The big debate over just what is Scotland's greatest songs has taken a fresh step as a shortlist of ten has been unveiled.

The quest to get the public to agree on what is the number 1 song for Scotland began in July.

And ten songs have now been selected by four judges including journalist and broadcaster Jackie Bird, singer and actress, Clare Grogan as well as journalist and presenter, Gordon Smart and Aarti Joshi of DF Concerts after many hours of debate and discussion.

The top ten which will ignite further debates, rather than settle the has some big name omissions, including AC/DC, Eurythmics, Wet Wet Wet, Simple Minds, Lewis Capaldi and Talking Heads. And there is no room for The Proclaimers' 500 Miles, seen by some as the nation's alternative national anthem.

The top ten songs have been named as Deacon Blue's Dignity, The Waterboys' Whole of The Moon, Primal Scream's Loaded, The Blue Nile's Tinseltown in the Rain, Gerry Rafferty's Baker Street, The Proclaimers' Sunshine on Leith, Big Country's In a Big Country, Amy MacDonald's This is the Life, Black Eyed Boy by Texas and Aztec Camera's Somewhere In My Heart.


The move to find Scotland's greatest song was part of a bid to champion the nation's rich musical heritage at a time when appeals had gone out to the Scottish Government to give vital support in the coronavirus crisis to a music industry which generated £431 million of spending in 2018 and sustained 4300 full-time jobs.

A series of shows and mini documentaries have been produced and are being broadcast on regional radio stations ahead of a national vote.

On November 15 from 4pm to 7pm the judges will come together for a special one-off show across the Greatest Hits stations in Scotland operated by Bauer, which includes stations such as Clyde 2, Forth 2, Tay 2, Moray Firth Radio, Northsound 2 and West Sound.

Hosted by head judge, Jackie Bird, she will be joined by her three fellow judges to discuss their shortlist, how they came to their decisions and to play the final ten.

One of the judges joining Ms Bird will be Gordon Smart, he said: “It was a such a pleasure to debate ‘Scotland's Greatest Song’ with two women I love and respect, Clare Grogan and Aarti Joshi. If it wasn't for Jackie Bird, we'd still be arguing about our top 10 now!

“It was a reminder of how incredible the canon of work Scotland has produced really is. I’ve not slept well since for excluding some brilliant stuff from bands and artists I love. If you like our final choice, I was Gordon Smart. If you don't, I'm Ewen Cameron."

Aarti Joshi, of DF Concerts added: "We were feeling the pressure as judges to choose the final ten songs, especially when this country has produced so many absolute bangers. The rest of the panel are really excellent people so locking horns with them was fun with lots of discussion, swearing and laughter - I can’t wait to hear what the public have got to say!”

Voting will open on November 15 and the winner will be announced on St. Andrew’s Day.

The project is the brainchild of Glasgow-based audio specialists Audio Frontier, which has won a funding bid for the programmes through the UK Government’s Audio Content Fund.