Whisky Galore! (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Air-Edel Records released Patrick Doyle’s score for “charming Scottish story” ‘Whisky Galore!’ in May 2017. Director Gillies McKinnon has brought the true story of the cargo ship SS Politician, which ran aground off the coast of Eiriskay in 1941 releasing its cargo of whisky, back to our screens.

The album, produced by Patrick Doyle and Maggie Rodford, features an array of Scotland’s finest musicians including Christopher Stout on the fiddle and Jarlath Henderson on the Uilean Pipes. The album also features the original song ‘Gairm na h-Oidche’ (Calling the Night) composed for the film and performed by Mairi MacInnes. Abigail Doyle wrote the lyrics for the song, with a Gaelic translation by Iain S MacPherson.

It was a pleasure to be asked by Gillies MacKinnon and the producers to compose the score for ‘Whisky Galore!’. It was another great opportunity to work with some of the finest Celtic folk instrumentalists in Scotland. I had worked previously with our key soloists on Pixar’s ‘Brave’ (Christopher Stout, Jim Sutherland, Jarlath Henderson, Matheu Watson and Lorne MacDougal), but this was my first time working with the wonderful, Scottish Gaelic singer Mairi MacInnes. Mairi sings the song ‘Gairm na h-Oidhche’ (‘Calling the Night’), for which my daughter Abigail penned the lyrics. The song is featured in the beautiful, mystical night sequence, shot by Nigel Willoughby, as the islanders’ row out to steal the whisky from the wreck of the SS Cabinet Minister.

I was particularly tickled with the Wild Western vibe the whammy guitar gave us to enhance the comedy, as the characters reminded me of outlawed cowboys stealing whisky and being chased by the posse, in this case the customs men.

This score was a very personal one in many ways. It was an opportunity to work on the adaptation of a quintessentially Scottish story, which captures the country’s stunning landscape on film. I am also great friends with many of the outstanding Scottish actors in the cast, the entire ensemble was an inspiration throughout the composition process thanks to the deft directorial guidance of Gillies MacKinnon who I found to be the most chilled-out director you could imagine and a joy to work with for the first time. I have admired Gillies’s work for many years, he has a unique directing style and a beautiful visual eye, the film is a gorgeously lit painting that has come to life. His innate sense of the absurd and of comedy captured the self-same qualities in Peter McDougall’s expertly crafted script. The score is jam-packed with original reels, jigs and arrangements of some of Scotland’s most loved traditional melodies. I thoroughly enjoyed composing original 1940s-style pieces and even composed a wedding bagpipe melody at the mix down session that Lorne MacDougall sight-read brilliantly in one take.

I would like to thank Gillies MacKinnon, Iain Maclean, Alan J Wands, Peter Drayne and Chris Russell-Fish. I would particularly like to thank Peter Drayne for his great generosity and enthusiasm in promoting this album and indeed for his immense contribution to the film.

This album is dedicated to my great friend Sean Scanlan who played the role of Old Roddy in Whisky Galore and after a long and illustrious career died in April 2017.

– Patrick Doyle

The album is available for streaming and download across all major platforms including iTunes, Amazon and Spotify.