Fiona J Mackenzie

Fiona J Mackenzie

 Dingwall, Scotland, GBR

Pete Irvine of Unique Events,Scotland, described Fiona as " A voice than transcends language".One of Gaeldoms Sweetest voices". Celtic music at its simplest and its best.
"This girl has soul"- Bill Margeson, Ireland Live.


Living in the Highlands of Scotland, Fiona is one of Scotlands best known Gaelic singers and teachers of Gaelic song. She is known for her haunting, pure, clear, bell like vocal tone and her technical mastery of the voice and it is no wonder that she won Gaeldom’s premier award for Gaelic Singing, The Gold Medal in 2005, the same year she won runner up in the International Song Contest at the Pan Celtic in Ireland, with a self penned song.
She has released 4 albums, - the latest being the ground breaking and unique 'Archipelago' released in 2012, Songs of the Scottish Islands in Scot & Gaelic, from North to South. This album was produced by Glasgow producer David Lyon with whom she now also performs in the lineup "Mackenzie & Lyon" together with well known singer songwriter Yvonne LYon. Their sets are a pure and beautiful representation of all things that are beautiful and inspirational about Scotlands music today- both traditional and contemporary.
Archieplago is Fiona's third album released on the Greentrax label. Good Suit of Clothes' was,releasedl in 2009 and her debut CD was Duan Nollaig the world's first ever Gaelic Christmas album.
Fiona has established herself also as a contemporary Gaelic singer-songwriter, being one of Burnsong 2009's winners. This proved to be a real breakthrough for Fiona as far as song writing was concerned, giving her 'permission' to write Gaelic songs in fresh and new styles . " I no longer feel pressurized to write songs in a particular way, just because they are in Gaelic". Out of this Burnsong initiative was formed the band 'Kilmarnock Edition' and Fiona has been performing extensively with them for the past year- the band has been returned from showcasing for Scotland,at Folk Alliance in Toronto. Their debut album "Pay It Forward" is gathering fan audiences wherever the material is played and the band ( 6 embers) are delighted with the response to their quirky blend of Scots, Gaelic, jazz, reggae and other world folky sounds.
Fiona is well known for her lecturing and teaching She broadcasts for TV shows regularly .She is also one of the (very) few Gaelic singers to have an entry on Wikipedia.

Fiona has recently joined forces with well known Glasgow singer songwriter, Yvonne Lyon, to form the acoustic trio "Mackenzie Lyon".

Fiona also sings in Scots - one of her Scots tracks,the Original version of the Classic Burns song Auld Lang Syne is featured here in her EPK.

Fiona is currently the Gaelic Associate Artist for the National Theatre of Sotland and is working on a ground breaking project, based on the world famous and largely unexplored Canna Archives- the collection of American folklorist Margaret Fay Shaw,.
Mailing address- 39 Chestnut Rd, Dingwall, Ross-shire. IV15 9UQ. Scotland.
+44781 8630616


Voices on the Wind-Guthan air a'Ghaoith

Written By: Fiona J Mackenzie

Voices on the Wind ( in Scottish Gaelic) – Guthan air a’Ghaoith
Words and melody Fiona J Mackenzie, arranged I Duguid

A song telling of the power of song to reach across race, continent and creed and touch every person’s heart…regardless of language…carried on the wind….

‘Sèist ( chorus)
‘Eil thu èisteachd ‘ille are you listening lad/boy
‘Eil thu èisteachd a thasgaidh? Are you listening, darling
‘Eil thu èisteachd’ ille are you listening lad
Am fuaim a tha nad chridh? To the sound that’s in your heart
Eil thu èisteachd’ ille are you listening lad
Gu fuaim a tha mar chaoidh? To the sound that is like keening
O èist, èist, èist o listen listen listen
Ri ghuthan air a ghaoith.-to voices on the wind

Rann 1( v 1)
Tighinn air a’ mhuir coming on the sea
O, tighinn thar a’ chuain coming on the ocean
A seòladh thar nam beanntan sailing over the mountains
Air sgiathan cho geal, cho glan on wings, so white, so fresh
Tha e tighinn thugainn, it is coming to us
Mar ospag air a ghaoith like a whisper on the wind
O seinn! Seinn! Seinn! o sing sing sing
An ceòl ur againn fhìn our own new music

Rann 2(v2)
Togaidh e suas gu rionnag mi It lifts me up to the stars
Bheir sìos dhan a’ mhuir mi takes me down to the sea
Ceòl is gaol ri chèile music and love together
An de, an diugh s an còmhnaidh yesterday, today and always
Co thu, co e, co iadsan Who are you, who is he, who are they?
‘Seasamh còmhla ‘s a ghrian Standing together in the sun
O dùisg,! dùisg!, dùisg! Oh wake! Wake! Wake!
Dean milis, à ghaoith nar chluais, make soft, the wind in our ears

Rann 3
Guthan air a’ ghaoith voices on the wind
Air feadh an t-saoghal gu siorraidh across the world forever
Guthan air a’ ghaoith voices on the wind
‘S gach ait’ tha fon ghrèin and in every place under the sun
Guthan tighinn còmhla, milis, voices coming together, sweetly
Ach làidir bhon na cridheachan but strong from the hearts
O fonn! fonn !fonn! o Tune! Tune! Tune!!
A ghaoil air a’ ghaoith Love on the wind

O èist èist èist
Ri ghuthan air a’ghaoith

Raasay Lament

Written By: Trad- Macleod

This song was made in 1671 by the sister of John ‘Garbh’ Macleod on his drowning at sea, on his return from a trip to Lewis. It is alleged that she wrote a song in praise of him, every Friday, for a whole year after his death.

