the Book of Golden Stories

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Meri-mac
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the Book of Golden Stories

Postby Meri-mac » Fri Dec 20, 2013 11:44 am

Open it up and step inside... Wishing everyone a warm and peaceful Christmas.

One quiet day in heaven,
The Lord, a little vexed,
Was pondering on the Beatles,
And wondering what comes next.

“For punk the world’s not ready,
Progressive rock’s so dry.”
He thought a little harder,
Then turned his thoughts to Skye.

“Those Hebrideans fear me,
They keep their Sundays pure,
But when it comes to singing
It’s all a bit obscure.”

“I’ll bless them with some music
That’s heavily endowed
With essence of the Gaidhealtachd,
Yet passionate and loud.”

He picked out three young fellows
From the badlands of Portree,
And lo! The Lord made Runrig,
In the year of ’73.

Another voice was needed
To soften edges raw,
So God provided Donnie,
The year was ’74.

In ’75 when Robert
The squeezebox took from Blair,
Three fourths were now Macdonalds,
But Donnie didn’t care.

At every lowly venue
In ’76 and ‘7,
They dreamed of one day climbing
The stairs to folk-rock heaven.

Now, back in real heaven,
Being not averse to risk,
The Lord urged “Get a move on,
It’s time you made a disc.”

Despite their protestations
Play Gaelic came to pass,
“Not bad” the good Lord nodded,
“But lacks a touch of class.”

“It needs a bit more oomph lads,
To give the songs some weight,”
So a long-haired youth called Malcolm
Signed up in ’78.

That tricky second album
Came out in ’79,
Said God, “My little project
Is coming on just fine.”

Yet sometimes as he hummed it,
A-tapping with his feet,
God couldn’t help but notice
The drummer missed a beat.

He broke the news quite gently,
So Calum might save face,
“You’re far too bright for drumming,
In that there’s no disgrace.”

“I’ve found a simple Fife lad,
Much less endowed with brain,
But handy with a drumstick,
They call him Iain Bayne.”

He’d just two words of Gaelic:
‘Uisge beatha’, never failed,
Within no time of joining
Recovery was nailed.

Another face called Richard
At God’s behest appeared,
His music less important than
His regulation beard.

Now mindful of their number,
And lest they be undone,
The Lord appointed Marlene,
Thus ended ’81.

In ’83 Loch Lomond
Went racing up the charts,
In ’84 at Cambridge
They first won English hearts.

A sombre mood descended
When Simple muscled in,
A voice boomed down from heaven,
“Don’t take this on the chin!”

“You boys are Highland warriors,
Be strong and fight the lies!”
So songs became their weapons,
And Heartland took the prize.

When Peter Wishart joined them
The year was ’86,
God smiled and put his feet up,
“I’ve found the perfect mix.”

They won the acclamation
Of many a loyal fan,
And sealed their reputation
With The Cutter and The Clan.

God tried hard not to favour
One song above the rest,
But when it came to Searchlight
He fancied one the best.

The song being News from Heaven,
He took this as a cue,
To re-establish contact,
Acquaintances renew.

So he sent a proclamation
That almost struck them dumb:
“Forget about the ‘80s,
The best is yet to come.”

It seemed amiss to question
The Lord’s almighty word,
So they set about some planning,
Inspired by what they’d heard.

The year of ‘90 saw them
Step back on solid ground,
Reunion with Chris Harley,
Return to Castlesound.

Like Gaelic Marlon Brando’s
They pouted in black leather,
To recreate The Wild Ones
Amid the blooming heather.

They filmed those magic evenings
On Barras’ sticky floor,
And ‘5 Nights-Glaschu’ became
The stuff of myth and lore.

The Big Wheel marked the season
When Runrig came of age,
From Hammersmith to Shetland,
They conquered every stage.

God loved the Magnum Opus,
But to even his fine ear,
“The adrenaline infrastructure”
Was not entirely clear.

Loch Lomondside was thronging
Mid-summer ’91,
A crowd no man could number,
A triumph in the sun.

With small and fragile nations
They made a common cause,
The folk of Tallinn saw this,
And repaid with warm applause.

Amazing Things were happening
The year of ’93,
They made a splendid album
And appeared on ‘TOTP’.

Such programmes can be tricky
But direction here was tight,
Just look into the camera
And get the lip synch right.

In ’94 a deluge
Descended on Tarlair,
They turned to God to ask him,
Did he have an ark to spare?

