Opening Concert 2017 Celtic Connections


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Opening Concert 2017

Roddy Hart presents highlights of the opening concert of Celtic Connections 2017, featuring the debut festival performance from award-winning singer-songwriter Laura Marling.


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Hello, and welcome to the opening concert of Celtic Connections 2017.

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Celtic Connections is the biggest winter music festival in the world,

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and it was launched in style with a fantastic concert

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featuring the award-winning singer-songwriter Laura Marling.

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This performance marks her Celtic Connections debut,

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and for her first outing,

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she was joined by the acclaimed BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

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We'll be bringing you highlights from that set

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as well as performances from Cara Dillon...

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..Adam Holmes and Rachel Sermanni...

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..Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys...

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..Declan O'Rourke...

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..and Aziza Brahim.

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But first, here is Karine Polwart

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with a piece composed specially for the event.

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She was accompanied by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

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conducted by Jules Buckley and led by Kanako Ito.

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On May 11th, 1930, a young woman called Mary Anne MacLeod

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from Tong on the Isle of Lewis stepped aboard the RMS Transylvania

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from Glasgow to New York City in search of a better life.

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There, she met Frederick,

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whose father had emigrated to America from Germany

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as a 16-year-old boy,

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and together Mary Anne and Frederick raised five children.

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Mary Anne's middle son would return to Scotland years later,

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the home of his MacLeod ancestors,

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whose clan motto is, "I burn but I am not consumed."

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And here, in the name of progress and profit, and executive golf,

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he would pit himself against time and tide.

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And in his wake, the shifting dunes of Balmedie in Aberdeenshire

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would never be the same.

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The marbled metamorphic rock of Lewis

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is two thirds the age of Earth,

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amongst the oldest on our planet.

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It knows about power and it's seen a lot.

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And so I wondered,

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what might it have to say about the inauguration tomorrow

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in Washington DC

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of the 45th President of the United States of America,

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Mary Anne MacLeod's middle son Donald?

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And this is what the rock told me.

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Oh son of Lewis, lonely boy,

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hewn from granite, salt and sky

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upon a foreign shore:

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the ocean is a mirror gleam

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in which you see yourself,

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and nothing more.

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Three billion years of gravity,

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of strata forged in fire and earth,

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the stone crib of your mother's birth,

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in which your forebears lie.

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I am alive. I am a tomb.

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I burn, but I am not consumed.

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I burn, but I am not consumed.

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Fish may swim at your command

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across The Atlantic to the land

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of dreams and self belief and boundless chance.

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An exile tale. An immigrant dance.

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You're captain of a frigate now,

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So set your compass, raise the mast,

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Blow up the sails,

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Erase the past, and future, if you must.

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# Together we can stand

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# And watch the peat-land turn to dust... #

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This is your apprenticeship:

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The Gulf Stream doesn't know your name,

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nor does the splendid, blazing sun

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that alters how the currents run.

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The North wind never heard you roar:

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You're fired! You're fired!

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My back might burn, the blaze run wild,

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but I am not consumed, my child.

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The Minch whips up a spindrift storm.

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The machair shifts. The machair moans.

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From Uig Bay to Luskentyre...

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# The gale blows fast, the tide flows higher

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# The shore erodes and disappears... #

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And, meantime, you are stoking fears

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and stacking hope into a pyre.

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You strike a match.

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# Oh ma bairn, mo leanaibh

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# Oh ma bairn, mo leanaibh

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# Your mother was a wee girl once

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# Who played upon my rocky shore

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# And you, you are a broken boy

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# And you want more and more and more

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# You build a tower You build a wall

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# You live in fear that they might fall... #

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You who see nothing but your face

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in the sheen of the Hudson River.

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# Oh ma bairn, mo leanaibh

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# Oh ma bairn, mo leanaibh... #

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A balancing is yet to come,

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although by then you may be gone

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and leave a desert to your sons and daughters.

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Still, these waters, they will rise,

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the North Sea haar will cover your eyes,

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despite your appetite for lies.

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And your disregard for truth.

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Three billion years of gravity,

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of strata forged in fire and earth,

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the stone crib of your mother's birth,

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in which your forebears lie.

