Scottish Week: Wrapping Up

Well I just want to thank everyone for tuning in over the past week for Scottish Week here at ye ol’ blog.

We had fun, learned a bit, got some culture, and heard some great tunes. I’m pretty stoked about my heritage, stoked that my parents saw fit to engage their kids in it early on. Stoked that I’ve actually been to my family’s home land. Stoked that I get to share it with my kids. Stoked that I get to share it with my blogging friends! I think it’s important to know where you’re from, where you’ve been – it kind of gives you a clearer picture of where you’re going.

bob & george mclean

And here’s a blast from the past. That’s my dad (Robert Alexander) and my grandpa (George Alexander) – two fine looking McLean’s. This picture is from 2000, at me and Jen’s wedding. My gramps decked it out! So I imagine I’ll one day graduate from my flip flops and jeans to a tux, and one day to a kilt. We’ll see. My grandpa passed away in March of 2007, just a month after meeting his great-grandson, Miles Alexander McLean…

So, once again, thanks for joining me in this week long journey. I’ll leave you with some interesting wikipedia facts:

In the 2000 Census, 4.8 million Americans reported Scottish ancestry, 1.7% of the total US population. Given Scotland’s population (just over 5 million), there are almost as many Scottish Americans as there are native Scots living in their home country.

There has been a long tradition of influences between Scottish and the African American community. The great influx of Scots Presbyterians into the Carolinas introduced the African slaves to Christianity and their way of worship and singing. Even today, psalm singing and gospel music are the backbone of African American churchgoers. It has been long thought by the wider African American community that American Gospel music originated in Africa and was brought to the Americas by slaves. However recent studies by Professor Willie Ruff, himself, a Black American ethno-musicologist at Yale University concludes that African American Gospel singing was in fact was introduced and encouraged by Scottish Gaelic speaking settlers from North Uist.[1] His study also and concludes that the first foreign tongue spoken by slaves in America was not English but Scottish Gaelic taught to them by Gaelic speakers who left the Western Isles because of religious persecution.[1]

[this is very interesting to me because I have always had some fascination with a lot of african american music. I remember clearly, checking out a book when I was a young teen that was a history of the blues. Read all about some of the great blues guitarists from missisppi, detroit, chicago, new orleans, etc. And ever since then I have always been a huge blues fan. I am constantly amazed at the power of music.

And of course I could not conclude Scottish Week without mentioning these Scottish movies!

And here’s a list of some famous Scottish people, in no particular order:

And lastly as we part, here’s a song that you may already know, you probably just didn’t know it was Scottish:

Nothing like Flea in a kilt!

“Auld Lang Syne” is a poem written by Robert Burns in 1788 and set to the tune of a traditional folk song (Roud # 6294), although the same phrase (Auld Lang Syne) is used in similar poems by Robert Ayton (1570–1638), Allan Ramsay (1686-1757) and James Watson (1711) as well as older folk songs predating Burns.[1]

It is well-known in many English-speaking countries, and it is often sung at the stroke of midnight on the 1st of January, New Year’s Day. Like many other frequently sung songs, the melody is better remembered than the words, which are often sung incorrectly, and seldom in full.

The song’s (Scots) title may be translated into English literally as “old long since”, or more idiomatically, “long long ago” [2] or “days gone by”. In his retelling of fairy tales in the Scots language, Matthew Fitt uses the phrase “In the days of auld lang syne” as the equivalent of “Once upon a time.” In Scots syne is pronounced like the English word sign — IPA: [sain] — not [zain] as many people pronounce it.

Thanks for playing!

7 thoughts on “Scottish Week: Wrapping Up

  1. Pingback:Dark Horse, Famous Scottish People, Review TBPID, Random Photo — Mikey Way Online

  2. Edinburgh Lover

    4.8 milllion Americans with Scotish ancestry sounds right. I know that I have Scotish ancestry and just need to take the time to track this down.

  3. Heather Stewart

    read your blog, very interesting. i live in scotland and i don’t know half of they facts.superb and well done you…fae bonnie scotland cheers…

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