Protest Song Sailing Strong in the Charts

Highlands and Islands Labour MSP Rhoda Grant has submitted a Scottish Parliament motion for debate on the recent chart-topping music success for protest song “The Clearances Again”.

That the Parliament congratulates Donald Francis (DF) MacNeil, and Skipinnish, on securing a top ten iTunes download position for their song The Clearances Again; understands that this was achieved just 24 hours after the song’s release; further understands that this song is a protest song, which seeks to raise awareness of the Scottish Government’s proposed Highly Protected Marine Areas; believes that these proposals will ban inshore fishing and all marine activities and impact on the economy of the Highlands and Islands, and notes the view that the Scottish Government should heed the reported concerns and revisit this policy.

Submitted by: Rhoda Grant, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Labour.
Date lodged: Wednesday, 19 April 2023
Motion reference: S6M-08590
Current status: Has not yet achieved cross-party support

The song is performed by fisherman Donald Francis (DF) MacNeil and traditional Scottish band, Skipinnish. The song named “The Clearances Again” secured a top ten spot on the ITunes download charts – a little over 24 hours after it was released.

Skipinnish – ‘The Clearances Again (feat. Donald Francis MacNeil)’
British iTunes Chart Performance

  • Release date: 14 Apr 2023
  • Chart debut: #12 (14 Apr 2023)
  • Highest Position: #7 (15 Apr 2023)
  • Most recent chart position: #23 (18 Apr 2023)
  • Days on UK Songs Chart: 6

The song is a protest song seeking to raise awareness of Scottish Government plans to ban inshore fishing and all marine activities through the proposed Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs). 

Rhoda Grant has submitted a motion for debate congratulating Donald and Skipinnish for their success and urges the Scottish Government to “heed” the real concerns expressed by communities across the Highlands and Islands and to re-think this policy.

Rhoda Grant Labour MSP
Rhoda Grant Highlands and Islands Labour MSP

She said:

“It is fantastic to see this song reach the high levels of artists like Pink, Sam Ryder and Kelly Clarkson, reflecting the deep worry in our costal communities regarding these proposals.

“I am in no doubt that the Greens will try to force these proposals through so it is wonderful to see the message of protest being played loud and clear,

“The song encapsulates the fury that is felt by rural communities. It is imperative that this SNP-Green Government listen and re-think the policy and I look forward to debating it in the Chamber.”

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