Mara struck clean amidships!
The year was ’95,
Land lubbers fought with sea dogs,
All hands were found alive.

Those clever chaps at Carlsberg
Revealed their smart idea,
A Runrig song to cricket,
Would sell them lots of beer.

God didn’t disapprove when
This ingenious plan unfurled,
“After all they’re Probably
The Best Band in the World.”

The northern sky turned orange
The year of ’96,
Some said it was celestial,
Aurora playing tricks.

A dreadful conflagration
Had caused the eerie light,
A multitude of treasures
Went up in smoke that night.

Imagine for a moment
You feel yourself complete,
Then someone bowls a googly,
That knocks you off your feet.

In ’97 it hit them
When Donnie searched his soul,
And chose to mount the soapbox,
And climb the greasy pole.

A voice so rich and powerful
Would live long in the mind,
A wealth of precious memories
He’d take, and leave behind.

Those final nights at Stirling
He held all in his spell,
But what of Runrig’s future?
Perhaps just God could tell.

Throughout the months of turmoil
It was difficult to see,
This wasn’t the full-time whistle,
Just the half-time cup of tea.

With ’98 advancing
And still without a crooner,
They ‘phoned up heaven, God answered:
“You should have called me sooner!”

“I’ve found your new lead singer,
All ready to despatch,
But he might be late arriving,
He’s got three planes to catch.”

The boys, somewhat suspicious,
Perceived this plan might fail,
Suppose his horo horainns
Were more Canuck than Gael?

Their fears proved unfounded,
The fit with Bruce was great,
Behold! The band called Runrig
Bounced back in ’98.

With keen anticipation
The hoards of fans came flocking,
With equal trepidation
Poor Bruce’s knees were knocking.

“If, halfway through a number,
Your memory starts to lapse,
Just mime a bit,” said Rory,
“The fans will fill the gaps.”

Said Iain, “At the Barras
If you want to knock ‘em dead,
Just tell them that yer Granny
Was Glesga born and bred.”

They went In Search of Angels,
The year was ’99,
Said God “This mortal choir
Is sounding quite divine.”

He asked them for a songbook
Of the magic that they weave,
Next day he opened treasures
That his eyes could scarce believe.

The Stamping Ground was buzzing
The year of noughty-one,
When Peter had a notion
For Parliament to run.

Said Iain to his colleague
“This parting truly hurts,
We’ll miss yer keyboards, neebour,
But no’ your awful shirts.”

When Brian took the ‘phone call
Confusion filled his head,
To join a Runrig tribute
Could kill his name stone dead.

But this was real Runrig
And Marlene’s pitch was strong,
“We’ll fly you to the Faroes son,
It’s glamour all day long.”

Refreshed by his arrival,
Ideas began to spark,
Just dimming for a moment,
Remembering Laurel Clark.

Proterra was the next disc,
With help from Blair and Paul,
It marked their 30th birthday,
They gave the Lord a call.

“Hey God, you’ve been our mentor
Since tentative beginnings,
Now what about retirement?
We’ve had a decent innings.”

Said God, “Don’t talk such nonsense!
I’m having too much fun,
We’ll have a ‘do’ at Stirling,
Then it’s on to 31.”

In ‘4 they toasted Marlene
For all she’d had a hand in,
In ‘5 they toasted Athol
For being Rory’s stand-in.

In ‘7 a Loch Ness shower
Turned hastily to flood,
The band came on in snorkels,
The crowd dissolved in mud.

The boys got into shinty
For Everything you See,
In ‘9 they rocked Scone Palace,
The ‘Stones’ of destiny.

It nearly didn’t happen
When Malcolm’s ticker failed,
The doctor said his solos
Must forthwith be curtailed.

“Oh Lord how can we help him?”
“Keep calm,” came back from heaven,
“Just wire him to the nearest amp
And turn it to eleven.”

They feared this drastic action
Had caused their friend to fry,
When to his feet leapt Malcolm,
And played the riff from Skye!

The band, now hale and hearty,
Regained their touring zest,
In ’10 they criss-crossed Europe,
Then took a year of rest.

The fans were getting twitchy,
Some turned to God and prayed,
But even he was counting
The ‘sleeps’ till next they played.

In ’12 their trusty tour bus
Took an educated guess,
It drove them straight to Tφnder
Then back via Inverness.

That brings us to the present,
And a Party on the Moor,
To mark a special birthday
Of the band we all adore.

