Sometime, without thinking, without knowing why, I find myself drawn to the Scottish singer/songwriter Karine Polwart, one of my favorite musicians alive. Karine has been one of the leading advocates for Scottish independence. She must be getting excited: according to a recent poll the “Yes” to independence campaign has, for the first time, a very slight lead over the “better together” faction.

I’m not deeply invested in the Scottish independence movement, but I so admire Karine’s courage and commitment to make her music relevant to life. This is from her website: “Having studied politics and philosophy at university and later worked in the area of women’s and children’s rights, Polwart has always wanted her music to perform some useful social function. In that, too, she has succeeded time and time again. ‘For me’ says Polwart, ‘music is one of the most powerful ways of making sense of the world. It’s for celebrating, grieving, sharing, wondering. Nothing inspires me more than the realisation that any one of my songs means something to someone else.’

Karine tours most often as a trio with her brother Steven Polwart (acoustic and electric guitars, ukulele & vocals) and singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Inge Thomson (accordion, percussion, loops & vocals).”

Here’s a selection of her songs. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.


House of Cards

Follow the Heron

Sun’s Comin’ Over the Hill

A New England

Rivers Run

Hole in the Heart