I’m often asked, believe it or not, what the words are that kick off the “Sergeant Malkie Bow’s Consternation” tracks from my Shambolica! and Unqualified Favourites recordings. For the record, the words are, “Mikie, it’s Malkie, you’re a big tumshie…”.
Ten years ago Arthur Herman wrote an interesting book about how the Scots invented the modern world. Adam Smith, David Hume, James Watt, Alexander Graham Bell – the list of Scots firebrands and original thinkers is long and impressive.
In Canada we know that Scots had a big hand in inventing the country. Sir John A MacDonald, Canada’s first Prime Minister, was a Scot through and through. Same for his successor, Perthshire-born Alexander Mackenzie. Canada’s history is riddled with Scots. Canada’s pathfinders and trailblazers are disproportionately over-represented by Scots. Time’s are changing and, sadly, I say, that while a strong weave of Scottishness can still be felt in the backbone of Canadian society, the cultural imprint of Canada’s Scottish forebears fades.