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Music: The Proclaimers
Charlie and Craig Reid

The Proclaimers is a Scottish Folk Rock band based around identical twins Charlie and Craig Reid. The group started as an acoustic duo with just the brothers before expanding into a full Rock group for their second album. They're known universally for their 1988 single "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" and their thick Scottish brogues, but they've had other hits in the UK with "Letter from America" and "King of the Road", and "I'm On My Way" was featured in Shrek. While their song subjects center around Silly Love Songs and the struggles of familial life, listeners may be surprised to find serious discussion of Scottish politics and independence.

A highly successful play-turned-feature film based on their music, Sunshine on Leith, is currently touring Europe.

Studio Discography

  • This is the Story - (1987) - Just Charlie and Craig
  • Sunshine on Leith - (1988) - First album as a full band
  • Hit the Highway - (1994)
  • Persevere - (2001)
  • Born Innocent - (2003)
  • Restless Soul - (2005)
  • Life With You - (2007)
  • Notes and Rhymes - (2009)
  • Like Comedy - (2012)

This band provides examples of:

  • Album Title Drop: This is the Story - "Over and Done With", the first line of each verse.
  • Band of Relatives
  • Black Comedy: The video for "There's a Touch" has the brothers fall off a building, walk away and get hit by a car, and have a helicopter crash on top of them. They walk away every time with only superficial marks, a slight limp, and tattered clothes; the guitar suffers worse than them.
  • Breakup Song:
  • Country Music: One of the elements of Americana present in their music
  • Cover Version: "(I'm Gonna) Burn Your Playhouse Down" by Lester Blackwell, "My Old Friend the Blues" by Steve Earle, "King of the Road" by Roger Miller, "Five O'Clock World" by The Vogues, "Whole Wide World" by Wreckless Eric, "Sing All Our Cares Away" by Damien Dempsey, "It Was Always So Easy (To Find An Unhappy Woman)" by Sanger Shafer and Arthur Owens Sr.
  • Drowning My Sorrows:
    • "It's Saturday Night"
    "The drink that I had three hours ago
    Has been joined by fourteen others in a steady flow"
    • "A Long Long Long Time Ago"
    "I just settled down with a bottle of gin
    So I moved on to whiskey, and it hit me again
    Memories were raining punches down upon my head..."
  • Folk Music
  • The Fundamentalist: "The Light" is a scathing condemnation of the real-life examples of this trope from a moderate Christian perspective, with lyrics such as "I believe in God alright/It's folk like you I just can't stand."
  • Grand Romantic Gesture: "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)"
    "I would walk 500 miles and I would walk 500 more
    Just to be the man who walked 1000 miles to fall down at your door"
  • International Pop Song English: One of the best known aversions: the band refused to tone down their thick Scottish accents for their music, and it became one of their defining features. They wrote "Throw the 'R' Away" in response.
  • Jade-Colored Glasses: The narrator of "Then I Met You" feels there's nothing left for him in the world until the "You" in the song comes into his life.
  • Let's Duet: Charlie and Craig sing every song together.
  • List Song: "Cap in Hand", listing things the brothers can do, "but I can't understand why we let someone else rule our land".
  • Lyrical Dissonance:
    • "I Met You", while sounding happy enough for the narrator falling in love, has implications of Hope Is Scary.
    "Thought that I'd be happy
    Gonna be so happy
    Living life alone and never sharing anything"
    • "Don't Turn Out Like Your Mother", an uptempo, rollicking song about hoping the great woman this person is now doesn't turn into everything he hates about the older generation.
    • "There's a Touch", a very upbeat song about losing your lover to their lover before you.
  • Made of Iron: The brothers in the video for "There's a Touch", who walk away only moderately harmed from falling a lethal height off a building, getting hit by a car, and having a helicopter land right on top of them. One of them has his trouser leg set on fire at the end of it, but he continues walking away ignoring it.
  • Meaningful Name: Their singing style has lots of projection and spirit. They indeed "proclaim" what they sing.
  • Protest Song:
    • "Letter from America": about Scottish relatives living far away from home while their homeland was in a poor state.
    • "Cap in Hand": about England controlling Scotland.
      "But I can't understand why we let someone else rule our land"
    • "The Light": about Christian fundamentalism, from a moderate's point-of-view.
      "I believe in God alright - It's folk like you I just can't stand"
  • Rock & Roll: "Guess Who Won't Beg" is in the style of 1950's rock.
  • Scotland: One of the country's musical treasures, and arguably one of their most "Scottish-sounding" bands in popular music. Song topics sometimes include Scottish independence ("Cap in Hand"), emigration ("Letter from America"), and straight-up love for their home ("Sunshine on Leith").
  • Scatting: The chorus to "I'm Gonna Be":
    "Da lat da (Da lat da), da lat da (Da lat da)
    Da-da-da dun-diddle un-diddle un-diddle uh da-da!"
  • Silly Love Songs: Much of their output is love songs, running the gamut of silliness ("500 Miles"), sincerity ("Let's Get Married"), and hardships ("What Makes You Cry?").
  • Something Blues: "The Joyful Kilmarnock Blues", "Long Gone Lonesome Blues"
  • The Something Song: "The Doodle Song"
  • Take That:
    • "Throw the 'R' Away" towards the people who said they should tone down their accents in their music.
    "I'm just gonna have to learn to hesitate
    And make sure my words on your Saxon ears don't grate"
  • Three Chords and the Truth: This is the Story is composed of only Charlie and Craig, one acoustic guitar, and occasional percussion. Their voices and stories are given plenty of room to breathe as a result.
  • Title Track: Every album except This is the Story and Persevere has one.
  • Wanderlust Song: Their cover of "King of the Road"
  • Workaholic: "Follow the Money"
    "I need to toil, 'cause it's good for my soul
    I feel clean when I'm working"

*Door slam*
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