Our Song of the Day is a new charity single from Scottish folk singer and guitarist Ewan McLennan. On the track, titled Lampedusa he is joined by Lauren MacColl on Violin and Sid Goldsmith on Slide Guitar. The song takes it’s title from the largest island of the Italian Pelagie Islands in the Mediterranean Sea which has become the primary entry point for many refugees escaping from countries torn apart by violence and war. In search of protection many have lost their life (at least 300 in one boat which was carrying 500 refugees in 2013) and others arrive in Europe without being offered the basic requirements of food, shelter and healthcare.
Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders), for which all monies from the single will go to, was founded in 1971 in the firm belief that “all people have the right to medical care regardless of gender, race, religion, creed, or political affiliation, and that the needs of these people outweigh respect for national boundaries.” They have also acted as independent witnesses to some of the worst atrocities. Go and read about them here, their history and work is incredible: http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/
The artwork for the single features a beautiful watercolour by Dilly Boase which depicts human migration as humans ascending into the air becoming swallows – a bird that is well known in Europe for it’s long journey from Africa each year.
Ewan had this to say about the single:
For years I’ve sung traditional songs of emigration, thinking them some of the most powerful ballads I’ve ever come across. These songs – whether Scottish, Irish or English – tell the tales of times when life was so hard people were forced to leave their homes and families in search of a better place, a tolerable place. Very often the protagonist mourns the separation from the land of her birth and longs one day to return. The songs invariably deal with the subject of emigration with a deep sympathy and compassion.
It is with these songs still ringing in my ears that I’ve watched the migrant crisis unfold and intensify. Huge numbers of people have been landing precariously on the shores of Southern Europe. In the most part they have been escaping conditions in their home countries that have become perilous and unbearable.
With all this in mind I thought I would try and write a simple song that described the plight and the journey of a migrant today, hopefully with some of the sympathy and compassion of our own tales. Here is the
song I wrote, ‘Lampedusa’.
I am releasing this track in conjunction with Doctors Without Borders, an incredible organisation rescuing migrants stranded in the Mediterranean. All the money raised from the download of this track will go to them.
Order the single via Bandcamp here: ewanmclennan.bandcamp.com