Distant voices, Scottish lives: On song and migration

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This is a chapter about migration, and how it makes us; a reflection on those parts of my lived experience that were thrown into relief by moving abroad, and whether these experiences were particularly ‘Scottish’, or something else. It is a chapter about people singing at parties and in pubs in the west of Scotland, and about the songs people sing on these occasions; it is also about Scottish songs of parting and homecoming, the sheer number of which point to the centrality of these events in our collective memory. The chapter draws on research into urban musical cultures, the role of migration in Scottish history and culture, and the social functions and meanings of group song. The chapter is divided into six sections, each of which references a particular song: Burns’s My Heart’s in the Highlands; the blue classic Baby, Please Don’t Go; O waly waly/The Water Is Wide; The Proclaimers’ Scotland’s Story; Dougie MacLean’s Caledonia; and Dick Gaughan’s Why Old Men Cry.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnderstanding Scotland Musically
Subtitle of host publicationFolk, Tradition and Policy
EditorsSimon McKerrell, Gary West
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781315467573
ISBN (Print)9781138205222, 9780367884192
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2018

Publication series

NameAshgate Popular and Folk Music Series


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