This song “Alba” has been performed by Runrig for years but this clip is from the BBC’s lauch of a new channel, BBC Alba (which actually has been running for a while now).  Even although I don’t know Gaelic, this touched my heart.  I’ve included the words to the song in both Gaelic and English after the video.  I hope you enjoy it!





sgiath a’ seoladh nan neoil
‘S an domhain liath
Mar dhealbh a’ tighinn beo
tro na sgothan
‘S mi a’ tilleadh gu tir

Alba nam beanntan ard
acraichean lom
Thairis air na lochan mointich
Nan coilltean ‘s nan



Ach ‘se sealladh leointe is gann
Tha an
seo aig ceann thall an linn
Talamh alainn nan daoine
Fhathast an lamhan
duine no dithis

Cuibhlean stolda mu dheas
Na fasaichean a tuath
taigh-mor falamh an Dun-Eideann
Gun chumhachd gun



Sibhse chuir achadh ri achadh
Taigh ri
Gus nach bi ait anns an tir
An gabh sibh comhnaidh air

Ach ‘s math dhomh bhith seo an drasd
A cur failt air a’
‘San tir a tha cho ur dhomh an diugh
Is a bha i nuair bha mi ‘nam




This flight is
sailing through the clouds
And the blue heavens
The homeland appears like
a developing photograph
Through the mists as I return to land
I see
Scotland of the high mountains
And the empty acres
Flying low across the
moorland lochs
The forests and the



But it’s a wounding and a hollow
Here as we reach the end of the century
The beautiful soil of the
Still in the hands of the few

I see the wheels of industry at a
And the northern lands wasted
And the empty house in
Without authority or



You that have laid field upon
House upon house
Till there be nowhere for you to be placed
In the midst of all the earth
But it is good for me to be here
As I welcome the warmth
In this land that’s as exciting for me
As it was the day I was born



Pixar and Scotland

The word on the street is that Pixar, fresh from its success with Cars 2, has created a story set in the Scottish Highlands.

Merida, a skilled archer and daughter to King Fergus, takes on tradition and destiny in this ancient story of a brave princess (“Brave” is the name of the movie). Esteemed actors and actresses such as Billy Connolly, Julie Walters, Robbie Coltrane, Emma Thompson, Craig Ferguson (who i must say was brilliant in “how to tame your dragon”) and Kevin McKidd are all part of the cast.


For more info, check out the website.

Dear Frankie

I mentioned this movie in my last post (for those of you who caught it … i did make a mistake and called it frankie and me but i changed it … don’t know what i was thinking).  anyhow, it is one of my all-time favorite movies and the fact that Gerard Butler is in it is a definite plus.  i first saw Sharon Small, who plays a key role in Dear Frankie, in a tv show called Glasgow Kiss which i thought she was brilliant in.  i’d like to see that again some time but it hasn’t been on our tv for a long time now.  (she was also in About A Boy with Hugh Grant, which is another of my favorite movies).

so here’s the story in a nutshell ~

Lizzie Morrison, her deaf son Frankie and her mum Nell frequently move to keep one step ahead of her abusive ex-husband and his family.  When they arrive in Greenock,  Lizzie takes a job at the local fish and chip shop, owned by Marie.  Frankie goes to school in the town and makes a couple of new friends.

Frankie writes regularly to someone he believes is his dad, Davey, through a Glasgow post office box.  In reality, his mum writes the letters he receives from his “dad” as she tries to keep Frankie from the truth about his real dad.  One day, it appears in the newspaper that the dad he has been writing to will be coming through Greenock on his merchant ship, the HMS Accra.

Lizzie panics and creates a scheme to hire a man to impersonate Davey.  Marie from the chip shop helps and arranges for Lizzie to meet an acquaintance of hers.  They meet and he agrees to spend the day with Frankie for a small payment from Lizzie.

i can’t tell you the rest because it would give too much away but that’s how it starts.


i love the colors in the movie.   it’s hard to explain exactly what i mean but it has beautiful color in it.  the production design was done by Jennifer Kernke and they used a palette of colors throughout the film, inspired by paintings created by the Glasgow Boys and Glasgow Girls (Glasgow School), artwork featuring the Scottish countryside.

the screenplay began as a script for a 15-minute short film but Shona Auerbach, the director, was so enamored with Andrea Gibb’s work that she made it full length.  Auerbach said this about the script:

“I think it was really the unconditional love this mother has for her son, and the lengths she’ll go to to make him happy, which I think is something I connected with. We just want our children to be happy and we don’t always make the right decisions in life, but we do the best we can. That’s why I identify so much with Lizzie, because I do think she’s doing what she can, she’s doing her best for her child.”

Auerbach auditioned more than one hundred boys for the role of Frankie but none could capture the character like Jack McElhone.  the role of the Stranger still had not been cast just prior to the scheduled beginning of the film but when Auerbach met Gerard Butler, she knew right away that he was perfect for that character and immediately offered it to him.

Colors of Scotland

The Illusionist is a £14 million animated tale by French director Sylvain Chomet which tells the story of a struggling magician who tries to revive his career by travelling from Paris to the Western Isles, before trying his luck in Edinburgh, accompanied by a young Scottish girl.  It is being shown at the Edinburgh International Film Festival and has been described as a “love song to Edinburgh and Scotland”.

Set in the late 1950s and based on an unrealised Jacques Tati script, it features many well-known locations around the city, including Arthur’s Seat and Princes Street.  Chomet said the city’s changeable climate had inspired him to set the film in Edinburgh.

“It’s the weather, the way the light changes in the sky and the clouds cast shadows. Edinburgh, and Scotland, is a very difficult place to make light (for film], because it is so changing. The best way to do it is animation; you can make it all night and you are not under the rain”.

Chomet’s picture is unquestionably a work of beauty. No tourist authority advertisement ever made Scotland look as exquisite as it does here. From the sight of a tiny steamer puffing its way up a loch, to an Edinburgh sky lit as if by Monet, The Illusionist is a joy to look at. 

The animation style, hand-drawn, intricate, and heavy on the washed colours, calls to mind Disney in the era of The Aristocats and 101 Dalmatians, but Chomet’s film is as European as Ode to Joy and as Scottish as Loch Lomond and galloping tooth decay.

These reviews are courtesy of The Scotsman and The Herald (June 16/17 2010).  I read about this movie today and was so impressed with the colors in the film.  Below is a preview  ….