Morningside is one of those parts of Edinburgh that is traditionally regarded as a preserve of well-to-do people. By the time I moved to the city to start my research work, many of the large houses had been divided up into flats and bedsits, and were occupied by a motley mixture of folk (well, I was there, for a start...). It’s perfectly possible to live your life pretty much unnoticed in such places. The song wasn’t written with anyone in particular in mind; but ever since I’ve been singing it, people have been coming up to me and saying that it could have been written for them, or for someone they know. Which is, in a way, ironic, as the kind of person it features is, by definition, NOT visible to others! Sadly, although it was written so long ago, it’s probably just as valid today, in spite of the technological revolution: the subject is very likely closeted away clutching at social network straws, and even more isolated in real terms.
This has always been one of my most requested songs. I shall always remember hearing it sung by Sya Bruce; and Kathy Costello of Stirling Folk Club further complimented me by recording it on her own tape.