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I am alive. I am a tomb.

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I burn, but I am not consumed.

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I burn, but I am not consumed.

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# I was Farrah Fawcett, you were Steve McQueen

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# And we rode your silver Grifter

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# Half the way from Aberdeen

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# And the waves

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# Fall

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# How they fall

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# I kept lookout in the marram grass

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# U-boats on the skyline

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# Commandos at the pass

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# And the waves

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# Fall

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# How they fall

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# And the tide still ebbs and flows

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# Where the Ythan meets the ocean

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# Not even God himself

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# Could stop the northerlies from blowing

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# You can tear theses dunes asunder

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# Pound this wonder into dust

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# With your cruel hands and crooked hearts

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# Laden with lust

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# And expensive lies

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# But the haar will stumble in

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# To cover your eyes

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# The haar will stumble in

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# You said Michael blew the clouds away

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# And a scarlet shard of sunset scores the granite grey

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# And the waves

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# Fall

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# How they fall

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# And the tide still ebbs and flows

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# Where the Ythan meets the ocean

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# Not even God himself

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# Could stop the northerlies from blowing

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# The tide still ebbs and flows

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# Where the Ythan meets the ocean

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# Not even God himself

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# Could stop the northerlies from blowing

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# You can tear these dunes asunder

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# Pound this wonder into dust

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# With your cruel hands and crooked hearts

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# Laden with lust

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# And expensive lies

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# But the haar will stumble in

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# To cover your eyes

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# The haar will stumble in. #

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Thank you.

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'Making their first appearance at Celtic Connections this year

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'was Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys,

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'who brought their own brand of eclectic Americana

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'to the concert hall.'

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# All at once, everything changed

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# I became

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# What I never thought I could be

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# Is this me?

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# Or am I

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# Lost and just alone for the ride?

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# She looked at me

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# With a sideways glance

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# Knowing nothing could be left to chance

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# We closed our eyes Standing still

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# We swallowed the happiness pill

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# Oooh-ooh-ooh

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# We're all here

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# We're all gone

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# We traded time for

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# A trip that lasted too long

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# Oooh-ooh-ooh

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# Oooh-ooh-ooh

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# I met a man by the sea

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# And he told me

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# I have the secret to love

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# He listed steps

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# One, two and three

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# What he wants will never be enough

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# Oooh-ooh-ooh

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# He let out an uncomfortable laugh

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# Let his eyes roll back

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# He writes it all down

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# Sleeps outside

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# Bums a smoke and goes on with his life

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# Oooh-ooh-ooh

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# He's all there

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# He's all gone

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# He traded time for

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# A trip that lasted too long

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# And we're all here

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# Oh, and we're all gone

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# Yeah, we traded time for

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# A trip that lasted too long

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# And we're all here

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# Oh, and we're all gone

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# Oooh-ooh-ooh, we can always go back

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# To where we came from

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# You can always go back

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# To where you came from. #

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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'Rachel Sermanni was joined by Adam Holmes

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'for a special performance of her song, Banks Are Broken.'

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# At the kiss of the tide

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# Won't you lay by my side?

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# Feel it turning

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# Instead of dwelling on our death

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# Won't you come and share my breath?

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# Feel it burning

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# Behind a white wood door

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# Is a mattress on the floor

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# Where we are lovers

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# Tonight is the last time

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# I get to hold you fast

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# And fast go the hours

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# The river does not wait

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# Though we throw rocks to dam our fate

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# The banks have been broken

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# The banks have been broken

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# Oooh-oooh

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# I watch from silent bloom

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# The colours turn

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# And you are set like a fire

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# Every letter that you write

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# Another metre to the kite

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# Falling higher and higher

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# White ribbon in the moon

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# The river tells me soon

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# You'll be taken away

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# And tonight is the last time

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# I get to hold you fast

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# So I want you to stay

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-BOTH:

-# You know you cannot wait

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# Without love and without hate

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# The banks have been broken

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# The banks have been broken

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# Ooooooooh

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# Ooooooh-ooooooooh

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# Ooooooooooh

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# Oooh-ooooh, oooh-ooh-ooh. #

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APPLAUSE AND CHEERING

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Thank you.

