherically disqualified from, the lassie who’s dumped her coat and bag in the middle of the floor – a pile that soon breeds – to guarantee a metre square of unspoiled air. Oh, and the gangly enthusiastic dancer. The ground is a minefield of sticky somethings, crushed cups and accidental beer slicks. The air is warm; smoggy with a hundred pre-gig preening routines, chatter and a familiar pub playlist.

The music stops. The lights dim. Musicians trot on, gulping down jitters, brandishing instruments with intent. The woos and whistles erupt. The band tunes up. The drummer can’t resist a few hits. A nod to sound guy, and it begins. A bass line drives at your chest, a bass drum mainlines to your toes, a crisp guitar lick howls out grabs hold, and then vocals. A melody melts over you, the spell cast, provoking a vestigial ripple of glee from spine upwards. It’s too loud, but right now your hearing’s tomorrow’s problem. This is music. Live music. This is living.

Music is in everything. It’s born in all of us, even if we can’t hear it. It’s the siren’s song that unites us, in sadness or celebration, in solemnity or satisfaction. Since time began the arts have shaped our nation. They’ve responded to our surroundings, challenging, highlighting and fighting for or against the things that define us. Right now Scotland is experiencing her most significant political epoch in our lifetimes, and with that the arts have come alight. There’s a cultural renaissance sweeping through our wee country, alight with bright young voices and fresh perspectives on Scottishness.

On 3rd September Bella Caledonia hosts Songs for Scotland – a festival of proud, relevant voices exalting the power of Yes. A gig that beats with the heart of the indy movement, in tandem with a one-off album of aspirational songs . Songs imbued with a genuine belief in change, rather than the promise of a £500 payoff.

While we can’t overlook the significance of our deep-rooted folk heritage, the night plans to laud the other voices woven into our rich musical tapestry. Scottish hip-hop, once a joke has become an unstoppable reactionary force against the marginalisation of our nation. The roster features Loki, a Glaswegian rapper who is bricks and mortar to the genre. Producing his first album at just nineteen, phoenixing from the ashes of homelessness, death and substance abuse, his revolutionary rhymes, ruthless delivery, and tireless activism have earned him a spot amongst the country’s most outspoken MC’s. The significance of burgeoning celt hip-hop genre is undeniable, with the Gaidhlig community’s own MC Gille-Goillidh performing Up-Ap, and album–only support in the form of Stanley Odd’s laser-guided funk precision and mighty political lyricism.

There’s also Adam Ross; frontman of Glasgow’s indie-pop love-in Randolph’s Leap, and unsuspecting wielder of Scotland’s canniest rhyming couplets. Whilst the band is a cacophonous whirling dervish of gleeful pop goodness, Ross’s solo performances are a thing of beauty. In the absence of his seven-strong rabble, his music takes on a quiet earnestness otherwise lost in the moment.

Dr. Zara Gladman’s pro-indy parody poster-girl Lady Alba will be bringing a touch of humour to the proceedings. Having become the unofficial face of the Yes movement, her lighting-striped alter-ego has become synonymous with the more comical offerings of the out-of-touch Better Together campaign. Continuing the offbeat touch, Edinburgh’s Shooglenifty bring their flavour of genre-spanning hypno-folkadelic revelry. Their celtic folk fusion is a patchwork of haunting balladry, acid house, and gritty banjo riffs is not to be missed.

Why is a night of music so important?

Music inspires us, and reminds us of the world that exists outside of politics. We’re not just fighting against poverty, or nukes, or a crippled economy – we’re fighting for the arts. We’re fighting for a meaningful landscape for our talent to flourish. This is our time stand against the cockeyed taxonomy of contemporary Scotland; we can do that by uniting our voices in hope. In buying a ticket, you’re acknowledging the importance of our cultural legacy, and guaranteeing your place at a final big knees-up before everything changes, forever.

These aren’t just songs for Scotland; they’re songs of hope, and a beacon for those whose belief falters, or who can’t find courage in the bluff and bluster.

Come along, bring your friends and make memories of a night untainted by the polls and electrified by progress. Regardless of what happens on September 18th, we’re about to walk into a hurricane; this wee gig is a moment in the eye to remind us why we’re doing it.