Mark and Mike and Kristian,
Paul Mounsey, Allen Spriggs,
Have helped them make their music
And play amazing gigs.

But it’s just six names we look to,
To relieve life’s daily strain,
Calum, Rory, Malcolm, Bruce,
Brian Hurren, Iain Bayne.

Their concerts raise our spirits,
Their lyrics touch the soul,
Their music keeps us going,
As on through life we roll.

So here’s 40 years of Runrig
Before you all displayed,
God smiled with satisfaction,
Well chuffed with what he’d made.

To be continued...
1 x

Rolling Scone
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Re: the Book of Golden Stories

Postby Rolling Scone » Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:50 pm

wow
0 x
German by birth, Scottish by heart

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puffin
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Re: the Book of Golden Stories

Postby puffin » Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:16 pm

That's quite something! :rose: :rose:
I trust we will be seeing it reproduced in full in the next edition of the "Wire"? :D

Well writ, good sir! ;)

I love that line about our favourite sticksman being "Much less endowed with brain"! :D :love: :D
0 x
And I dream of a day when our superficial gaze
is replaced with something more real
And the lines on the face are a thing to celebrate
for the tales that they tell

[FolkLaw c.Nick Gibbs 'The Tales That They Tell']

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WaterWolf
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Re: the Book of Golden Stories

Postby WaterWolf » Fri Dec 20, 2013 5:02 pm

This is incredible! :D Brilliantly written! :love:
0 x
Good happiness is shared

Kelly
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Re: the Book of Golden Stories

Postby Kelly » Fri Dec 20, 2013 5:29 pm

That is absolutely BRILLIANT!! :D Genius!
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Sheltie
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Re: the Book of Golden Stories

Postby Sheltie » Fri Dec 20, 2013 6:39 pm

Some people are just soooo clever aren't they? However long did it take you to put that together :roll: :D
0 x

Rolling Scone
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Re: the Book of Golden Stories

Postby Rolling Scone » Fri Dec 20, 2013 10:08 pm

My favourite line is "To Be Continued" ;) :D
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German by birth, Scottish by heart

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herzchen
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Re: the Book of Golden Stories

Postby herzchen » Sat Dec 21, 2013 1:32 pm

Hat off! :rose:
0 x

albeat
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Re: the Book of Golden Stories

Postby albeat » Sat Dec 21, 2013 5:23 pm

This is quite brilliant!

The three verses about Malcolm are hilarious!

The second last verse sums up the whole Runrig experience.

This all has to go in the next issue of The Wire!

Cheers Alex :P
0 x

Rolling Scone
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Re: the Book of Golden Stories

Postby Rolling Scone » Sat Dec 21, 2013 5:43 pm

:?: Once again please, for us non-native speakers, can someone explain these lines:

In ‘4 they toasted Marlene
For all she’d had a hand in,
In ‘5 they toasted Athol
For being Rory’s stand-in.

What does "toasted" mean? And what´s that about Athol being Rory´s stand in? :?:
0 x
German by birth, Scottish by heart

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puffin
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Re: the Book of Golden Stories

Postby puffin » Sat Dec 21, 2013 7:05 pm

Rolling Scone wrote:
What does "toasted" mean? And what´s that about Athol being Rory´s stand in? :?:



"Toasted" means "Raise a glass to" as in drinking to the health of - like with the champagne "toast" to the happy couple at a wedding, or for "absent friends" at a gathering or party.

Rory had an unfortunate mishap with a jar of jam or marmalade or similar which resulted in damage to his wrist/hand (the glass broke, I believe, and cut him.) Anyway, the result was that while he was able to be on stage for the tour that was taking place shortly afterwards, and could sing, he wasn't able to play the guitar so he had a stand-in to play his bass lines.

:)
0 x
And I dream of a day when our superficial gaze
is replaced with something more real
And the lines on the face are a thing to celebrate
for the tales that they tell

[FolkLaw c.Nick Gibbs 'The Tales That They Tell']

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Meri-mac
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Re: the Book of Golden Stories

Postby Meri-mac » Sat Dec 21, 2013 10:21 pm

Thank you for the very nice comments - much appreciated. I composed it over a few weeks in the summer leading up to the big Scottish concerts and really enjoyed doing so (I did send it into the office but didn't hear back). As Puffin said, it was Rory's badly cut hand that led to Athol Fraser replacing him on bass at a few concerts. Athol is still around as a guitar technician. I think I remember seeing him in the recent Wire.
0 x

Rolling Scone
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Re: the Book of Golden Stories

Postby Rolling Scone » Sun Dec 22, 2013 11:19 am

Thanks puffin!