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'Western Saharan musician and activist Aziza Brahim

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'played a track from her 2016 album Abbar el Hamada,

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'which looked at the restless, imaginative search for home.'

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SHE SINGS IN OWN LANGUAGE

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SHE ULULATES

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SHE SINGS IN OWN LANGUAGE

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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'Irish singer Cara Dillon was joined by Michael McGoldrick and Sam Lakeman

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'for a beautiful rendition of the traditional Irish folk song

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'She Moved Through the Fair.'

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# My young love said to me

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# My mother won't mind

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# And my father won't slight you

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# For your lack of kind

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# And she stepped away from me

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# And this she did say

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# It will not be long, love

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# Till our wedding day

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# She stepped away from me

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# And she went through the fair

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# And fondly I watched her

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# Move here and move there

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# And she turned her way homeward

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# With one star awake

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# As the swan in the evening

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# Moves over the lake

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# The people were saying

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# No two e'er were red

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# But one has a sorrow

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# That never was said

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# And she smiled as she passed me

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# With her goods and her gear

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# And that was the last

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# That I saw of my dear

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# Last night she came to me

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# My true love came in

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# And she came in so easy

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# Her feet made no din

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# And she laid her hands on me

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# And this she did say

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# It will not be long, love

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# Till our wedding day

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# No, it won't be long

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# My love

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# No, it won't be long

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# My love

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# No, it won't be long

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# My love. #

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Mike McGoldrick.

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And Sam Lakeman.

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'Declan O'Rourke treated the audience to a stunning version

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'of his much-loved song, Galileo.'

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# Galileo fell in love

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# As a Galilean boy

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# And he wondered what in heaven

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# Who invented such a joy

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# But the question got the better

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# Of his scientific mind

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# And to his blind and dying gaze

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# He looked up high

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# And often sighed

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# And sometimes cried

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# Who puts the rainbow in the sky?

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# Who lights the stars at night?

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# Who dreamt up someone so divine

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# Someone like you and made them mine?

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# Love can make you ask

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# Some funny questions now and then

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# But just remember the alternatives

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# For I remember when

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# I was lonely and unhappy

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# And my lips were cold as ice

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# But you kissed me and good heavens

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# Now I'm here in paradise

0:32:170:32:22

# So if ever I'm not kissing you

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# Or looking in your eyes

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# I won't be blind and I won't cry

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# I'll look up high

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# And gladly sigh

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# And thank the guy

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# Who puts the rainbow in the sky

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# Who lights the stars at night

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# Who dreamt up someone so divine

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# Someone like you and made them mine

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# Someone like you and made them mine. #

0:33:280:33:36

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:33:420:33:46

'For the second part of the concert,

0:33:510:33:53

'Laura Marling joined the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

0:33:530:33:57

'conducted by Jules Buckley, with arrangements by Kate St John.'

0:33:570:34:00

# There's a man that I know

0:34:110:34:14

# For 17 years he never spoke

0:34:150:34:19

# I guessed he had nothing to say

0:34:200:34:25

# He opened his mouth on judgment day

0:34:250:34:29

# I listened with all of my might

0:34:320:34:36

# I was scared by the look in his eyes

0:34:370:34:40

# Like he's already lost the fight

0:34:420:34:47

# And there's no hope ever in sight

0:34:470:34:51

# No hope in the air

0:34:550:34:57

# No hope in the water

0:34:570:35:00

# Not even for me

0:35:000:35:02

# Your last serving daughter

0:35:020:35:04

# Why fear death?

0:35:090:35:10

# Be scared of living

0:35:100:35:12

# Our hearts are small

0:35:120:35:15

# And ever-thinning

0:35:150:35:17

# There's no hope ever of winning

0:35:170:35:23

# Why fear death?

0:35:230:35:24

# Be scared of living

0:35:240:35:27

# I have seen men provoked

0:35:310:35:34

# And I have seen lives revoked

0:35:350:35:39

# I look at my life and choke

0:35:400:35:44

# From here, no more ever I spoke

0:35:450:35:50

# I can't give up this quick

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# My life is a candle and a wick

