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The real MacColl…

Manchester-based journalist and SNP member DAVE BOWMAN looks at the life and times of the late Ewan MacColl -singer, songwriter, broadcaster, dramatist, impressario and lifelong political agitator - and reflects that the ‘father of the British folk revival’ didn’t always get the recognition he deserved in Scotland, his spiritual home.

The man born on Burns’ Night, 1915, changed his name from plain Jimmie Miller to underline his Scottishness

G O INto any Irish pub from Aberdeen to Adelaide, Clydebank to Chicago or Dundee to Dunedin and it won’t be long before the haunting strains of ‘Dirty Old Town’ waft out from the jukebox or sound system.

The archetypal Irish ballad, you might think, and a hugely popular one at that thanks to the efforts over the years of groups like the Clancy Brothers, the Dubliners and the Pogues.

But Dirty Old Town wasn’t written about Dublin and it wasn’t written by an Irishman. It was the creation of proud and dedicated Scottish nationalist, Ewan MacColl, who might have been born in the North of England industrial city of Salford, but was Scottish through and through - a fact of life he never tired of emphasising.

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October 2016 Edition The one with the "EAT YOUR CEREAL" COVER Robbie Dinwoodie has an exclusive interview with Malcolm Chisholm Peter A Bell on the Essential Nationalist and why a form of cultural oppression has been going on for years in the classroom Will McLeod in New Yorks writes on Hilary and the US Media Dr Craig Dalzell on the subject of GERS Wee Ginger Dug - Have a nice cold bowl of Brexit The Most Excellent Tom Morton on Finding good whisky at reasonable prices. Delia Forrest in Barcelona - Independence, at what price? Photo Essay by Top Photographer Simon Mayson Prof Steve Peers of Essex University - Can Scotland stay in the EU as part of the UK after Brexit? Jennifer Harper- a Basic Income Guarantee Payment + a Glass Act Dr Steve McCabe - Protecting Vulnerable Adults Ann MacLaren - James MacLaren and Fortingall Dave Bowman - Ewan MaColl iScot Short Story - Lunch at the Palazzo iScot Book Review - Par for the Ladies Rachel Gillon - Preserving Scotland's culinary heritage Grouse Beater - My Life as a Hero Mary Edward - The Govan Stones Fiona Nicholson - Bio-Assistance Dogs David McVey - Industrial Idyll - Inchcailloch - Loch Lomond Major Bloodnok - The guvnor