Songs from Under A Scottish Sky

Songs. Music and Melodies. For some reason, my readers have been especially interested in the music included in Under A Scottish Sky. There wasn’t much but yes it was an integral part of the book. I even thanked the musicians in my acknowledgements because the songs were a very important part of my writing process that fueled my imagination.

Under A Scottish Sky

Under A Scottish Sky

Come to think of it, without those moments of music and song the book would be incomplete. For instance when Rory sings in a pub full of patrons for Michelle when she’s having a hard day. He actually sings “Hard Times, Come Again no More” to cheer her up. This was an American Parlor song that became an anthem during the war and was covered by so many artists including Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash.

Lyrics

Let us pause in life’s pleasures and count its many tears,
While we all sup sorrow with the poor;
There’s a song that will linger forever in our ears;
Oh! Hard times come again no more.

‘Tis the song, the sigh of the weary,
Hard Times, hard times, come again no more.
Many days you have lingered around my cabin door;
Oh! Hard times come again no more.

While we seek mirth and beauty and music light and gay,
There are frail forms fainting at the door;
Though their voices are silent, their pleading looks will say
Oh! Hard times come again no more.

There’s a pale drooping maiden who toils her life away,
With a worn heart whose better days are o’er:
Though her voice would be merry, ’tis sighing all the day,
Oh! Hard times come again no more.

‘Tis a sigh that is wafted across the troubled wave,
‘Tis a wail that is heard upon the shore
‘Tis a dirge that is murmured around the lowly grave
Oh! Hard times come again no more.

Then, there’s Rhona’a funeral where the bagpipes play and the old church hymn, Amazing Grace is belted out as the Scots file out in their kilts and tartans for her last goodbye. Bagpipes can really pierce your soul. It’s the most beautiful strain and Amazing grace is a very common hymn at Catholic funerals and wakes.

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.

’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me,
His Word my hope secures;
He will my Shield and Portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.

Then there’s this song by Cherish the Ladies that I was listening to while I wrote this book in mourning. And of the many songs out there,  it filled me with a background to write this book.  Erin Gra Ma Chroi’s lyrics aren’t particularly Scottish as you can tell by the lyrics.

Oh Erin grá mo chroí, you’re the dear old land to me
You’re the fairest that my eyes did e’er behold
You’re the land St. Patrick blessed, you’re the bright star of the west
You’re that dear little isle so far away

At the setting of the sun, when my long day’s work was done
I rambled down the seashore for a walk
And I being all alone I sat down upon a stone
For to gaze upon the scenes of New York

Oh Erin grá mo chroí, you’re the dear old land to me
You’re the fairest that my eyes have ever seen
And if ever I go home, it’s from you I never will roam
You’re my own native land so far away

With the turf fire burning bright on a cold dark winter’s night
And the snowflakes falling gently to the ground
When St. Patrick’s Day has come, my thoughts will carry me home
To that dear little isle so far away

Oh and Erin grá mo chroí, you’re the dear old land to me
You’re the fairest that my eyes have ever seen
You’re the land St. Patrick blessed, you’re the bright star of the west
You’re that dear little isle so far away

On the day that I did part, well, it broke my mother’s heart
Will I ever see my dear ones anymore?
Not until my bones are laid in the cold and silent grave
In my own native land so far away

Oh Erin grá mo chroí, you’re the dear old land to me
You’re the fairest that my eyes have ever seen
And if ever I go home, it’s from you I never will roam
You’re my own native land so far away
You’re my own native land so far away

The music is haunting and I daresay I wrote with this sad lingering tune in my heart. If ever this book becomes something more, (I know big dreams) this is the song for it. A song for Adrian and Michelle’s love story.

What do you think about the songs? Like them? Hate them? All of us have songs in us. That’s why we use songs instead of words for what’s happening in our life and these are what I used for Under a Scottish Sky.

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