The Story

Oban, Scotland 1990

“I can’t help feeling it will always be, the story of the life inside of me”

Ever have one of those moments when you hear a new song and know instantly that it will forever have a special meaning for you? When the lyrics and the music conspire to trap you in some sort of emotional cage. But rather than feeling confined in that trap you welcome being there. It may pull at the proverbial heart strings, and cause a chill through your body and a tear to the eye. But you want those things. You need them to fill some emotional void. Maybe that song comes along exactly at a time you are feeling especially vulnerable and you latch on to it like a literal life preserver, clinging to it to help you through those times. Well all of those things happened to me the other day. And now just 3 days after hearing it, that song has become like a new best friend.

I have written about the Scottish band Runrig on these pages before. The title cut from their new album ‘The Story’ is not only special because it has the sort of emotional force you need in the hard times, but also because it represents the beginning of the end for Runrig as a band in their long and storied career. They announced that this will be the final studio album together. It does not represent the end of music for the members of the band of course, but after the final tour this unique band will no longer make new music together. That might play some part in the emotions swirling around me right now as well. The heartfelt video certainly does as well, together with the bilingual Scottish Gaelic and English lyrics. It is a meaningful goodbye for them as a band, tinged with sadness, yet somehow hopeful too.

“Ach thig le cinnt la na h-aiserigigh dhuinn, Mar a thainig la a chiad-fhairich mi do ghaol”

“But the day of renewal will come with certainty, Just like the day when I first felt your love”

Since watching the video 3 days ago the song has become embedded in my mind. Some of that is because ‘the story’ is about Runrig themselves. But on the personal side the song has come along at the right time for me emotionally. I will not delve into the specifics here, but there is just a lot happening for people around me right now and it weighs on me. It is often hard when you are dealing with tough times to know how to respond. To say the right thing without resorting to platitudes and words you hear everyone else say in similar situations. That is a big reason why music is so special for me. It says those things without ‘saying’ those things. This post, and this beautiful song are for all my friends and family going through difficult times right now. Whatever is happening, whatever will happen, there is always a story worth remembering. Runrig have told many stories in their 43 years together, and each of us have our own stories. I hope like me, that you have your own songs to help in times like this.

Thank you Runrig for all the fantastic music!

The Story-Written By Calum & Rory MacDonald

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All Photographs By Robert P. Doyle

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24 thoughts on “The Story

  1. Thanks, Rob. I can’t tell you how much it means to me that you take the time to listen and offer a shoulder when I need it. As always, you find just the perfect song and write a wonderful accompanying post.

    Thanks for being the kind, sensitive soul that you are. I feel blessed to call you “friend”. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for being an equally kind and sensitive soul and above all, being my friend! There was really something that struck me about that song. The emotion of it really got in my head and I knew I had to do something with it. I’m glad you appreciated it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I listened to the song and immediately fell in love with it. The video, lyrics, music everything is so perfectly synchronized, I cannot believe how could I miss this, being a music enthusiast myself.

    Nevertheless, it is never too late. I shall go and discover this band and hopefully find the tune I’ve been looking for this past week and somehow haven’t been able to find.
    Thank you for sharing this.

    Also, whatever it is that you and your family are going through. I sincerely hope you find your strength and get through it unscathed. I will send a prayer for you.
    God bless.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aakansha thanks so much for this and all the other great comments you leave! Runrig are massively popular in Scotland and a few pockets of Europe but they never really expanded out from there. At one point people called them the Scottish U2 though being the older band I think it should have been in reverse. They have had two different but both very expressive lead singers over the years. The man singing here helped form the group and sings lead on a few songs per album. Two I would suggest are the albums The Cutter & The Clan and The Stamping Ground, two of their strongest efforts.

      Thank you for the prayer and kind thoughts. Its a number of things going on simultaneously which is why this song struck me. Appreciate it 😄

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Keith Pajkowski

    Easy assignment. Sherman, set the Way-Back machine for Sommerville, MA, ca. Winter 1998-99.

