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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
skw@worldmusic.de Lyr Req: Best of the Barley (6) RE: Lyrics -- Best of the Barley 02 Mar 99


Here's what Brian himself has had to say about the song and his subjects over the years:

[1991:] James McNeill, my great-uncle, is, at the time of writing, a spry eighty-eight. He first went to the States in 1923, worked as a joiner in Detroit, then returned to Scotland in 1929 for a holiday. It says a great deal for his confidence in the USA that he was prepared to return again, despite the stock market crash. - With the building trade depressed, he became a deliveryman, of ice - until another visit home, in 1936, when he went back to his old trade of joinery with a firm in his home town (and mine) of Falkirk. The coming of war in 1939 killed any chance of returning to the USA, and eventually he was conscripted - a circumstance which was to land him on Queen White beach in Normandy on D-Day, and which, like everything else in his life, he took in his remarkable stride. (Notes Brian McNeill, 'The Back o' the North Wind')

[1992:] The real reason why my uncle went back to the USA in 1929, although everybody tried to persuade him to stay is - he had a return ticket. (Intro Brian McNeill)

[1993:] Sadly he died in Scotland about four months ago (= c. June). (Intro Brian McNeill)

Now where has that story about Jim and McGoodyear whisky got to??? I thought I had it! - Susanne


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