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Dick Gaughan


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Glasgow, United Kingdom (1970 – present)

Dick Gaughan (born Richard Peter Gaughan on 17 May 1948 in Glasgow) is an influential Scottish musician, singer, and songwriter. He was a founding member of Celtic bands Boys Of The Lough (appearing on their first album in 1972) and Five Hand Reel (with whom he played from 1974-1980). On top of that he has a number of fine albums of his own.

Gaughan took up the guitar at the age of seven. Although he has later sung in Scottish Gaelic, he is not fluent in that language; he has a powerful command of his native Scots. He began by singing in Edinburgh folk clubs and became a professional musician in 1970.

He made one solo album, No More Forever (released in 1972), before joining Boys Of The Lough, singing and playing guitar on their eponymous debut album (released in 1972). After leaving, he was a guest of The High Level Ranters when they recorded The Bonnie Pit Laddie in 1975, performing on two tracks.

From 1976 to 1978 there then followed a hectic period of his life pursuing two careers, one as a member of Five Hand Reel and one as a soloist. It was a time of hard drinking, travelling continental Europe in vans, and seeing very little of his wife and daughter. The crisis came when his daughter was knocked down by a car while he was away. The daughter survived, but Gaughan had to take stock of his life and re-prioritise things.

He taught himself to read and write music, and in the late 1970s he began to write reviews for what was at the time the only national folk music paper, Folk Review. He also saw more of his family. He joined the agitprop theatre group called 7:84, which was extremely popular at the time for its highly aggressive attacks on Margaret Thatcher and the New Right in general.


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  • Fruithellit


    2 Jan 2014 Reply
  • mikeinbed

    Handful of Earth is such a perfect record.

    3 Apr 2013 Reply
  • testyfly

    The World Turned Upside Down------>That song says it all.

    28 Dec 2010 Reply
  • LowSlowDownEasy

    My favorite song: The Wind That Shakes The Barley (unfortunately I cannot find it)

    21 Mar 2010 Reply
  • Szostakowski

    I can't get by this one. It's so perfectly done. 'The fluttering gory pinion'

    31 Dec 2008 Reply
  • karinochild

    the wind that shakes the barley <3

    10 Oct 2008 Reply
  • DoktorRokk

    His website is well worth a read and contains an enormous archive of songs. Highly recommended. It's at

    1 Oct 2008 Reply
  • ngkemp

    Aged 50+, I can't believe I've only just come across this amazing musician and singer. Will definitely be going to a live show in November.

    26 Aug 2008 Reply
  • abclaret

    amazing musician and awesome live

    15 May 2008 Reply
  • luptonn

    I picked up a copy of Handful of Earth in a secondhand record shop at the weekend. I hadn't heard of Dick before and only bought the CD because the record label is/was based on Stroud Green Rd, which is just round the corner from my house. So far I'm really happy with my random purchase!

    13 May 2008 Reply
  • fergalmc

    Hugely over looked figure. Handful of Earth is a masterpiece

    28 Apr 2008 Reply
  • broadsideballad

    Hey Dick Gaughan Fans! Check out: Broadside Balladeer, Phil Ochs tribute ; Mad Cowboy Disease, cartoon song on Neo Con warmongers; Cheney’s in the Bunker (“now we’re under attack”/see journal); Ballad of William Rodriguez, Ground Zero Hero turned 9/11 Truth activist; Ballad of Pat Tillman, football star went Army Ranger after 9/11, went anti-war, found with 3 bullets to forehead! Crazy Pla

    11 Dec 2007 Reply
  • randomusr


    14 Nov 2007 Reply
  • wonder_al


    26 Oct 2006 Reply

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