Pilar’s independence podcast

Pilar Fernandez in Galicia is a great lover of Scotland and the Scots, so much so she married one.  Her bilingual blog (in Galician and English) A Ponte entre Galiza e Escocia is a great source of information about what’s going on in Galicia and about the links between our two countries.  Pilar is co-ordinating the Solidarity with Scotland campaign, which aims to get expats Scots and friends and supporters of independence to write letters of support for indy to the British Embassy or High Commission in their country of residence.  The campaign was started after it came to light that the UK Government is actively seeking the support of foreign governments, companies, and organisations to campaign against Scottish independence.

You can hear the podcast by clicking on this link.  It’s well worth a listen for a different perspective on Scottish independence, and a great explanation of the machinations of the Spanish government.

Galicia has long and close links with Scotland and Ireland.  According to Galician legend, many centuries ago a Galician king called Breogan ordered a tall tower to be built on the coast of his kingdom.  When the tower was built, it was possible to see a green land far away in the distance, and Breogan ordered his son to visit this country and settle there.  The green land was Ireland.  The story is still preserved in ancient Irish texts.  The Galicians are our Celtic cousins in Iberia.  They even have their own bagpipes.  Scots who visit the country are guaranteed a warm welcome.  You’ll feel at home.

Pilar is a great friend of Scotland, and I’m privileged to count her as a personal friend too.  She even got me a Spanish model tram!  How cool is that?

So to celebrate Galiza and the links between that beautiful country and the other Celtic nations, here’s a wee video of a Galician band called Luar na Lubre.  The tune is called O Son Do Ar, the Sound of the Air.

22 comments on “Pilar’s independence podcast

  1. Actually, I my genetic evolution traced by an academic research organisation in Oxford.

    Apart from the obvious, of being first cradled in the Middle East and then migrating up the Balkans thence into mainland Europe, they retreated into Galicia during one of the ice ages.

    From there they spread up into Ireland and then Scotland. That was my Mother’s side.

    My Father’s evolutionary line was 20,000 years, earlier out of the Middle East up into Europe but also that thread also sought shelter in Galicia. They appeared to be mixed with other lot but took a more overland route up through mainland Europe over into Southern England, possibly Wales?

    I use to work with a Portuguese company in N Portugal just south of Galicia and was told that many of them were also genetically similar to the Scots and Irish, as are the Madeirans. They think that the Celtic gene is a treason for their predisposition to strokes and heart attacks as well as an unhealthy love of the booze.

  2. […] Pilar’s independence podcast […]

  3. Nigel Mace says:

    One of my enduring memories of a visit to Santiago was leaving the Cathedral square to hear Galician folk music drifting up the city’s streets from a CD shop. It sounded so familiar and was clear kindred to both Irish and Scottish tunes and harmonies – but with its own impulsive force. Wonderful stuff and of course I bought some and it is with me still.

  4. Fascinating post Sir and the Celtic connection intrigues me too. Galician pipers….who’dve thunk it?

  5. colin young says:

    Excellent video,would love to go there it looks beautiful,peaceful..

  6. Matt Seattle says:

    ‘Galician pipers….who’dve thunk it?”

    Bagpipes are widespread through most of Europe and the near East, having originated in the Byzantine Empire (a plausible proposal based on organological ‘genetics’) and spread from there. It is not unreasonable, given the geography, to suppose that Highland Scots were the last people in Europe to play bagpipes. Remember that Chaucer’s Miller piped the Canterbury pilgrims on their way before we hear of bagpipes in Scotland.

    Whether bagpipes are ‘Celtic’ or not I’m not qualified to say. Certainly the Border and Lowland Scots piping repertoire/s of the 18th Century (now revived by a few thrawn individuals including myself) flourished in the hands of Scots rather than Gaelic speakers.

    Which is all fine, Europe enjoys a wealth of traditions and Scotland’s share is richer and more varied than most of us realise.

  7. mary vasey says:

    Simply beautiful sound, thank you.
    Very interesting post will check out your link now

  8. Eilean says:

    I first heard this guy “Hevia” a few years ago. He is a spanish piper and hails from Asturias which I think is next door to Galicia. Onyhoo he is exceptionally good in my opinion. Gets the hairs up on the back of the neck.

  9. Eilean says:

    Sorry forgot to remove the htttps bit. 😦

    • weegingerdug says:

      That tune comes from a CD called Tierra de Nadie. It was top of the Spanish charts for weeks in 1998 or 99. The piper’s full name is José Ángel Hevia Velasco and you’re correct, he comes from Asturias, next door to Galicia – another part of Iberia that’s very proud of its Celtic heritage.

      Here’s another Galician musician you might like. This is the godfather of the Celtic music revival in Galicia and Asturias, Carlos Nuñez. Here he is in concert in Castrelos in Galicia with a Scottish pipe band and Galician pipers. This video won’t embed, so you’ll have to watch it on YouTube.


  10. YESGUY says:

    Wow music is the international language of us all . who wouldn’t. think that Scots …. its brilliant thanks all

  11. Eilean says:

    I love the fact that Celtic music and art unites people across borders. What have the unionists got? Handel and bluebirds over the white cliffs of Dover. Which never ever happened as bluebirds are indigenous to North America!

    Now you have got me started here`s some Davy Spillane Enjoy!


    • JGedd says:

      Sorry, i like this music but I also like Handel, he’s one of my favourite composers. Don’t hand Handel over to the unionists, please! Anyway Handel is international too. There are Handel festivals and operas being performed all over the world.

  12. liz says:

    I think this is one of the reasons why Celtic Connections has grown over the years.

    It has never been an enforced growth, it has occurred naturally and is now more a celebration of ethnic music from across the world.

  13. colin young says:

    Walking in Regent’s park one day feeling a little homesick i heard the sound of pipes it was the world pipe band get together.
    From all over the world i spent hours there a mountain of sound, cheered me up

  14. macart763M says:

    That was exceptional.

  15. Andrew Morton says:

    Typimg this on an ancient Kindle on the deck of a ship. Painfully slow.

    The story of Breogan is told at some length in the Scottichronicon (I have the complete chronicle in eight volumes published by Aberdeen University Press).

    I’l dig it out when I get home.

  16. jonGZ says:

    Great podcast from Pilar, and your newsnet article is a wee gem too; I hadn’t found that one before. I’ve lived here in Galiza (as the nationalists and Portuguese call it) for 15 years now, and can vouch for the “home away from home” feeling of the place. We’re watching the indyref process with envious eyes from over here, but unfortunately the Galician majority haven’t realised yet that the “Partido Popular” (tories) are shafting them senseless. The turkeys keep voting for an early xmas.

    Aside from that: check out these guys – IMO the best folk group from here, Berrogüetto, sadly about to disband after 19 years on the road because, due to the “economic crisis”, it’s no longer viable to maintain an outfit like this.

    (don’t know if it will embed?)

    • jonGZ says:

      It worked! (I was lucky enough to be ‘stage left’ at this gig: doing the sound for the musicians onstage)

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