Saturday, September 3, 2016

Evicted: Capercaillie and "Four Stone Walls"

Today's song is by Capercaillie, a Scottish band founded in the Argyll region of Scotland in the early 1980s. Known for their mixing of traditional Gaelic tunes with modern recording techniques and instrumentation, Capercaillie started as a purely traditional band. In the 1990s, they began mix in funk bass lines, synthesizers and electric guitars into their repertoire of traditional tunes, but lately have been going back to more traditional instrumentation while retaining a light fusion feel to their music. In 1992, they recorded the first Scottish-Gaelic song to crack the UK Top 40. They have released eleven studio albums, four of which have made the UK Albums chart, and one live album. They also have two compilation albums and have performed on two soundtracks. This song, Four Stone Walls can be found on their 1993 album Secret People, and on the 1998 compilation album Dusk Til Dawn. The song refers to the Highland Clearances, in which aristocratic Scots landlords in the 18th and 19th centuries, often with help from the English, practiced wholesale and often brutal evictions of farmers in the Scottish Highlands which resulted in the enclosure of common lands and an agricultural switch from farming to sheep raising.