Sunday, 28 February 2021

Ewan MacColl version of Scotland


Ewan MacColl & Peggy Seeger


 

MacColl was a Scottish indy supporter

He is remembered best for his songs – Dirty Old Town, First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, Shoals of Herring

He was born Salford, Jimmie Miller -he would lie and said he was from Auchterrarder and had a Glasgow childhood. 

 

He had Scottish parents – his mother from outer Hebrides. He read of 19th century Gaelic poet Eoghan MacColl of Lochfyneside. He collected Scots ballads, 

 

MacColl recorded album of street songs from Dublin, Salford and Glasgow with Irishman Dominic Behan. He was friends with Scots poets Hugh MacDiarmid and Hamish Henderson.

 

MacColl was part of the Scottish Literary Renaissance – 1920s, 1930s connected to the Celtic revival movement renewed cultural nationalism. Both looked back to poets such as William Dunbar and also to contemporary poets such as Ezra Pound, TS Eliot, WB Yeats, Edwin Morgan , first Scots Maker. 

Town planning of people and their environment – place-work-folk. 

Also novelists  Neil Gunn, Lewis Grassic Gibbons, 

Scottish Gaelic Renaissance – Sorley MacLean.

Edwin Morgan

Hugh MacDiarmid

He had strong left wing views and monitored by M15. He married Peggy Seeger lived Beckenham, Kent on his song royalties. He was a prophet not fully acknowledged. Who felt and imagined himself as part of the Scotland of his parents. 

 

We need honest visionaries who recognise the past and see the ways forward.

BOOK: The cultural and political life of Ewan MacColl by Ben Marker.

 

Irish Times columnist Fintan O’Toole writes, “MacColl’s influence on the culture we live through now is so ­pervasive as to be almost invisible – so much taken for granted that we hardly bother to see it.”


Saturday, 27 February 2021

Believe in Scotland


Indy Winners 2021

Believe in Scotland - Led by Gordon McIntyre Kemp: Group independence winner 2021 and Business for Scotland - https://www.believeinscotland.org

Lesley Riddoch – individual indy winner, broadcaster, journalist, and activist. - https://www.lesleyriddoch.com

Important films on the success of similar small indy nations – Faroe islands, Iceland, Norway, Estonia.

 

-National newspaper - https://www.thenational.scot

Encourages debates from both columnists and readers letters. Several quality contributes and offers a voice for those. 

 

AOUB marches  - https://auob.org

Voices for Scotland - https://voicesforscotland.scot

Progress Scotland - https://www.progressscotland.org

 

Details of Scots Indy

Young people support Scots indy by 75 %, 

making Scots indy inevitable. 

They see little if any benefit to the union.

 

Currency. We must have a Scots pound right away and run both currencies side by side, 

Trade: 60% England, 19& EU, 20% elsewhere. 

Ireland’s trade was mainly with England, now its mainly to the EU.

 

The union of 1707 was a trading treaty. England went back on this deal and has therefore illegally broken this treaty multiple times. 

Scotland population  5.46 (8%)

Wales population 3.15 (4.7%) 

Northern Ireland population 1.89 (2.8%)

England population 56m (84%)

Therefore England is way too big for any kind of radical federalism a proposed by the Labour party. At the time of union Edinburgh was the second biggest city in Britain and Scotland’s population was 1m England’s 5 m.  


The EU. 

Scotland has for centuries had stronger links to Europe than England and voted by 62% to stay in the EU. Scotland has its own distinctive culture, history and language and is the oldest nation in Europe. 


Federalism. This population chart shows so clearly WHY any kind of federalism will never work in the disunited and over-centralised UK state.

England    Scotland    Wales    Northern Ireland
Class Issues.  Class is also an issue over Scots indy, as those from elite private schools tend to believe their middle class status is protected by the union – as history tells them. But this holds back the rest of the country as studies show. 


 

YES Challenge - https://yeschallenge.scot


Agency

Reformation is a crucial part of Scots history, and helped to lay the roots of the rise of the west. by making personal responsibly a virtue. 

 

And the interpretation of the bible by ourselves, rather than a priest. This led to improved education  in which Scotland led the way, with its university traditions. To take responsibly for our work ethic, self regulation and perseverance. Our own agency. 

 

The novel and poets took up this idea also. That not only kings and queens mattered, but that the lives of ordinary people had an effect on the backbone of society too. As empire has declined, the reasons for the union has disappeared also. Scotland sees the many other newly indy nations of recent times across the world and wonders why not us too? I watched all these small nations enter the Glasgow stadium at the Commonwealth Games 2014 Glasgow, and wondered too. 






 

 

Thursday, 11 February 2021

CELTIC Connections 2021 review



Celtic Connections 2021 offered hope, renewals and light in dark times. 

This was such a treat to enjoy so many quality concerts in the comfort of our own homes! Variety is a key word at Celtic, and one of its strengths. 

 

The festival celebrates different cultures and the range and quality of talent. It also showcases Glasgow impressive, historic venues - Mackintosh church, Kelvingrove galleries, Barrowlands, City Chambers, old Fruimarket, 

 


The digital festival aired over 30 concerts showcasing over 100 musicians. It has been a huge success with sales (tickets and passes) surpassing expectations with 27,000 sold to audiences from over 60 countries. Over 10.5 million minutes of musical entertainment have been enjoyed by viewers over the last 19 days. 

 

I particularly enjoyed concerts with – Duncan Chishom, Elephant Sessions, Vent Du Nord, Blue Rose Code, The Roaming Roots Revue, The Opening concert, Karen Matheson. Other Highlights – Fara, Breabach, Dreamers Circus, Admiral Fallow, Jose Gonzalez (Sweden), The Staves, Molly Tuttle, Karine Polwart, more. And the Roaming Roots revue with Songs of survival,  


The ‘Farewell concert‘ ended the festival with a lone piper at the Glasgow SEE Hydro, the first performance there for a year - will we ever see it packed again? Also included was haunting Gaelic singer Darren MacLean. There was a poignant poem by Edwin Morgan, The Release. And while the pure tones of Rachel Sermanni sang her song ‘Lay my Heart’ the video showed highlight moments from this years online Celtic Connections. I recommend for a finale showcase of the breadth and quality range of talent. 



The festival overs the whole range of emotions with emotional melodies, reassuring vocal harmonies, and energetic rhythms. The festival is a platform for folk traditions and new talent.. While a scaled down festival this was an impressive line up! Here’s hoping to be actually at the concert hall in 2022! 

While a scaled down festival this was an impressive line up! Here’s hoping to be actually at the concert hall in 2022! https://www.celticconnections.com  




Strange times indeed. Music gives us a voice,

Brings us together,

Offers new horizons,

New hopes,

New dawns, 

That we can dream again, hope again, 

Touch again.