View of the town and loch of Linlithgow

The Desert Was Better (lyric video)

Or, What Have You Got Against Linlithgow, Norman?

Here’s a previously unseen video from the 2017 Bridge of Orchy sessions, featuring our late keyboard player John Lawrence.

This song has always been a favourite of mine to play and people seem to remember and like it. It’s the first song on my first album, The Wolf Who Snared The Moon. I wrote the lyrics in a notebook while waiting for a train at Haymarket, imagining the tune in my head.

I was doing some songs with my friend Dave Watson. At his home studio I recorded voice and acoustic to a click track and left it with him to do what he pleased. When I went back suddenly the arrangement you hear today was there. It was all Dave’s idea. I loved it and only added a new lead vocal and another friend Gil Murray’s guitar solo. 

What’s it all about?

When I was writing it I wasn’t quite sure what it was about. It seems to be someone who comes here as an immigrant from a North African country and gets involved in the seamier side of life.

I admit it does a disservice to Linlithgow, a lovely little town, quite genteel, not far from where I live. My wife and I go to potter around the cafes and charity shops and walk round the beautiful loch. No knives or razor blades. Why did I malign Linlithgow so much? Because I needed a three-syllable place name for the metre! 

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