Alastair McDonald

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Alastair McDonald (born 28 October 1941[1]) is a Scottish banjo-playing folk/jazz musician,[2][3] probably most famous for his recordings of Jim MacLean's folk songs, such as The Barras and The massacre of Glencoe, but also for some humorous songs, such as the jazz comedy song Sam the skull, about a Glasgow cat.

McDonald has mainly recorded songs written by other songwriters, for example Robert Burns and Jim MacLean, but has also written songs himself (Culloden's Harvest, The Village Green at Gretna), and reworked traditional songs (The Bell Rock Light, Mingulay Boat Song). Though quite well known – he has toured US (every state except Hawaii and Alaska), Canada, Israel, Denmark, Thailand and several more countries – not much is spoken of him in media. Much of his work in recent years has been political song, usually socialist and/or republican, such as his tribute song to John MacLean and Wee Wee German Lairdie. He supports Scottish independence.

He lives in Netherlee, East Renfrewshire.


  • Scotland In Song Alastair McDonald and Leo Maguire (1993)
  • Songs of Scotland (2012)

"Bonnie Prince Charlie (with Leo Maguire)


  1. ^ "On this day: Italy invaded Greece". The Scotsman. 28 October 2014. Retrieved 13 January 2015. 
  2. ^ Borland, Craig (30 April 2009). "Bute ready for jazz spectacular". Buteman Today. Retrieved 11 August 2010. 
  3. ^ "They just don't make them like they used to". Borders Today. 6 August 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2010. 

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