Buy your tickets here, from only £15.00

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  1. Patrick Hogg says:

    Brilliant stuff: cant wait to attend the gig: here is a song of ma ain –

    Rise Caledonia – lyrics for tune Highland Cathedral

    Rise! Caledonia, land where eagles fly
    High, where the snowy mountains touch the sky
    Gliding o’er forests spreading green, so free
    Down, where the glen and river meet the sea.

    Rise Caledonia, land of heroes bold
    Genius, Inventors, poets new and old
    Auld Lang Syne unites the hearts and minds
    Our song of friendship to all mankind.

    Rise Caledonia, we will drink to you
    With courage and friendship in all we do
    The bitter days of the past are gone
    As Scotland’s flame burns on and on!

    Rise Caledonia to your Destiny
    Hearts of passion beat for Liberty
    Come, heed the call now and you will see
    Scotland, a nation once again and free!

    Rise Caledonia, land of far-flung fame
    Freedom is calling the Scottish name
    Come, celebrate, hear the Piper’s play,
    At Calton hill, on Independence Day!

    Rise Caledonia, to your destiny
    Hearts of passion beat for Liberty
    Come, heed the call now and you will see
    Scotland a nation once again and free!

    repeat chorus twice to end and repeat last line of chorus as refrain

  2. Patrick Hogg says:

    A second sang – tae its ain tune.

    Let Freedom Ring

    Every river must find its own way to the sea
    Like the soul and the spirit search to be free
    There’s a voice in the gale – a candle burns bright
    A path through the darkness – a light in the night
    See a people’s history reflect in their eyes
    On the floodtide of hope our people will rise
    The future is ours, a new dawn to bring
    For CALEDONIA, let Freedom ring

    Chorus: Come on ye Scots, Rise up and see
    A nation again, it’s our destiny

    When you hear the drums roll and the pipers loud play
    In Princes St gardens on a fine summers day
    Or at Glasgow Green where they march side by side
    Let the skirl o the pipes fill you wi’ pride
    It’s people like you and people like me
    We built this country – the strong and the free
    The future is ours – a new dawn to bring
    For CALEDONIA, Let Freedom ring

    The wealth of a nation is our people and land
    The sea, tide and wind are ours to command:
    The union is broken, a new vision’s in sight
    Let’s pull together right is our might!
    For the sake of our children, their rights to reclaim:
    For Freedom alone, not for glory nor fame
    The future is ours, a new dawn to bring
    For CALEDONIA, Let Freedom ring

  3. Patrick Hogg says:

    There is an old saying that they who make the ballads eventually make the laws! ie ideas and ideals go into the wider culture (like the phrases of Burns such as Man’s inhumanity to man’ etc) The song for the Commonwealth games ought to have been SCOTLAND WILL FLOURISH, but it was fantastic to hear a lovely rendition of FREEDOM COME ALL YE. There was of course the saying coined when the old Scottish parliament was closed which said Now there’s the end of an auld sang. Let a new sang ring out loud across our new nation come 19th September!

  4. Patrick Hogg says:

    Anither sang – tae the tune Sound the Pibroch

    Play the Pipes o Freedom

    Raise the Saltire up on high
    O’er Holyrood see her fly;
    Come every Scot this slogan cry!
    Play the pipes o Freedom!
    Patriot’s light a burnin’ flame;
    The stane o’ destiny ‘s hame;
    A Nation’s Right we justly Claim;
    Play the pipes o Freedom!

    Tha tighin fodham, fodham, fodham
    Tha tighin fodham, fodham, fodham
    Tha tighin fodham, fodham, fodham
    Play the pipes o Freedom

    Come march thegither yin and a’!
    United we’ll never fa’
    Our People’s will it shall be law
    Play the pipes o Freedom!
    Nae mair we’ll bend the servile knee
    Sovereign in oor ain country
    A Nation ance again we’ll be!
    Play the pipes o Freedom

    To Trident let us bid fareweel
    Let jobs and social justice heal
    For each and all in Commonweal
    Play the pipes o Freedom!
    It’s up to YOU, YOU have your say
    Let’s make a date with Destiny!
    On Scotland’s INDEPENDENCE DAY
    We’ll Play the Pipes o Freedom!

  5. Patrick Hogg says:

    The Dreams of Caledonia
    I was brought up to be proud o’ a’ the work I’ve done
    To be honest & hard working, like father like son.
    We worked by sweat an toil, to fish the wildest seas
    Freedom, it was in our veins, just like a summer breeze.
    Rugged as the headland, he taught me right from wrong
    This land it is our homeland, and to us it should belong

    Oh oh oh let the drums begin
    Oh oh oh one battle left to win
    Oh oh oh We’ve got to make a stand
    Win back Caledonia, our heartland.

