Singer receives Lottery funding for new album of Gaelic and Scots songs

Maggie MacInnes
Maggie MacInnes has produced an album of Gaelic songs.


By Democrat reporter

Singer and Celtic harp player, Maggie MacInnes, is set to record a new album of Gaelic and Scots songs, supported by The National Lottery through Creative Scotland.

The album, Port Bàn, will be released in January 2020 and feature ten Gaelic songs and two Robert Burns songs, reflecting MacInnes’ influences from Gaelic and Scots traditions.

The recording of the new album is being supported by The National Lottery through Creative Scotland’s Open Project Fund which offers support for artists, musicians, writers, theatre makers, festivals and organisations working across the arts and creative industries throughout Scotland.

Maggie MacInnes is one of Scotland’s foremost Gaelic singers and Celtic harp players, from a long line of singers from Barra in the Outer Hebrides. Maggie has released several acclaimed solo records and has brought her music to audiences across Europe and North America.

Maggie will be joined on the album by pianist and accordion player Brian McAlpine, guitarist Anna Massie and Maggie’s sons Calum and Ruaraidh Park on backing vocals, guitar and fiddle. The recording will be co-produced and engineered by Angus Lyon.

Maggie MacInnes said: “All of the Gaelic songs on this album are songs I have learned from my mother, and many have been in our family for generations.

“I feel very privileged to be part of a rich oral tradition in song but it is my love for these beautiful songs and melodies that makes me want to bring them to as wide an audience as possible.

“Throughout my life, I have loved the poetry and songs of Robert Burns and since I moved to Ayrshire in the late 1980s my interest in his work has grown. The two Burns’ songs are particularly close to my heart and have a strong relevance to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.”

Songs on the new album will include love songs – Caolas Eadar Mi is Iain, Iain Ghlinn Cuaich, Craobh nan Ùbhal and Ho mo nighean donn nan Gobhar; a traditional version of the Eriskay Love Lilt known as Gràdh Geal mo Chridh; a lament – Bheir mo Shoraidh thar Ghunaidh; some mouth music and waulking songs (or work songs); and the Robert Burns’ songs, The Highland Widow’s Lament and The Bonnie Lass of Albany.

Creative Scotland’s Kirsty MacDonald said: “Maggie MacInnes’ lifelong passion and expertise in Gaelic and Scots music will shine through in her new, highly anticipated record.

“This is vibrant, inspiring music rooted in tradition which, through these fresh interpretations, will appeal to new audiences and help ensure that Gaelic and Scots music remains a vital and influential part of Scotland’s diverse music scene.”

A full list of projects and activity awarded through the Open Project Fund in this latest round, is available here. In this round, over 40 creative projects and activities taking place across Scotland have received more than £927,000 of National Lottery Funding through Creative Scotland.

  • Port Bàn will be available to purchase via and downloaded via all major digital platforms. Maggie will be performing songs from the new album at her forthcoming concert at Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow on 22 January 2020 in the Strathclyde Suite of the Royal Concert Hall.

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