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5 Best Songs Performed by Scottish Bands and Singers

Updated on November 13, 2017
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Poppy Reid is a proofreader for Japan Info and a video game enthusiast. She lives in Tokyo and has two hamsters named Zelda and Hemingway.

Scotland is a gorgeous country. It is part of the United Kingdom and is well-known for kilts, haggis, mountains, and bagpipes. As it is my home country, I feel really proud whenever it is mentioned here in Japan. It was especially exciting to see Disney's first Scottish princess, Merida, in Brave (2012).

Scotland has beautiful nature, world-renowned whisky, and its fair share of celebrities and famous people. Some famous Scottish people include actors Ewan McGregor, Gerard Butler, and Sean Connery, comedian Billy Connolly, Michelin star chef Gordon Ramsay, and J.K. Rowling, who wrote the Harry Potter series.

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Scotland also has its own share of brilliant bands and singers, producing a range of music. Here are my top five favourite songs sang, written, or performed by Scottish people.

5. "Don't You (Forget About Me)" by Simple Minds

You may have already heard of this pretty famous song and karaoke classic that featured in the opening and closing credits of the 1985 comedy movie The Breakfast Club. It was written and performed in 1985 by Simple Minds, a five-member band from Glasgow.

You'll find yourself nodding your head and singing along to this classic tune. You might not have known that these talented lads are from Scotland! Simple Minds have achieved five number one albums in the United Kingdom and sold over 70 million records all over the world.

4. "Running to the Light" by Runrig

Runrig is probably one of the most underrated bands in the world. A charming mix of rock and country, they mostly sing about various themes, including the beautiful nature around them on their home islands, the Isle of Skye and North Uist. They have had various members over the years, and a huge longevity of over four decades!

This song, "Running to the Light," was written and performed by Rory MacDonald, and is a lovely song that was released in 2001 on The Stamping Ground album. Some have speculated that it is about dying and going to heaven, but for me, it's a celebration of nature and the beauty of the world we live in.

Below is the live version, which I personally think is better than the album version.

3." I'm On My Way" by the Proclaimers

The Proclaimers are possibly best known for their catchy hit song "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" which was released in 1988 and again in 2000. They are twin brothers, Charlie and Craig Reid, who are from Auchtermuchty, a town in Fife.

"I'm Gonna Be" is a good song, but I prefer their happy hit "I'm On My Way," which was released in 1989 as a single. If you've seen the Dreamworks movie Shrek, you'll probably recognise this!

2. "The Last Goodbye" by Billy Boyd

It's true that there were a lot of people involved in the production of "The Last Goodbye," a sort of tribute song to the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. Fran Walsh, a screenwriter from New Zealand, actually wrote the lyrics. However, Billy Boyd is from Glasgow and he performed this really well, charming J.R.R. Tolkien fans around the world and even making us shed a few tears.

Although he is also an actor, we first got a taste of Billy Boyd's voice in The Return of the King, the third movie in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, when Pippin sang a song for Denethor, the Ruling Steward of Gondor. Billy also released his own album, Twangy Guitars, in 2011.

1. "Loch Lomond" by Runrig

Scottish band Runrig have been around since 1973, and the longevity of the band is mainly due to their loyal fans. Although they've never been world-famous stars, most people in Scotland have heard of them and they have also found some success in Germany and other countries, too.

My top Scottish song is Runrig's "Loch Lomond," although there are many other songs that could fit into here, too. I chose "Loch Lomond" because it is the favourite of many, and extremely catchy and nostalgic.

Scotland is a great country with great people. Although it is often overshadowed, as it is mingled into the United Kingdom when talked about, it is nevertheless quite different from England, and indeed has its own share of fantastic and talented people.

I barely scratched the surface on great songs from Scotland, but these are my top five favourites. Which one did you enjoy the most?

© 2017 Poppy

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    • poppyr profile image
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      Poppy 6 days ago from Tokyo, Japan

      Thank you, FlourishAnyway :) I'm always happy to see your kind comments. I always feel my country is lumped together with England (Scottish people are often referred to as "British", etc) and doesn't get as much recognition as it deserves.

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      FlourishAnyway 8 days ago from USA

      For me, it was a tie between "Don't You Forget About Me" and "I'm On My Way." What a nice way to call attention to the contributions of a specific country to international pop music.