In an issue devoted to a nation that’s so rich in musical landscapes, we sought out your suggestions for ten amazing songs that might inspire a great walk. You can find the Playlist at www.bit.ly/cwplaylist2 – enjoy!
10 WILD MOUNTAIN THYME Bob Dylan
There have been hundreds of renderings of this heatherclad Scottish folk classic, but Dylan sang this beautiful version at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1969 and although he isn’t Scottish, he gets it just about perfect. www.bobdylan.com
9 THE BEACH AT REDPOINT Boards of Canada
This reclusive Scottish duo specialise in haunting electro rambles, and this hypnotic synthfest evokes the titular beach in the northwest Highlands, which is beautiful in itself but also gives stunning views across to Skye. Search ‘Boards of Canada’ on Facebook.
8 CALEDONIA Dougie MacLean
Ready to shed a tear? Scottish singer-songwriter Dougie here inhabits an old man preparing to ‘go home’, which he embodies as his homeland with the refrain “Caledonia’s been everything I’ve ever had.” A great shout from reader Ruth Taylor. www.dougiemaclean.com
7 GOING HOME Mark Knopfler
A slightly cheerier concept of ‘home’ in the theme from the 1983 drama Local Hero, in which an American oil exec comes to a Scottish coastal village (a mix of Pennan in Aberdeenshire, below, and Morar near Mallaig) with a brief to clear it for a new refinery… with quirky consequences. www.markknopfler.com 6 THE ISLAND
“Will you dance and return to the island of the young?” Just pure joy. Thanks to reader Jacqueline White for this one. www.skipinnish.com
5 MOLADH UIBHIST Julie Fowlis
Best known for the stirring song Touch the Sky from Disney’s Brave, this one is Fowlis’ heartfelt ode to her home island of North Uist in the Outer Hebrides – “The land of my people, the land of my love” – sung a capella and in Gaelic. A gorgeous pick from Karen Olch. www.juliefowlis.com
4 AE FOND KISS Eddi Reader
We couldn’t do this without a bit of Robert Burns. Here the former Fairground Attraction singer turns Burns’ classic lover’s farewell into a heartrending song of longing and separation. Thanks for the shout, Louise Prideaux. www.eddireader.co.uk
3 SCOTS ON THE ROCKS Peatbog Faeries
Lots of shouts for the Faeries on our Facebook post, and their Celtic rock-funk-soul fusion definitely evokes the Scottish landscape, especially when they get the bagpipes out… www.peatbogfaeries.com
2 THE SUMMER WALKERS Runrig
We could have used more than half of Runrig’s output, so strong is their bond to the Scottish landscape, but this is a fabulously stirring and geographically precise ode to Sutherland and the Assynt, with a tinge of sadness for lost ways of life. www.runrig.co.uk
1 I’M GONNA BE (500 MILES) The Proclaimers
Could our #1 have been anything else? Altogether now… www.proclaimers.co.uk
BE INSPIRED BY THE BIG COUNTRY: FROM PAGE 26.