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2023/4 Albums Thing 279 - The Proclaimers “Sunshine On Leith”

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Sometime in the mid 80’s Deb and me went up to Edinburgh to stay with the Scottish half of her family for a week. It was a legendary holiday and we were assured we would be welcome back any time. 10 years or so later we went back with a couple of friends as my brother, Miles, was playing in Auld Reekie and Deb’s cousins said of course they would put us up. They now had kids who were unceremoniously turfed out of their bedroom so that we could bed down in there. This bedroom was a real sight, the quilt covers, lampshades, curtains, carpet, wallpaper everything was branded with the badge of Hibernian FC, one of Edinburghs 2 professional football teams. When we met the usual residents of that bedroom the next day they impressed upon us that we must now become Hibs fans, so here I am 20+ years later tied to the fortunes of the Hibees, along with the (twin) brothers Reid of The Proclaimers.

And why the brothers Reid I hear you ask ? Well they are Hibernian’s most high profile supporters and their song, which is the title song of this album, has become the Hibs fans anthem. Have a listen to them singing it at Hampden Park after Hibs won the Scottish Cup in 2016, it’s spine tingling https://youtu.be/lt26StUVHoc?si=g_Ae1uhtSj9v_fmg (if you’re confused by this I should explain that Hibs stadium, Easter Road, is in the Leith district of Edinburgh). Some years after when Wonder Stuff fiddler Erica was to be playing “Sunshine On Leith” with The Proclaimers at Edinburgh Castle I happened to hear her say “what shall I wear ?”. I offered that an emerald green dress would be perfect. She asked why and I told her she’d know as soon as she walked on stage.

The album is much better known for the songs “I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)” and “I’m On My Way” which was used at the end of one of the Shrek movies. My other great favourite on here is “Cap In Hand” a proper protest song which not only features the lyric “I can understand why Stranraer lie so lowly, They could save a lot of points by signing Hibs goalie” but also the oft repeated refrain of “But I can't understand why we let someone else rule our land”…likely not one for the Unionists out there.

Cap In Hand - https://youtu.be/SdXeM4bHBhk?si=2gJBs9V_g1zLTKsM

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