The McCalmans   •     Flames On The Water [CD]

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  • Flames On The Water
    • 1990 - Greentrax CDTRAX 036 CD (UK)
  • Tracklist
    1. Ahm E Man at Muffed It (Nancy Nicolson)
    2. Isle of Eigg (Robin Laing)
    3. Devolution Anthem (Ian McCalman)
    4. Farewell Tae The Haven (Davy Steele)
    5. Sounding (Stewart Brown)
    6. Hawks and Eagles Fly Like Doves (Ian Walker)
    7. The Siege (Nick Keir)
    8. Who Pays the Piper (Nancy Nicolson)
    9. Festival Lights (Nick Keir)
    10. Shian Road (Ian McCalman)
    11. Men O Worth (Archie Fisher)
    12. Curtain Call (Janet Russell)

  • The McCalmans
    • Ian McCalman, Derek Moffat & Nick Keir
  • Musicians
    • Phil Cunningham: Accordion, Piano, Organ
    • Hamish Bayne: Holmwood Concertina
    • Charlie Soane: Fiddle, Viola
    • Martin Talbot: Bass Guitar
    • Andrew Talbot: Percussion
  • Credits
    • Recorded at Palladium, Straiton Village and Greentrax
    • Photos by Douglas McCalman, Castle Photographic, Edinburgh

Sleeve Notes

Songs written by Scots, sung by The McCalmans.
Song Notes are in each case, written by the song's author.

AHM E MAN AT MUFFED IT — In an information booklet, the UKAEA defines M.U.F., Material Unaccounted For, on a nuclear site. I apply the context of the crofter-fishermen of Caithness, renowned for their ingenuity, who work at the Dounreay Nuclear Establishment.

ISLE OF EIGG — The song charts the course of a love affair from Spring through to Autumn and beyond. The feelings and memory are evoked by one of Scotlands most romantic settings.

DEVOLUTION ANTHEM — We are thankful for so much in Scotland. This song could have been longer....much, much longer. Thank you!

FARE WELL TAE THE HAVEN — Morrisons Haven, of the song, no longer exists. This is the story of a man whose family had, for generations, been fisherfolk on the small boats. For as long as he could remember, all he wanted to do was to work in these drifters , but due to the decline of the Scottish fishing trade, he had to give it up.

SOUNDING — Sounding began as another song lamenting mans inhumanity to the whale, then I came to realise that the whale could hold a power far beyond its awesome phsyical strength...the power to save us all.

HAWKS AND EAGLES FLY LIKE DOVES — The song was provoked (rather than inspired) by the massacre of people on a funeral procession near Uitenhaage, South Africa, in 1985. Someone once said it is Cry Freedom in four verses.

THE SIEGE — A young girl dares to peek over the battlements of a city under siege and finds that the besieging armies have packed up and gone home. The story comes from tales of Baron Munchenhausen.

WHO PAYS THE PIPER — The money-wells in the North Sea are owned by immensely rich companies and fed by workers lives. The men off-shore have to watch their tongues or lose their jobs. We can be their voices.

FESTIVAL LIGHTS — Written in Leiden at the home of Emile and Judie, who have saved our lives on numerous occasions. Were often working abroad during the Edinburgh Festival and permit ourselves a hint of homesickness now and again.

SHIAN ROAD — When the road we once walked with ease becomes too long and too far away. I make no apologies for dedicating this one to my parents.

MEN O WORTH — A song written in the early 70s with more than a little prescience about some of the consequences of the North Sea oil boom. Fortunately the adaptable folk of the north east mainland and the isles are more than able to cope with lifes fickle fortunes.

CURTAIN CALL — I wrote this on one of those days when the landlord kicks you out of your flat, your lover leaves you, your mum forgets your birthday and you lose your toothbrush. Things are bad — so in my pitiful little way I imagined a kind of secular heaven where none of the good bits of your life ever comes to an end. Pathetic — isnt it?