0:35:580:36:01

# You can put it out but you can't break it down

0:36:030:36:08

# In the end we are waiting to be lit

0:36:080:36:11

# There's hope in the air

0:36:120:36:16

# Hope in the water

0:36:160:36:18

# Sadly, not me

0:36:180:36:20

# Your last serving daughter

0:36:200:36:22

# You speak minds handed down to you

0:36:250:36:29

# By the lies handed down by your truth

0:36:300:36:34

# And those angels that danced at your will

0:36:350:36:41

# Will mask your scrambling youth

0:36:410:36:44

# I forgave you your shortcomings

0:36:480:36:52

# I ignored your childish behaviour

0:36:520:36:57

# Laid a kiss on your head

0:36:570:37:00

# And before I left, said

0:37:000:37:02

# You stay away from fleeing favour

0:37:020:37:05

# Pick up your rope, Lord

0:37:300:37:33

# Sling it to me

0:37:330:37:34

# If we are to battle, I must not be weak

0:37:340:37:39

# And give me your strength, Lord

0:37:390:37:41

# And your food and your water

0:37:410:37:43

# Oh, I am your saviour

0:37:430:37:46

# Your last serving daughter

0:37:460:37:48

# There's hope in the air

0:37:520:37:55

# Hope in the water

0:37:550:37:57

# No hope for me

0:37:570:37:59

# Your last serving daughter

0:37:590:38:02

# There's hope in the air

0:38:050:38:08

# Hope in the water

0:38:080:38:11

# No hope for me

0:38:110:38:13

# Your last serving daughter. #

0:38:130:38:15

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:38:300:38:33

# You said, be gone, beast

0:38:530:38:57

# Be gone from me

0:38:590:39:02

# Be gone from my mind at least

0:39:050:39:09

# Let a little lady be

0:39:110:39:14

# I don't want you to want me

0:39:170:39:22

# Wouldn't want you to know

0:39:240:39:29

# I don't care where you've gone, beast

0:39:290:39:35

# I care where you go

0:39:350:39:40

# Take the night off

0:39:420:39:46

# And be bad for me

0:39:460:39:50

# Take it right off

0:39:530:39:58

# And be bad for me

0:39:580:40:05

# I didn't understand where you had gone

0:40:140:40:18

# Didn't know you'd be right back

0:40:200:40:24

# I didn't hear the night song

0:40:260:40:31

# Calling you into the black

0:40:320:40:37

# Never asked you to save me

0:40:380:40:42

# Not when you knew me well

0:40:440:40:49

# Wouldn't ask you even to behave for me

0:40:510:40:55

# I know there's no hope in hell

0:40:570:41:01

# Take the night off

0:41:020:41:07

# And be bad for me

0:41:070:41:11

# Take it right off

0:41:140:41:18

# And be bad for me. #

0:41:190:41:26

# So your grandmother sounds to me

0:41:470:41:50

# A woman I would be proud to be

0:41:530:41:59

# And you say she reminds you of me

0:41:590:42:03

# Every little boy is so naive, no

0:42:050:42:10

# I will not be a victim of romance

0:42:110:42:14

# I will not be a victim of circumstance

0:42:170:42:19

# Chance or circumstance or romance

0:42:210:42:25

# Or any man

0:42:250:42:26

# Who can get his dirty little hands on me

0:42:260:42:32

# No-oh, no-oh

0:42:320:42:38

# So your grandfather sounds like me

0:42:450:42:48

# Head up, shoulders back, and proud to be

0:42:510:42:56

# Every little girl is so naive

0:42:560:43:03

# Falling in love with the first man that you see

0:43:030:43:07

# No

0:43:070:43:08

# I am not some victim of romance

0:43:080:43:11

# I cannot be a victim of circumstance

0:43:140:43:17

# Chance or circumstance or romance

0:43:180:43:22

# Or any man

0:43:220:43:23

# Who can get his dirty little hands on me

0:43:230:43:29

# No-oh, no-oh

0:43:290:43:33

# When we were in love

0:43:410:43:45

# If we were

0:43:450:43:47

# When we were in love

0:43:470:43:51

# I was an eagle

0:43:510:43:56

# And you were a dove

0:43:560:43:58