    Weather was intemperate (about the same as NYC this morning ~ 5 F). Blustery winds and the remains of a recent snow out on the road.

    Was preparing for my morning trek up to Bedford on Rt. 128 and pulled into the Mobile station on Mass. Ave. to re-up the tank and get some coffee. 7:30 am. Sub-freezing weather does seem to highten the senses in a strange way. Everything felt harsh but delicate, even the smell of gasoline filling the tank seemed to have a floral quality. The constrast between early morning sunlight and shadow was remarkably sharp.

    After starting the engine decided to linger a bit longer. Turned on the radio just in time to hear this song for the first time ever.

    I’m thinking about it this morning.

    Keith

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Keith Pajkowski

        Gee, Rob, the hyperlink to Waterboys seems to be missing. I thought WordPress handled them.

        Here’s the link: https://youtu.be/_VKouBHarIo

        Sorry bout that …

        (I do blog, anonymously, for a site called “World-O’-Crap” but now have something called “radial neuropathy” in right had so difficult to type properly. Need to see hand surgeon.)

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Never heard of this particular band before but I enjoyed the song. I can see where emotions can easily mingle with it. I watched the video twice, I was trying to figure out why the man sold the necklace then went back to buy it again. I assume it had sentimental value? I enjoyed his dancing, thought it was really cute especially at he end.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks as always Tasha! If I have it right, the guy in the dancehall is the old man at the start. I had to watch it again to notice that the girl he dances with is wearing the necklace with the heart pendant. So where it starts in the bigger city of Glasgow at the pawn shop, I assume that they were married but she has passed on, and maybe he had fallen on hard times and lost his way. And what would get him back on track is holding on to that necklace and going back to the Hebrides, which are more rural islands on the west coast of Scotland (and where Runrig started). I took it to mean that those scenes going by from the car window represented him back at ‘home’ which is where his Scottish dancing came in to it. Anyway, just my interpretation. Thanks for watching and reading! As you know things have just been almost overwhelming and when I find a song that helps me in times like that, you better believe I cling to it!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for sharing this. Good song and a great video with a poignant story. The song definitely spoke to me. I’ve saved your post so I can come back to it in future. Some songs have the capacity to express the things and the feelings that we can’t describe or put into words ourselves. They can be incredibly thereauptic.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love the gaelic language. My grandparents both spoke it. They spoke in Gaelic when they didn’t want me to know what they were saying. Oona speaks a bit–she learned it from her Irish dance days from her teacher. This brought to mind an incident when Oona was waiting for a dance dress to be delivered from Ireland. Her friends called her “Oona gan guna”. Oona without a dress. I shared this song with my Irish dance friends who are at the All Scotlands right now! Beautiful song. See how music affects us all?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Catherine! My mom was born and raised in Donegal, and spoke more Gaelic growing up than English. But then she came here, and it was unfashionable to speak it much even in Irish circles apparently so she lost much of it. She can still pronounce the words, which when you see it written is tough! On my bucket list is learning some of it for myself some day. I’m so glad you enjoyed the post and indeed, music does affect all of us!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Has it ever happen to you that you hear a song and it means nothing to you and then something happens in your life and latter you listen to the same song and it has a lot of meaning for you? And it is like every word on that song relates to you and your life, like it was wrote for you and you cannot understand why it did not make sense to you before? Music is so powerful that it actually waits for you to caught up with it patiently. And then it lets you express yourself through it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely! Happens to me quite often. Like sometimes I know something is there…but until I experience it, the lyrics don’t mean anything. Then suddenly its-WHOA…I get it now. I also have felt like a song is directly aimed at me more than once, so I really understand your point. Thank you for such a great observation. You always leave such thoughtful comments for me and I genuinely appreciate it!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I like how you incorporate songs and music into life events. After all, life provides the substance to the words songs are written about. There were times I listened to the words of songs and could not wait until my life matched the words. Nice read.

    Like

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