@Meri-mac: I think it´s adisgrace they didn´t get back to you. That poem should have been in this edition of the Wire, it would have fitted in perfectly. Perhaps they thought it was getting too big, but I still think it should have been included. it´s wonderful, thoughtful, witty, clever and informative at the same time. I really mean it, I´m not the kind of person who appreciates any attempt of fan-art.
0 x
German by birth, Scottish by heart

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puffin
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Re: the Book of Golden Stories

Postby puffin » Sun Dec 22, 2013 1:00 pm

Rolling Scone wrote: That poem should have been in this edition of the Wire, it would have fitted in perfectly.


To be fair, the current "Wire" is quite a full one anyway and as next Spring's English Tour looks as if it's going to be a continuation of the 40th Anniversary celebrations (similar to the gigs Denmark and Germany had in 2013) there is still a chance it will be published in the next copy.

It certainly deserves to be, whoever the author is and I'm assuming the Office will know the answer to that, even if Meri-mac won't let on! ;)
0 x
And I dream of a day when our superficial gaze
is replaced with something more real
And the lines on the face are a thing to celebrate
for the tales that they tell

[FolkLaw c.Nick Gibbs 'The Tales That They Tell']

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maymorning
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Re: the Book of Golden Stories

Postby maymorning » Sun Dec 22, 2013 1:24 pm

really brilliant - thanks a lot Image ... I burst out in a hearty laugh if I have read the lines when god "found" Iain :D !!
0 x
"Sometimes you choose your path in life and sometimes the path just lead you-
like Travellers on olden roads
!" B.G
Image

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Re: the Book of Golden Stories

Postby Zephyr » Tue Dec 24, 2013 7:06 am

I love it!! Meri-mac this is wonderful. Thank you so much. The Band will have to love it as well! Quite a poetic feat.

And a Peaceful, but Merry Christmas to you as well. And to all.
0 x
Seinn, seinn, seinn, Òran ur, òran an uir

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Meri-mac
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Re: the Book of Golden Stories

Postby Meri-mac » Wed Dec 25, 2013 12:39 pm

Thanks Zephyr. Happy Christmas. Hope the Wire drops on your mat soon.
0 x

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roadtrip
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Re: the Book of Golden Stories

Postby roadtrip » Wed Dec 25, 2013 4:30 pm

After sleeping in this lovely Christmas morning I logged on to find this wonderful little stocking stuffer!
Thank you so much Meri-mac!
(I suspect you have other offerings of a similar sort? Would love to read them...)

Merry Christmas to all.
0 x
All our roads are waiting to be revealed...
I'm still here with the eyes of a child, the wonder never grows old

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Re: the Book of Golden Stories

Postby iasgair » Wed Dec 25, 2013 6:48 pm

An extra nollaig chrideil for Meri-mac for such a grand poem. very detailed.

Are you a fan of Merimac - the band from Nova Scotia Meri-mac?
Did they not have a connection with the wonderful singer Mr Guthro :guitar: :fish:
0 x

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SandyBeaches
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Re: the Book of Golden Stories

Postby SandyBeaches » Sat Jan 04, 2014 9:04 am

A very happy New year to everybody !!
... and there´s a hug for Meri-mac. What a great piece of (he)art. It would have been definitely lovely to get any kind of reply from the office. Did you send in a letter ?
I often asked myself how busy they are up on York Street. I actually have no clue if there´s bunches of letters floating the office everyday or rather a lot of e.mail. I sent in a letter last summer, just some thoughts, pictures, a thank you after listening to their music for over 15 years now. As my husband resumed - I wrote my heart out :shock: ...and never received an answer. I tried to get in touch with Mike by e-mail. Then (after 15 years finally) entered The Stamping ground - probably they only reply to those senders that are registered with the fan club... nobody got back to me. Anyway - sending in the footage for the DVD I left a note on the cover for Mike : "Sandy - Queen-of-no-reply. Fingers crossed this time"
I think they are just busy, producing the lovely DVD and whatever else. They surely had been glad and surely had a good laugh - except from Iain maybe. :love:

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Mountains of black and gold
Sunsets falling over the moor
Take me there
0 x


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