album cover Call it Freedom (1988)


Engineer Peter Haigh
Producer Dick Gaughan

Artist : Dick Gaughan

Dick Gaughan : Vocal, Guitars
Elaine C. Smith : Vocal
Fos Patterson : Keyboards
Tomas Lynch : Uillean pipes, Whistle
Brian McNeill : Fiddle
Allan Tall : Saxophone
Mike Travis : Drums, Percussion
Dave Bulmer : Accordeon

Track Notes

Bulmer's Fancy / The Silver Spire (Trad)

A couple of reels I'm rather fond of.

songtext Shipwreck (Dick Gaughan)

When I was a kid working in the paper mill (I served my apprenticeship as a papermaker) one of the older workers told me a way of dealing with managerial attempts at intimidation - "when he's acting as if he's Emperor, imagine him sitting in the bathroom with his trousers round his ankles and you'll understand that, he might get paid more, but he's no better than you or me". This song is the musical equivalent of that! It is an answer to the rhetorical question, "If two people were stranded on a desert island and one had a million pounds in cash and the other had a can of beans, which would be the wealthier?"

songtext What You Do With What You've Got (Si Kahn)

Si's wonderful song for and about people with disabilities. I have used this as my opening song in concert since the mid-80s.

songtext Ludlow Massacre (Woody Guthrie)

I have always believed that the evidence of history is that if working people are not prepared to defend ourselves, we haven't got a chance. Woody believed likewise.

songtext That's The Way The River Runs (Anderson/MacLennan)

Written by Dave Anderson and David MacLennan of Wildcat Theatre Company for their show, Business in the Backyard, about US involvement in Latin America, particularly Nicaragua. Dave Anderson, Elaine C Smith and myself performed this at a Scottish Trades Union Congress in the 80s and I decided to record it. Elaine's much better known as an actor but is also a fine singer so I asked her to join me here.

songtext Amandla! (Dick Gaughan)

I wrote this after seeing the ANC musical troupe called "Amandla" at a festival in Eastern Europe in 1985. 'Amandla' means 'power'.

songtext Call it Freedom (Dick Gaughan)

My parents used to laugh cynically when they were told that, unlike the poor people in those horrible Socialist countries, they had the freedom to travel anywhere they wanted. They laughed because they had hardly enough money to feed the children let alone travel, and that was with both of them working around 50 hours a week each. A freedom which one is prevented from exercising, whether by law or economics, is not a freedom at all, it is an abstract idea, and to pretend that having the hypothetical right to this 'freedom' makes our society a free society is pure cant.

songtext When I'm Gone (Phil Ochs)

I remember when I was starting out as a young singer coming across All the News That's Fit to Sing and the effect it had on me. I was highly honoured to be invited to sing at Phil's induction into the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame in May 99. For some bizarre reason on this recording I missed out two of the most crucial verses - the inner workings of my brain are sometimes a mystery to me.

songtext Seven Good Soldiers (Iain MacDonald)

I produced the two albums Iain made for Greentrax. He has written some damned fine songs and deserves much wider recognition than he has ever been given.

Fifty Years From Now / Yardheads (Dick Gaughan)

Like most people, I get sick of the pie-in-the-sky politicians' promises of "jam tomorrow". The tune, Yardheads, is named after the street where I went to primary school and where my father was born.

Historical Footnote

Recorded at Pier House Studios, Edinburgh

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