I am sitting on the shore without joy, without happiness
Oh Lord! I cannot sing a lightsome tune, since the Friday of my misfortune

Since the date that the boat was lost, from which the hero was drowned
Macleod of Raasay, younger, great Iain, my sorrowful tale

Your shoulder was strong, even though the sea exhausted you
Oh Lord! no man from Adam’s seed could defeat you

Tonight your pillow is low, beneath the cold stones of the waves
My love lies on his deathbed on the shingle of the seashore

Many of the white hatted ladies will grieve for you tearfully
And many of the snooded lassies not wanting to be sad

South Uist Na Lilidhean- The Lilies

Written By: Fiona J Mackenzie

A Gaelic song of love and endurance. The translation follows the lyrics below.The Uists are a collection of very unique islands in the Scottish Hebrides . The communities of the islands have endured many hardships and troubled times in recent years and I wrote this song in honour of their strength of spirit in overcoming tragedy. The delicate white lily is the Uists 'national' floral emblem.

Rionnag air an uisge
Rionnag bheag gheal
Rionnag mar ghealach
A’deàrrsadh, ‘ slighe gu cala

Cupa an dòchais a’lìonadh suas le sòlas
Socair sàmhach a tha thu
Mar chanach an t-slèibh
Mar ospag ‘s a ghaoith
Nad aonar, thu ‘bristeadh
Ach còmhla , làidir
A’ sealltain sealladh
Cho àlainn ‘s a bha ‘nn riamh.

Tha na beanntanan fàs dorcha
‘S na tonnan fàs garbh
Tha a’ghaoth bhorb a sèideadh
Tha’n t-sìth bidh i marbh
Ach bidh a’ghrian a’ tighinn nuas
Fois a fàs air an fhàsach
Thig an cala gu sèimh
Fo phràmh, a-rithist an nèamh
Rionnag , o rionnag
Rionnag ‘san uisge
Rionnag o rionnag
Rionnag, ar dhùsgadh.

O , aoin, tha thu acarach
Am meadhan a’phoill
Àite sònraichte, gu sàbhailt’
‘S tus’ an acarsaid ghlàin
Nuair a tha ceudan suidh’ còmhla
Àite taiceil a bhios ann
Àite sùghmhor mun chuairt oirnn
Àite làidir mar a bh’ann.

Ged tha’n stoirm a’dèanamh sgiùrsadh
A’ luasgadh smaointean
A’ bualadh air a’ chladach
Bhreabadh suas stuth troimh’ chèil’
Bidh an lili a’ tilleadh
A’ tilleadh gu bràth
Tilleadh milis, gu socrach
Tilleadh milis gu sìorraidh, gu bràth

Rionnag air an uisge
Rionnag bheag gheala
Rionnag mar ghealach
A’deàrrsadh slighe gu cala

Star on the water
Small white star
Star like the Moon
Lighting up the path to the Harbour

Cup of hope filling up with light
Gently quiet you are
Like the bog cotton ,like a breath on the wind
On your own, you are fragile
But together, strong, showing a sight as beautiful as was ever seen

The mountains are growing dark, the waves growing wild
The fierce wind blowing, peace will die
But, the sun will come up peace will grow on the desert
The harbour will become calm, slumbering again in heaven

One, you are gentle, in the middle of the bog
A special place, safe, you are the pure haven
When hundreds gather together, there will be a supportive place
A sweet place around us, a strong place, as it was.

Although the storm is lashing, whipping up thoughts
Hitting on the shore, kicking up confusion
The lily will return, return forever
Return sweetly and gently
Return sweetly forever, and always

Fiona J Mackenzie.


'Archipelago' - 2012. Songs of the Scottish Islands in Scots & Gaelic. On the Greentrax label.

'A Good Suit of Clothes' - Deagh Dheis Aodaich, released 29/06/09 Gaelic Emigrant songs, old & new. In contemporary style.

Astair - 2000- trad unaccompanied Gaelic song

2006- Orain nan Rosach - Songs of the Ross-shire Folk

2007 - Duan Nollaig, the worlds first ever Gaelic Christmas album, on Greentrax.

2012- Kilmarnock Edition - "Pay It Forward"
Fiona has also appeared on several compilation albums, singing Scots and Gaelic songs .

Set List

2 45 min sets - variety of a capella, unacc and ensemble pieces. Gaelic traditional and contemporary song.
ex set-
Ailean Dubh a Lochaidh - vox duet
Leanabh an Aigh - Morning has brolken - vox, piano, clarsach
Aoibhneas Moire mHin - vox, piano, fiddle
Buachaillean - vox & clarsach
Ailean Duin - a capella vox
Madainn earraich - vox & piano
Nuair bha mi og - vox & piano
Reul thorach an aigh - vox & guitar
Clarsach set
Fear a bhata - vox & guitar
puirt a beul duet
Bidh mise - vox & piano
Meomhairean ( Memories) - vox & piano
Alleluia- everyone!
Mo run geal og - vox & clarsach
waulking song -a capella duets