    The spirit of Caledonia runs deep within my veins
    In my head and heart, it is she alone who reigns
    Her people are exploited, in debt, tied and bound Her industries laid waste to drive wages down
    From Thatcher greed to Cameron, Tories in control
    Another generation thrown on the dole!

    The Dreams of Caledonia are like the rising tide
    Whatever dreams may come are for us to decide
    The West wind calls her echoes home as day turns to night
    Let’s govern our country it’s natural and right
    It is the way it’s meant to be, let’s make it real
    Tick the box of Liberty for the Commonweal!

    The Dreams of Caledonia are to see her people free
    Free from fear and hunger, to live with dignity
    Her food will feed our children; her fuel will keep us warm
    Her wealth will build us houses, protection from the storm
    We have the skills and knowledge, we know what to do
    The time’s come to stand up an’ make our dreams come true

  6. Dr JM Mackintosh says:

    Anybody heard of what happened to the Vote Nob Orders house band –
    Flowers of the Union and their inspiring song “Don’t build another Wall” – or something like that?

    Have they ever played again after their stunning debut on BBC news?
    A complete Astroturf stunt –perhaps.

  7. Fay Kennedy. says:

    Great lyrics Patrick. Song and music are truly inspiring.

  8. James Dow A voice from the diaspora says:

    Brilliant work and words Patrick. After emigrating in 1952 to Australia, I returned for one week on a business trip in 1999 the first week of May, and you know what happened then. I wrote this poem in response.

    Scotland nineteen ninety nine
    Things began to align
    A Scotland devolved
    With new found resolve
    Our old enemies fear
    Transparently clear
    For what will they lose?
    Without Scotland to use
    We will be as before
    Our task to restore
    Old Scotland to glory
    To continue our story

    We may emigrate but Scotland always remains our HOME.

  9. There is a lot of music being created supporting the Yes campaign! Some of it is very diverse and unusual.

    I think the “Songs for Scotland” project is very promising and look forward to its success.

    I have done a 3-track EP which is targeting the “classier” end of the music-listening spectrum, it is intended for a chamber performance in St Andrews. will get you a free download of the first track!

  10. YESGUY says:

    Big plug for a song for Scotland. The Libations “Caledonia” WITH ALL MONEY RAISED GOING TO FOOD BANK CHARITIES

    These guys put the effort in and we can do our wee bit.

    Watch the video and remember the song is out for release 27th July.

    Or go to web page

    Best version EVER

    1. Paddy S Hogg says:

      Libations!!!!! Darren and team: what a terrific utterly brilliant version of Caledonia. Loved it. Thank you for sharing and good luck with raising funds! It would be class if you guys did any of my lyrics/songs as printed here. Be good tae hear you live sometime soon………….

  11. Paddy S Hogg says:

    Thanks Fay and James – excellent poem of your own my guid countryman! Scotland is vibrant with talent in arts and culture and it would be a great boost to our collective confidence and consciousness if our nation chooses self-government; its normal everywhere else. So let the Commonwealth become that old socialist phrase our collective Commonweal. No more NATIONAL INTEREST of the rich elites, it should be the common good of the nation, ie the COMMONWEAL of us.

  12. Paddy S Hogg says:

    Anyone looking to sing my song lyrics as above are very welcome to do so. It would be a pleasure to hear them sung by talented musicians!

  13. brianmchugheng says:

    What time is the Songs For Scotland gig?

    1. bellacaledonia says:

      7 – 11 pm

      1. brianmchugheng says:

        Cheers, I’m going to Edinburgh to see ‘The Pure, Dead and Brilliant’ in the afternoon, so hopefully be back in time. 🙂

      2. brianmchugheng says:

        Scratch that last comment, P,D&B is on the 2nd… Hockey final is on Sunday morning… getting all my ticket dates mixed up for next weekend. Phew 🙂

  14. EricF says:

    This isn’t on the same level as any of the above, but I wrote it a while back and every so often I share it!

    Leonard Cohen it ain’t, but it’s raised the odd smile…..

  15. Paddy S Hogg says:

    Thanks Eric. Good advice. I will adopt it all literally. So I have bolted the door. Locked masel in the hoose. But how dae I get ootside tae Vote Naw? LOL

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