The Scotsman Sessions #177: Kim Edgar

Welcome to the award-winning Scotsman Sessions. With performing arts activity curtailed for the foreseeable future, we are commissioning a series of short video performances from artists all around the country and releasing them on, with introductions from our critics. Here, singer-songwriter Kim Edgar performs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 from her new album, Held.

For her Scotsman Session, singer-songwriter Kim Edgar performs 1,2,3,4,5, in which a child-like counting rhyme becomes a catchy anthem of encouragement. It comes from her recent album, Held, which she describes as “a musical hug” for difficult times.

Edgar co-wrote the song with Karine Polwart (who shares vocals with her and Rachel Sermanni on the album version). Here she performs it solo from her Edinburgh home. “I feel like all of us need a bit of encouragement in these strange times,” she says.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

As well as the onset of the pandemic, its constraints and its elimination of her touring schedule, Edgar has had the death of her father to contend with.

Kim EdgarKim Edgar
Kim Edgar

“When I started on the album, all the new stuff I was writing was around grief for my Dad,” she says. “Then the first lockdown gave me extra time. Recording was delayed until July and I looked at the songs about my Dad thinking, ‘I don’t know if these are shareable now. A lot of people are going to be in this position.’”

She also looked again at 1,2,3,4,5, written some years earlier: “I thought this was the moment for a song like that, that tries to bring people along with it.”

The song’s sentiment resonated with Edgar, who when not touring co-leads, with Mariot Dallas, the Falkirk-based Freedom of Mind Community Choir. Lockdown, however, has meant that she has been doing weekly online teaching sessions for its members.

“Freedom of Mind grew out of a mental health project but is now an independent community choir,” she explains. “That’s another thing that has kept me going over this period, the weekly connection, just making short videos for everybody to do at home.”

“I’m really missing singing in a room with other people, and I’m absolutely passionate about the benefits of that and the feeling of wellbeing it gives.”

For more on Kim Edgar, see

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription at

Joy Yates, Editorial Director

Related topics: