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Songs about: 1979 Scottish devolution referendum

Anne Neilson 21 Sep 18 - 03:56 PM
Gallus Moll 23 Sep 18 - 07:13 AM
Jim McLean 23 Sep 18 - 09:27 AM
Anne Neilson 23 Sep 18 - 12:00 PM
Jack Campin 23 Sep 18 - 03:59 PM
Gallus Moll 23 Sep 18 - 05:44 PM
Tattie Bogle 23 Sep 18 - 06:56 PM
Jack Campin 23 Sep 18 - 07:40 PM
Anne Neilson 24 Sep 18 - 03:40 AM
Allan Conn 24 Sep 18 - 03:46 AM
Gallus Moll 24 Sep 18 - 06:14 AM
GUEST,Observer 24 Sep 18 - 11:02 AM
Anne Neilson 24 Sep 18 - 05:31 PM
Gallus Moll 24 Sep 18 - 06:03 PM
Gallus Moll 24 Sep 18 - 06:08 PM
Jack Campin 24 Sep 18 - 06:43 PM
Anne Neilson 24 Sep 18 - 07:06 PM
Gallus Moll 24 Sep 18 - 07:25 PM
Anne Neilson 24 Sep 18 - 07:57 PM
Gallus Moll 24 Sep 18 - 08:28 PM
Anne Neilson 25 Sep 18 - 06:28 AM
Jack Campin 25 Sep 18 - 08:00 AM
Effsee 25 Sep 18 - 10:06 AM
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Subject: 1979 Scottish devolution referendum
From: Anne Neilson
Date: 21 Sep 18 - 03:56 PM

I was there at the time -- but have no memory of any songs on either side of the debate!

Can anyone help? (I have a young friend doing a research project.)


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Subject: RE: 1979 Scottish devolution referendum
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 23 Sep 18 - 07:13 AM

It is hard to remember --- surely there must have been some?!

Maybe Jim McLean composed one?


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Subject: RE: 1979 Scottish devolution referendum
From: Jim McLean
Date: 23 Sep 18 - 09:27 AM

Most of my Independence songs were written in the 60s, 70s and into the 80s and recorded by Alastair McDonald mainly. I think I concentrated in the 60s which, according to Winnie Ewing, helped her in her campaign to become the first woman SNP Westminster member.


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Subject: RE: 1979 Scottish devolution referendum
From: Anne Neilson
Date: 23 Sep 18 - 12:00 PM

It does seem astonishing that there would have been nothing!
And it can't just be down to the campaign pre-dating the internet and all the current social media possibilities. After all, the anti-nuclear Holy Loch protests seemed to get up and running very readily without such technological support.

Would it perhaps be anything to do with perception of a direct and dangerous physical threat in the one case, and the other case being perceived as a matter of legality where no-one's life is directly on the line?

Either way, it would be great if anyone could come with even a couplet of a disposable song to show that people were singing back in the lead-up to, and aftermath of that referendum. (A friend has a vague recollection of writing an 'anti' song, but it was obviously so unmemorable that all trace of it has gone!)

But thanks to GM and Jim for your contributions, and maybe you can put on the thinking hats again, because I've had a suggestion that there are possibly some later songs which mention the referendum as a 'historic' event. Does that ring any bells?


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Subject: RE: 1979 Scottish devolution referendum
From: Jack Campin
Date: 23 Sep 18 - 03:59 PM

I don't recall any either. It wasn't as if there were lots of mass rallies to sing them at.


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Subject: RE: 1979 Scottish devolution referendum
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 23 Sep 18 - 05:44 PM

...but there should have been some! We mught try some retrospective songs? Lots of academic info if you gooogle. . So could we do some collective writing with hindsight?
AND..i did find that the Proclaimers 'Letter from America' has been credited with recording the state of things that led to the desire for independence in 1979?
( am i the only person that sees symbolism in 1979 and 1997..reversal of last two numbers?)


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Subject: RE: 1979 Scottish devolution referendum
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 23 Sep 18 - 06:56 PM

Dick Gaughan's version of "Both Sides the Tweed" was written in 1979 and appeared on his " Handful of Earth" album in 1981. Based on the older version to a different tune and with a few changes of words from the original poem by James Hogg. If you belive all you read in Wikipedia, Dick's version WAS written in response to the 1979 referendum result.
So maybe people were not singing it in the lead up to that referendum, but it has been very well aired since!


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Subject: RE: 1979 Scottish devolution referendum
From: Jack Campin
Date: 23 Sep 18 - 07:40 PM

There was one great missed idea for a song: the way the quorum was defined, registered voters who died before the referendum were counted as voting against devolution. There should have been songs about campaigning in mortuaries and the response from the voters on the slab...


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Subject: RE: Songs about: 1979 Scottish devolution referendum
From: Anne Neilson
Date: 24 Sep 18 - 03:40 AM

Gallus Moll -- the original post was to ask for songs of the period, to provide historical support/ evidence for a dissertation, so even if you wrote something this morning it wouldn't be helping.... Anyway, there are maybe more urgent song topics in our current climate, wouldn't you say?

Tattie, thanks for making that Gaughan connection: I'm sure the student will want to follow up on it.

