Whether it’s a historical reference or a personal reflection, here are five songs which unexpectedly mention Scotland.
Super Trouper by ABBA
Perhaps the most famous song to mention Scotland unexpectedly is Super Trouper by ABBA. Released in 1980 the track features the famous lyric “I was sick and tired of everything, when I called you last night from Glasgow”, which will typically be roared by crowds on a night out in Scotland.
Don’t Rush by Young T & Bugsey ft. Headie One
Headie One, whose real name is Irving Ampofo Adjei, is featured on Don’t Rush by Young T & Bugsey, rapping: “Fast train to Inverurie, I used to go up”, also mentioning his sold out Scottish show. The rapper has referenced Scotland in other songs including Only You Freestyle which he released with Drake.
Incredible Thoughts by The Lonely Island ft. Michael Bolton and Mr. Fish
Written for the 2016 musical mockumentary Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, Incredible Thoughts is a parody song performed by The Lonely Island, a comedy trio made up of Akiva Schaffer, Andy Samberg, and Jorma Taccone. Featuring Mr Fish – Justin Timberlake – and Michael Bolton, the track includes the lyric “A wave crashes off of a cliff in Scotland” followed by “a child bites an apple, but the core is rotten”.
Hurt Locker by Finneas
Singer-songwriter, producer and actor Finneas has written music for a variety of artists, most notably his sister Billie Eilish. In Hurt Locker, a ballad from his debut solo album, Finneas belts: “Did I cut the wrong wire today? Did I set it on fire? The way Scotland burned in '44…” referencing the 16th century burning of Edinburgh..
Sad White Reggae by Placebo
Sad White Reggae by Placebo was written by Brian Molko, who calls it his “song for Scotland”. The 2022 track mentions his Scottish mother, Samye Ling – a Buddhist monastery in Scotland – and the lyrics “I'm stuck on a train, heading for Scotland” alongside “And every river flows, back to Dundee”, a city which he spent time in growing up.