# Today I will feel something other than regret

0:44:060:44:09

# Pass me a glass and a half-smoked cigarette

0:44:110:44:15

# I've damn near got no dignity left

0:44:170:44:20

# I've damn near got no dignity left, no

0:44:220:44:28

# I cannot be a victim of romance

0:44:290:44:31

# I will not be a victim of circumstance

0:44:340:44:37

# Chance or circumstance or romance

0:44:380:44:42

# Or any man

0:44:420:44:44

# Who can get his dirty little hands on me

0:44:440:44:48

# No-oh, no-oh

0:44:480:44:54

# When we were in love

0:45:000:45:04

# If we were

0:45:040:45:06

# When we were in love

0:45:060:45:10

# You were a dove

0:45:100:45:12

# And I rose above you

0:45:120:45:16

# And prayed. #

0:45:160:45:20

# Damn all those people who don't lose control

0:45:410:45:44

# Who will never take a foot out of life

0:45:440:45:47

# You might not care what I think

0:45:490:45:52

# But you don't know what I know

0:45:520:45:53

# Damn all those hippies who stomp empty-footed

0:45:570:46:01

# Upon all that's good and all that's pure in the world

0:46:010:46:05

# You might not think that I care

0:46:060:46:08

# But you don't know what I know

0:46:080:46:10

# Bless all those mothers who do all they can

0:46:140:46:18

# Just to take their faults out of the line

0:46:180:46:21

# I might not know what that's like

0:46:230:46:25

# But I'm so glad that you know

0:46:250:46:27

# Give me a minute there

0:46:310:46:34

# Just a minute now

0:46:340:46:35

# It'll come back to me

0:46:350:46:38

# I was so sure but you freewheeling troubadour

0:46:390:46:43

# You took my mind off the scene

0:46:430:46:46

# And you know, you know, you know

0:46:460:46:50

# And I know that you know

0:46:500:46:52

# You asked me blind once If I was a child once

0:46:560:47:00

# And I said, I'm really not sure

0:47:000:47:03

# How can you know?

0:47:040:47:06

# How can you know all it is you don't know?

0:47:060:47:09

# We were a pair once of so much despair, oh

0:47:130:47:17

# You're a child then, I'm sure

0:47:170:47:21

# But if we were a child then

0:47:210:47:23

# Then we are children no more

0:47:230:47:26

# Give me a minute there

0:47:300:47:32

# Just a minute now

0:47:320:47:34

# It'll come back to me

0:47:340:47:36

# I was so sure but you freewheeling troubadour

0:47:390:47:42

# You took my mind off the scene

0:47:420:47:45

# And you know, you know, you know

0:47:460:47:49

# I know that you know

0:47:490:47:51

# You know, you know, you know

0:47:540:47:57

# And I know that you know. #

0:47:570:47:59

# You've come here to tell me something

0:48:230:48:27

# I already know

0:48:270:48:30

# The dark before the dawn

0:48:310:48:34

# Is the darkest I can go

0:48:340:48:38

# The calm before the storm

0:48:390:48:42

# Is where I've left me here to breathe

0:48:420:48:46

# We must breathe

0:48:470:48:49

# Us of constant banging

0:49:040:49:07

# Throwing fists against the wall

0:49:070:49:10

# Screaming at the earth

0:49:120:49:15

# For what it's done to one and all

0:49:150:49:19

# I came here to tell you something

0:49:200:49:24

# You already know

0:49:240:49:27

# You must breathe

0:49:270:49:29

# Bree-e-e-e-eathe

0:49:320:49:40

# How cruel I am to you

0:49:430:49:46

# Oh, the cruel things I do

0:49:470:49:50

# How cruel you are to me

0:49:520:49:53

# How cruel time can be

0:49:550:49:58

# I wrote you a book

0:50:010:50:04

# But I left it out in the rain

0:50:040:50:08

# Left it there to dry

0:50:100:50:13

# And it got rained on once again

0:50:130:50:16

# Me of constant banging

0:50:180:50:21

# Throwing fists against the wall

0:50:210:50:24

# I must breathe

0:50:260:50:27