Jack, thanks for your contributions (especially the second!). It's my memory that much of the campaign focused on vigils at the Royal High School -- or did they come after the failure of the vote? Just thinking that if there were such gatherings, there might have been singing.


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Subject: RE: Songs about: 1979 Scottish devolution referendum
From: Allan Conn
Date: 24 Sep 18 - 03:46 AM

Mind there are very few changes to the original version of Both Sides The Tweed. There are only several individual words substituted. The biggest change is leaving out the last verse which makes it less obviously a song about the 1707 union.


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Subject: RE: Songs about: 1979 Scottish devolution referendum
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 24 Sep 18 - 06:14 AM

Ian Davison/political songwriting workshops?when were they....(Blackfrisrs bar?)
Janey Buchan political song collection?
Arthur Johnstone/Laggan/Star Club??


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Subject: RE: Songs about: 1979 Scottish devolution referendum
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 24 Sep 18 - 11:02 AM

Wouldn't imagine there would have been much enthusiasm for singing around that time Anne, what with the nation still being in mourning over the fate of Ally's Army in the 1978 World Cup.


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Subject: RE: Songs about: 1979 Scottish devolution referendum
From: Anne Neilson
Date: 24 Sep 18 - 05:31 PM

Gallus Moll -- the student doing the dissertation has already approached Arthur and is in process of connecting with the Political Song Collection.

And I'm making an indirect approach to see if the various song-writing groupings produced anything....
But more and more it's looking as if any songs current at the time must have been instantly forgettable!

Aargh!!!


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Subject: RE: Songs about: 1979 Scottish devolution referendum
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 24 Sep 18 - 06:03 PM

....and forgotten even by those of us who were there at the time!! Glad it's you too, no' just me.
I did find some academic stuff online that reminded me about some of tge stuff that was going on.... is there an archive of Sandy Bells Broadsheet (or was it The Broadsheet by then?)- that might jog our memories?
Shame theres never been an annual tape/cd of 'folk songs of 1979' like you get for pop music!


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Subject: RE: Songs about: 1979 Scottish devolution referendum
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 24 Sep 18 - 06:08 PM

Would Jack Foley remember, being as how he was involved in newspapers as well as folk?
Could issue a request for info via Simon Thoumire's and Dave Francis' websites/or requests via folk radio progs? Guess need to ask older listeners/readers tho....hahahahaha!!!!


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Subject: RE: Songs about: 1979 Scottish devolution referendum
From: Jack Campin
Date: 24 Sep 18 - 06:43 PM

I doubt if either Arthur or the Buchans would have given a damn.


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Subject: RE: Songs about: 1979 Scottish devolution referendum
From: Anne Neilson
Date: 24 Sep 18 - 07:06 PM

Jack, the student isn't coming from a 'preferred' starting point, so all sides of any argument have to be considered.

And Gallus Moll, Jack Foley is a good suggestion! I'm on to it.


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Subject: RE: Songs about: 1979 Scottish devolution referendum
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 24 Sep 18 - 07:25 PM

Pete Shepheard?
Gordon Hotchkiss?
Just trying to think who was organising or broadcasting back then?
And...is it Jim? Gilchrist? Was a journalist on Scotsman, did folk music articles
I wonder if Nancy composed any referendum songs...i'll check her 75th birthday book


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Subject: RE: Songs about: 1979 Scottish devolution referendum
From: Anne Neilson
Date: 24 Sep 18 - 07:57 PM

Bit between the teeth, GM!

Gaun yersel!


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Subject: RE: Songs about: 1979 Scottish devolution referendum
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 24 Sep 18 - 08:28 PM

I know- - mind like a midden wi' weeds sproutin' a'weys!!

John Barrow?

Pete Heywood? (maybe some entries to Girvan songwriting comp relevant '79?)

Isobel Lindsay? (saw a Scotsman article online wi' her ta'kin' aboot baith referenda '79 and '14

Who was doing folk progs on radio forth back then -- if it was actually running at the time? I get mixed up as to when pirate radio ships stopped and official stations took over!

Was Archie doing Travelling Folk back then?

I did a v. quick google search and there seems to be some sort of Sandy Bells Broadsheet / Broadsheet archive maybe of Simon Thoumire's previous site, the one I knew how to use the forum etc (I do so hate when things change and I canny work/access them any more)
Is it possible that Edinburgh Folk Club has an archive of any of the folk mags / broadsheets? Or places like Peoples Palace or Mitchell - would Biff know? She might actually remember if there were any songs!!!


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Subject: RE: Songs about: 1979 Scottish devolution referendum
From: Anne Neilson
Date: 25 Sep 18 - 06:28 AM

[Belated thank-you to the kind moderator who sorted my original thread title -- thought I could just edit it like Facebook, but never got the length of pressing the help button!]


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Subject: RE: Songs about: 1979 Scottish devolution referendum
From: Jack Campin
Date: 25 Sep 18 - 08:00 AM

School of Scottish Studies library in Edinburgh is maybe the most likely - but their catalogue system is probably still "drop it in an unlabelled box file".

Or possibly the Saltire Society.

If anything had actually caught on we'd know about it.


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Subject: RE: Songs about: 1979 Scottish devolution referendum
From: Effsee
Date: 25 Sep 18 - 10:06 AM

Methinks Gaberlunzie's repertoire might be an appropriate source! :))


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