Songs and Their Stories

Out of the Glen is our third CD. We have been playing together over a three years now, and have expanded the band to a quartet.

We have also introduced more instruments such as bagpipes, bass guitar, whistles and accordion to the overall sound and live act.

Over the Hills and Far Away: This is a traditional English tune going back a few hundred years. It was made famous in the 1990 by being the theme tune to the British T.V series 'Sharpe's Rifles.' Jon Tam who is a famous Folk singer in the UK wrote the words we sing in this particular version.

The song is written about the Scottish, Irish, Welsh and English soldier who fought in the British army against Napoleon in the 1800,s. 

Leis an Leirgan: Is an old Scottish / Irish traditional tune from the 18th century. The song is about a ship carrying cargo from Ireland to Scotland . The Irish Sea, and the North Sea, which surrounds Scotland, can be very dangerous. Many say this song was written and sung by sailors who would sing this song to keep their spirits up, as the sea crashed around them.

Skye Boat Song: Is a famous Scottish song written in the 18th century. It is about Bonnie Prince Charlie escaping from the English soldiers after the failed Scottish Rebellion.

Drunken Sailor:  This is a favorite tune of ours, and we feature it on every CD, with different arrangements. This arrangement is very instrumental and we love playing this on stage. It's such a great tune! The original tune has a lot of verses, as sailors used to sing it while working. We only sing four verses.

Neville's Cross: Was written by Paul Macleish, and describes a man who had fought at the battle of Neville's Cross in 1346. It was a bloody battle fought between the Scots and the English. This includes great bagpipes on this tune played by 'Scotty.' This was a very interesting battle fought in England. Definitely worth researching on a rainy day.

The Watch: This is a Macgilliossa tune, and was written about Paul's great Grandfather. He was a sergeant in the famous 'Black Watch' regiment in the Scottish Army in WWI. It's a very upbeat tune, and very popular with the current day 'Black Watch Regiment.' They actually e-mailed us and told us they loved it !

Elvenheam: Is a Macgilliossa original and a song about the Scottish 'Queen of the Elves.' She is an evil presence and feared by Scots in their folk law. She lives in 'Elvenheam,' or 'Home of the Elves.' Great upbeat tune, with awesome whistle.

BelovedIs a beautiful tune taken from the first part of a bagpipe piobaireachd called 'Beloved Scotland.' The tune is played on violin with accordion accompaniment . It's a beautiful tune to end the CD with.

The CD 'The Road North,' is our second CD. We had been playing together over a year with over 112 gigs under our belt. You can hear a definite development in how we were writing and playing tunes. 

IMMIGRANT SONG: Paul wrote this song  about his experience of leaving Scotland and coming to the USA. He talks about how a certain view of the 'Carter Bar,' on the Scottish Border, is a constant reminder of his old life and home. It's an upbeat song, with fast guitar, djembe and fiddle.

FOLLOW ME UP TO CARLOW: This is an Irish folk song celebrating the defeat of an army of 3,000 English soldiers by Fiach Mac Aodh Ó Broin (anglicised Fiach MacHugh O'Byrne) at the Battle of Glenmalure, during the Second Desmond Rebellion in 1580.

THE ROAD NORTH: Is a Macgilliossa tune. The song tells of a young man who has spent too long working in the city of London and decides to take a trip to Scotland. Based on an actual trip. It's a fun song with some great fiddle in it.

WEE TUNE:  Is a bagpipe medley with guitar, percussion and bass. It's a fun song and one that has been very popular on facebook!

SAILING: Was written by Macgilliossa, and describes a man who had fought at the battle of Kilicranckie in 1689. He is sailing away to forget his past and start a new life. Very upbeat song.

AMERICAN DREAM: This is about the Scots and Irish who immigrated the USA after the highland clearances and the Irish potato famine. It is a slow yet haunting ballad.

NEW DAY: Is a Macgilliossa original and a romantic song about someone re-visiting Scotland in their mind, it's a beautiful soft ballad. Great bagpipes on this tune.

PRESTONPANSIs a Macgilliossa original about the Battle of Prestonpans in 1745. This 15 minute battle between the Scottish and English armies was an excellent example of the strength of the highland charge. Very upbeat song, gets the blood pumping!

Drunken Sailor:  Is a traditional sea shanty. This song has multiple verses; however, we only sing four on this live version.

The CD Rebellion was our first CD and our first experience in a recording studio. It turned out to be a lot of hard work and really brought us together as a band.

I WILL GO: Is a traditional song. The song tells the true story of Highlanders who fought for the English crown as Redcoats overseas. Sad to say that when many of them returned home they found their homes burned to the ground and their families homeless or dead by greedy landlords and Clan Chiefs who had been loyal to the English throne after the 1745 rebellion.

MOLLY MALONE: Another traditional song, this time it's an Irish song.The song tells the tale of a fishwife who plied her trade on the streets of Dublin, but who died young, of a fever. It represents the often harsh lives of Irish women and girls back in the 17th century.

GLENCOE: Is a Macgilliossa tune. The song tells the story of the massacre of Glencoe in 1692 in the highlands of Scotland. It's a beautiful, yet sad song with haunting bagpipes and fiddle written to capture the sadness of the event.

NORTH WEST PASSAGE:  Another Macgilliossa original,  this song is about two ships, the Eribus and the Terror, who set sail 1865 from Britain to find a North West Passage around North America. They were never seen again until 2010 when the ships were found under ice off the coast of Canada. This tune has an awesome fiddle riff.

SUNDERLAND TOWN: Was written by Paul. It's about the town he was born in and grew up in. It tells of a working class town that changed dramatically as the years went by and how it impacted his life.

MACPHERSON'S LAMENT: This is a traditional Scottish tune about a robber called MacPherson. MacPherson is reported as being a man of uncommon personal strength. He became an expert swordsman, and a renowned fiddler, and eventually became the leader of a Gypsy band. He was eventually caught and hung and wrote this tune the day before he died. It tells the story of his life and death.

STAR OF THE COUNTY DOWNIs an Irish ballad set near Banbridge in County Down, in Northern Ireland. The song is sung from the point of view of a young man who chances to meet a charming lady by the name of Rose (or Rosie) McCann, referred to as the "Star of the County Down". 

REBELLION: Another Macgilliossa original, this song is about the Scottish Rebellion and the battle of Culloden in 1745-6. This is a high energy song with two great fiddle tunes in it.

Published Songs from our upcoming CD 'Journey.'

The CD will be available in February 2020

HIghland Home: A song about a Scottish Immigrant lamenting leaving his highland home. It also mentions the reasons why a lot of Scots left Scotland in the 17th and 18th century. The 45 rebellion and the highland clearances. The song is up beat, yet also sad in its message.

Journey: This song was written by Paul. It's about his move from the UK, to the USA. It's a beautiful ballad with a great whistle and fiddle break. The song was written on a winter camping trip in the Western Highlands of Scotland... it was minus 12 degrees F.

'An Baobhan Sith.' ( The Bavenshee) This song is about the fabled Scottish Vampires that are said to haunt woods and dark glens in Scotland. The 'Bavenshee,' appear to their victims as beautiful young women.

They lure their victims to their lair, and cast a spell on them.

The spell makes the victim dance, until exhaustion. Once the victim is exhausted, the 'Bavenshee,' turns into their true form, and kills the victim, drinking their blood. Great song, with an awesome fiddle and whistle break. Radio Glasgow, Scotland asked us for permission to play it on air.

More to come......for this CD