# Bree-e-e-e-eathe

0:50:300:50:37

# How cruel I am to you

0:50:400:50:43

# The cruel things I do

0:50:440:50:47

# How cruel you are to me

0:50:480:50:51

# How cruel time can be

0:50:530:50:55

# When you wake you'll know I'm gone

0:51:090:51:15

# And where I'm going there's no-one

0:51:150:51:20

# So don't follow me

0:51:200:51:22

# Whatever you may hear or see

0:51:240:51:27

# When you wake you'll know I'm gone

0:51:300:51:35

# And where I'm going there's no-one

0:51:350:51:41

# So don't follow me

0:51:410:51:43

# Whatever you may hear or see

0:51:450:51:48

# Don't follow me. #

0:51:490:51:52

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:52:330:52:37

# You were so smart then

0:53:330:53:37

# In your jacket and coat

0:53:370:53:40

# My softest red scarf was...

0:53:420:53:46

# Warming your throat

0:53:470:53:50

# Winter was on us

0:53:530:53:57

# At the end of my nose

0:53:570:54:00

# I never love England more

0:54:020:54:06

# Than when covered in snow

0:54:060:54:09

# Friend of mine says it's so good to hear

0:54:130:54:17

# That you believe in love even if set in fear

0:54:170:54:22

# Let me hold you there but then set you straight

0:54:220:54:27

# I only believe love is frail and willing to break

0:54:270:54:32

# I will come back here

0:54:350:54:40

# Bring me back when I'm old

0:54:400:54:44

# I want to lay here

0:54:450:54:48

# Forever in the cold

0:54:500:54:52

# I might be cold but

0:54:550:54:59

# I'm just skin and bone

0:54:590:55:04

# I will never love England more

0:55:040:55:09

# Than when covered in snow

0:55:090:55:13

# I wrote my name in your book

0:55:260:55:28

# Only God knows why

0:55:310:55:33

# And I bet you that he cracked a smile

0:55:340:55:37

# And I'm clearing all the crap out of my room

0:55:390:55:42

# Trying desperately to figure out what it is that makes me blue

0:55:430:55:48

# And I wrote an epic letter to you

0:55:480:55:52

# It's 22 pages front and back

0:55:530:55:55

# And it's too good to be used

0:55:550:55:58

# I have tried to be a girl who likes to be used

0:55:580:56:02

# I'm too good for that

0:56:020:56:05

# There's a mind under this hat

0:56:050:56:07

# And I called my ma and told her I've got to move

0:56:070:56:11

# I'm out, Ma

0:56:120:56:14

# It's too hard

0:56:140:56:15

# I'm on my own

0:56:160:56:18

# And it's too hard

0:56:180:56:20

# Feel like running

0:56:220:56:25

# Feel like running

0:56:260:56:31

# Running off

0:56:310:56:33

# We will keep you

0:56:360:56:40

# We will keep you

0:56:410:56:45

# Little one

0:56:450:56:49

# Safe from harm

0:56:490:56:53

# Like an extra arm, you are a part of us

0:56:540:57:00

# You were so smart then

0:57:030:57:06

# In your jacket and coat

0:57:080:57:11

# My softest red scarf was...

0:57:130:57:17

# Warming your throat

0:57:180:57:20

# Winter will leave us

0:57:230:57:26

# Left the end of my nose

0:57:270:57:30

# Goodbye, old England

0:57:320:57:36

# Until next year's snow. #

0:57:370:57:40

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:57:460:57:49

Thank you so much.

0:57:540:57:55

Thank you.

0:58:050:58:07

The opening concert of Celtic Connections 2017 featuring the debut festival performance from award-winning singer-songwriter Laura Marling and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jules Buckley.

Presented by Roddy Hart, this programme brings all the highlights from the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall as well as opening night performances from Cara Dillon, Adam Holmes and Rachel Sermanni, Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys, Declan O Rourke, Aziza Brahim and Karine Polwart.