EVENING NEWS - 2002
Royal Mile Cowboy
Country Song Called 'Edinburgh' Is A Smash Hit Around The World
By Mark Smith
NASHVILLE, Memphis and New Orleans are names you would normally expect to hear celebrated by American's leading country musicians.
But now a song called "Edinburgh" has become a smash hit in country music charts around the world, reaching the number one spot in France.
The love song by American country star George Hamilton V tells of his romance with a girl called Louise, who lives in Portobello.
Instead of classic locations associated with country music, such as the Grand Ol' Opry House, in Nashville, it name checks Abbeyhill, the Royal Mile and Castle Hill.
And while you might expect the famous Mississippi to feature in a country tune, the Firth of Forth is the only waterway to get a mention in this hit single.
The song was penned after Hamilton fell in love with the city during several visits here to perform to his Scottish fans.
It is also a tribute to Hamilton's Scottish forefathers, who left Scotland for the United States during the last century.
Sue Marshall, secretary of the George V fan club, who lives on Hamilton Drive in Edinburgh, said she had put the singer, a family friend, up at her house during visits to the Capital. She added:
"He's stayed here lots of time.
"Whether he wrote the song when he was sleeping on our floor, I don't know.
"But he certainly loves the city and is very keen on everything to do with Scotland.
"It is doing very well in France, where it is the top country single, and there is also a video of the song being made to promote the song in Europe.
"It's great to see it doing so well, especially as Memphis or Texas are the places you would normally expect to hear in a country song.
"You don't expect to see Scottish cities in a country single."
She hopes the song will do well if it is released over here, and said: "I like it. It's very lively and rocky. It would be great to see it released over here.
"He's not had much exposure here but he has performed a lot in the States.
"He's not pure country, he's very rocky and has a voice like Steve Earle."
The song talks about Louise from Portobello "that girl of mine on the banks of the Firth of Forth". It goes on to say how "it's a sight to see as she walks that Royal Mile" and how she "makes the laddies smile from Abbeyhill to Castle Hill".
Like most good country tunes, it ends on a sad note, with George saying that he won't be back in Edinburgh for "many a year" so may never see his old flame again.
The precise identity of his Scottish love remains a mystery, however. But Ms. Marshall, who has her own country & western music show on local station Mayfield Radio, said: "George is happily married so I think Louise is maybe a fictional character."
Edinburgh country music fan Bill McNie said he had only found out about the song's success from an American friend. He said:
"A mate of mine in Nashville phoned to ask me if I knew that a track called Edinburgh was number one in the French country music charts at the moment.
"I found the record on the internet and it mentions a lot of Edinburgh places - the Castle, the Royal Mile, Abbeyhill, Portobello and the Firth of Forth.
"It's certainly not standard country and western fare. It would be interesting to know what inspired him to write the song."
Mr. Hamilton, son of country legend George Hamilton IV, wrote the song ten years ago and has performed it live many times since.
It appeared on his 1998 CD, GARDEN OF LOVE, before being released in its own right in France, where the singer is currently working, promoting the single.
("Edinburgh" by George Hamilton V, No Surrender / House of Tears Songs, BMI)
headin' to Edinburgh, mister would you please
Take a little note that I wrote to my sweet Louise
Ask her would she think of me every now and again
For I'm bound around the world, but I'll be back when I can
Gonna be back when I can
headin' to Edinburgh a way up in the north
There you'll find that girl of mine on the banks of the Firth of Forth
Believe you me it's a sight to see as she walks that Royal Mile
From the Abbeyhill to the Castle Hill she makes all the laddies smile
the laddies smile
Well if you're headin' to Edinburgh above the River Tweed tonight
Would you say hello to a lady I know in Portobello - tell her I'm alright
I'm a ridin' with the tide again and the wind's a blowin' strong
N'If she's feelin' lonely, you can tell her she ain't alone
Would you tell her she ain't alone -- would you tell her she ain't alone
If she don't
remember me, I guess it's just as well
I won't be there for many a year, as near as I can tell
Naw I won't be there for many a year, as near as I can tell
Near as I can tell.
Near as I can tell.
DESIGN: BRUNO BOUSSARD