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ArtyNess: The Power of Song

By Liza Mulholland

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Liza Mulholland ponders the power of music to and song to bring us together.

Yes, sir, we need a certain song!

Most people will undoubtedly have experienced and appreciated the power of song. We all have a personal soundtrack to our lives; those songs that were favourites or represented a special time, which, decades later, still move us, make us dance, laugh, cry, and take us instantly back to a particular moment.

Such is the power of song that it’s not only among the first things young babies catch on to but, at the other end of life, elderly dementia patients are often able to sing along, word for word, to old favourites, long after cognitive understanding or lucid speech have gone.

Some songs seem to truly capture and reflect the feeling or spirit of the time, and right now it has got to be “Yes sir, I can boogie”. The 1977 Baccarra hit, to which the men’s Scotland national team famously celebrated after qualifying for the Euro 2020 football tournament, has become the Tartan Army anthem and the song of the moment.

Video of the players singing and dancing to the song, after their penalty shoot-out win over Serbia, has been viewed millions of times and has such a feel-good party atmosphere it is impossible not to laugh and share the sheer joy and exuberance of the squad.

Scotland’s participation in the Euros has naturally spawned quite a few “Yes sir, I can boogie” covers as well as new songs, and whether it’s the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra’s version, The LaFontaines’ catchy “Scotland, Bonny Scotland” with its excellent video, or the inimitable “Kilts On Taps Aff” from Dundee band The Cundeez, each is brimming with its own energy, fun and exhilaration.

Like most Scots, I am following our team’s progress closely but, with a footballer in the house, am undoubtedly more engaged this time around. Indeed, the game has featured large in my own life over the last 10 years.

Since my son joined Inverness Caley Thistle’s Youth Academy around the age of nine my weekly schedule has revolved around driving him to and from training three nights a week and matches at weekends. I and other parents even got to support our boys at several international tournaments abroad.

I cannot praise highly enough the training, coaching and guidance provided by Caley Thistle, and it is testament to superb work done by Charlie Christie and all at the club that several young players, including my son, got to experience the thrill of pulling on a Scotland jersey at recent Under 21s friendlies against Northern Ireland.

Opportunities to work at what you are most passionate about are relatively rare in life. I am endlessly thankful to make a living with music and so grateful my son also has the chance to do what he loves.

Regardless of how the Euros go I am certain that, years from now, hearing a certain song will take us right back to this moment and, yes sir, put a smile on our faces!

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