Kirsty Law releases a new single this week ‘The Paraffin Lamp’. It is a seasonal song inspired by a short story of the same name by Orcadian writer, George MacKay Brown, from his book ‘Winter Tales’.
In my songwriting, I often take inspiration from great writers. Orkney’s George Mackay Brown has long been a favourite. His writing is measured, understated and lyrical, his stories often resonating with the kind of powerful simplicity found in a classic folk song. ‘The Paraffin Lamp’ is the opening short story from his volume, ‘Winter Tales’. It tells of an old crofter, Tammas, who lives and works alone on his croft on the Orkney Islands. ‘Progress’ has come to the island and other crofters are installing electricity, running water and moving with the times. They tell him his old workhorse is past her best days, he’d be better off with a younger, faster animal. Tammas feels no need. He has worked in the same way for decades at the pace that suits him best. This ‘pace’ echoed the way I think many of us feel when winter comes. Firelight and candlelight, a retreating, a winding down, a taking stock.
The Paraffin Lamp is available from Kirsty’s Bandcamp page here: https://kirstylawmusic.bandcamp.com
Kirsty also has a Patreon page – “I’m making some big changes to the way I am working and if you want to keep up with exclusive new releases, updates – and now even have access to instructional folk song videos – you can sign up as a member of my wee community” – https://www.patreon.com/kirstylawmusic