Sunday, March 07, 2021

Scotland's Music: Doddie's Dream

Music is about celebration, community, dreams, hope -- and fun. All those things have come into play in the creation of the tune Doddie’s Dream.

Who is Doddie, what’s his dream, and why will you enjoy this music?

Doddie is Doddie Weir. He is a rugby legend in Scotland and points beyond.

Several years back he started a charity called My Name’5 Doddie Foundation. The foundation’s purpose is to help people who, like Doddie, have Motor Neurone Disease, and to fund research toward a cure for this as yet incurable illness. This past January the foundation had a challenge called Doddie Aid, which encouraged people to run, walk, or cycle to rack up miles for their chosen geographic district to raise money.

When he’s not playing music or presenting on the radio, Bruce MacGregor of the band Blazin’ Fiddles loves to cycle.

“Whilst cycling out by Loch Ness as part of Doddie Aid,” MacGregor recalls, “I had this idea of doing a charity single with a whole host of fellow musicians playing along with me and the Blazers.”

He wrote a tune which has “a real positive lift to it and hopefully it fits in with that amazing collective spirit that was on display during Doddie Aid,” he says.

His bandmates in Blazin’ Fiddles Angus Lyon, Anna Massie, Rua Macmillan, Jenna Reid, and Kristan Harvey quickly signed on to join in and before long they’d recruited what amounts to an orchestra of Scottish folk top liners, and a few surprise outliers too.

Each of the artists and all involved in tech and promotion of the music gave of their talent and time pro bono, too, and artists recorded from their own locations as under current conditions they could not safely gather together.

Participants include fiddle and accordion duo Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham, top Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis, acclaimed composer and fiddle player  Duncan Chisholm, musician and composer Donald Shaw, BBC Take the Floor Presenter and member of Mànran Gary Innes, Megan Henderson, Ewan Robertson and James Lindsay of  Breabach,  Skerryvore’s Martin Gillespie and Scott Wood, BBC Radio Scotland Young Trad winner Ali Levack, piper and whistle player Ross Ainslie, fiddle and cello duo  Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas,  Iain Sandilands on percussion, harp and fiddle duo Iain MacFarlane and Ingrid Henderson, Douglas Montgomery and Brian Cromarty on fiddle and cittern, multi-award winning concertina player Mohsen Amini, member of Treacherous Orchestra and Session A9 Adam Sutherland and Scots fiddle maestro Paul Anderson. 

Acclaimed accordion player Sharon Shannon of Ireland joined in too, as did top dobro player and long time Transatlantic Sessions co-director Jerry Douglas from the US. So did native Scot and well known classical violinist Nicola Benedetti.

It’s not the first time Benedetti has joined up with fellow Scots for a musical project; her album Homecoming, in which Bain, Cunningham, Chisholm, and Fowlis took part is one example of that.

“It is a total honour to perform with such an incredible line up of folk musicians and for such an important cause, “ Benedetti says. “All the proceeds will go to Doddie’s Charity which helps fellow sufferers of Motor Neurone Disease and funds much needed research into this cruel illness. I hope everyone enjoys our wee tune and helps us to raise awareness of MND.”

Doddie himself is thrilled. “What a beautiful piece of music – it really is special, and I am so humbled to think these world class and brilliantly talented musicians have all been part of this.,” he says. “If ever we needed some uplifting music, it is now, and my old teammate Stewart Campbell has produced a fantastic film to accompany the music. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.”

Here’s the trailer for the project, produced by Campbell's firm Tigershark.TV

The track will be available to buy & download on Friday 12 March 2021 with all proceeds going to the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.


The single is available to pre-order on iTunes and pre-save on Spotify, buyers can go to for more information.

Here’s where to contribute directly to the foundation contribute directly to the foundation

Photo of Blazin Fiddles by Sean Purser; photo of Nicola Benedetti by Andy Gotts; photo of Bruce MacGregor courtesy of Innes Campbell Communications

You may also wish to see
7 Ways to explore Scotland through music, at Perceptive Travel
Music & horizons: stories of hope at Wandering Educaotrs which includes one of my favourite tracks from Breabach
Scotland’s music:Still Time from Karen Matheson

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posted by Kerry Dexter at


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