When I was 14, I spent a summer at an international summer school program in Scotland. It was a formative summer in many ways- first cigarettes, first drinking, first encounter-of-a particular-type with a boy, etc, etc. (Not THAT type of encounter. 14! Only 14! Minds out of gutter!)

(An aside: I HIGHLY recommend getting these awkward and potentially very embarrassing formative experiences out of the way when one is far away amongst people one will never see again.  Just in case any of you parents out there are on the fence about sending your children to camp?  DO IT.  They will be doing this experimenting either way, and your exposure to the drama will be dramatically decreased if it all happens at camp.)

Anyhoo, spending a summer in Scotland with a bunch of Scottish folks led to a predictable but entirely sincere affection for Scottish accents, which persists to this day.  Some of my favorite actors are ones with charming Scottish lilts. (See McAvoy, James.)

You know one thing that makes me kind of sad?  There are many many singers and musicians who have lovely English/Irish/Scottish accents, but those accents entirely disappear when they are singing.  Think about Eric Clapton- do you hear an accent when he sings?  No.  U2?  Not really.  A lot of music, it seems, is sung accent-free.

So I get a particular measure of enjoyment when you can hear the accent of a band coming through in its songs.  Recently, I’ve been listening to this great band called Frightened Rabbit, and there’s a moment towards the end of the song “Modern Leper”- the lyrics are “I am ill, but I’m not dead- and I don’t know which of these I prefer” – when the band’s Scottish accent is clearly, wonderfully apparent, and every time I hear that little snippet, it makes me smile.  (Pensive, gloomy lyric notwithstanding).

Anyway, it’s a great song, and a great band, and when I heard it on the train this morning after a very unpleasant start to my day, that little bit of Scottish gave me a much-appreciated smile. So I figured I’d post it here for you to check out.  Maybe you’ll like it, too.

Frightened Rabbit- The Modern Leper

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