The fierce warrior nature of the Caledonian tribes was first documented historically by Roman Governor Agricola's invasion records, and subsequent reports foretold the grand capacity of this unique race for tenacious combat, unabashed treachery, incredible loyalty, and fierce love of romantic adventure. Gathered here in traditional ballad and contemporary song, are but a few moments in Scotland's martial history that attempt to capture the essence of that romantic past.
The rich baritone voice of this Glasgow-born singer reaches into the deepest corners of the Scottish expatriate's heart and captures the spirit of pride and purpose lost in distance and time. His keen interest in the history and drama of the Scottish people's story can be felt in each song's arrangement and his stirring interpretation.
Born Alexander Macleod Beaton, Alex is a resident of Los Angeles, California. He emigrated to the States in 1965 after enjoying a popular career as a folk-singer in the United Kingdom in the early 1960's. He turned professional as a member of the Cumberland Three, one of Britain's top folk groups of that era. In the intervening years he has directed his efforts to song-writing in the American country music field, having songs which won the International American Song Festival Awards in 1974. A regular performer throughout the States singing country and western music, his first love has remained the songs of his homeland. "Wherever brother Scots are gathered," there you'll find Alex Beaton, and it is in that spirit that this album is presented.
A Scottish Soldier —
A stirring lament of a dying soldier in a foreign land The melody comes bom the grand piping tune The Green Hills of Tyrol The contemporary lyrics were made famous by the popular Scottish entertainer, Andy Stewart.
Bonnie Charlie —
A beautiful ballad that calls for the return of the young pretender. Prince Charles Edward Stuart, after his defeat at Culloden, and his escape to France in 1746.
Scots Wha Hae —
Tradition has it that the old tune Hey Tuitie Taitie was the marching tune of King Robert the Bruce at the Battle of Bannockbum. 1314. Scotland's national poet, Robert Burns, was inspired by the theme of liberty and independence to write the lyrics, supposing that it was the King's address to his heroic army on that eventful morning before the battle.
Stoutest Man In The Forty Twa —
A humorous tale of a proud soldier of the famed 42nd Highland Regiment. The regiment was formed by six independent companies of Highlanders in 1725 as a police force. It was later to become world famous as the Black Watch.
The Bonnie Earl O'Moray —
The young Earl of Murray, who inherited the Earldom from the Regent of Scotland after the abdication of Mary, Queen of Scots, was slain by Gordon of Buckie and the Earl of Huntley in February, 1592. It was suspected that King James VI ordered the killing of the young Earl of Murray, due to his jealousy of the Earl's relationship with the young Queen, Anne.
Hey Johnnie Cope —
General Sir John Cope commanded the Royal forces against the young pretender, Prince Charles Edward Stuart, in the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745. He was soundly defeated by the Highland army at the Battle of Preston-Pans.
A lovely song written by Rod McKuen for the Movie The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, which captures the poetic romance in the Scottish soul.
Bonnie Lass Of Fyvie —
The old story of a soldier's love for a pretty girl met in time of war, and her loss when he dies in battle.
Piper O'Dundee —
A well-known piper of the Jacobite Rebellion of 1715, was Carnegie of Finnhaven. It is reported that he fled from the Battle of Sherriff-Muir when the Jacobites were led by the Earl of Mar, while the Royal forces were under the Duke of Argyll.
Dark Island —
A Scottish wanderer's song of reflection looking back across the years and seas to his homeland, the lovely Dark Island.
Scotland The Brave —
No song captures the positive impulse of all that is Scotland more than this, the best known of all pipes tunes. With lyrics, it has become the effective National Anthem.