Song for Brian takes to the air

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Lockdown musicians have released a fundraising song in tribute to Oban’s Brian MacDonald who battled Motor Neurone Disease.

The  retired firefighter was just 43 when he died earlier this year and is sorely missed by his family and many friends.

Friday saw the release of a song and video in his memory by David Roddie, a singer songwriter pal of his from Glasgow, with all proceeds going to MND Scotland.

David called on other musician friends, including Taynuilt accordionist and BBC broadcaster Gary Innes, during lockdown to make a social-distanced recording of Hope  In Your Eyes.

David Roddie, singer songwriter and close friend of Brian MacDonald who bravely battled Motor Neurone Disease

Inspiration for  the song came from ‘a magical moment’ Brian experienced when his brother John-Bruce, also a firefighter and based at Oban Airport, took him up on a flight over Scotland’s West Coast.

‘That day of the  flight really lifted Brian’s spirits,’ John-Bruce told The Oban Times and added: ‘David was a very good friend of Brian’s from when he lived and worked in Glasgow. When David called me to put his idea forward and ask for permission from the family, we were all overwhelmed.

‘It’s such a beautiful song and Brian would have loved this. This kind of thing keeps Brian alive, knowing money is still being raised in his name to help others who suffer from this horrible illness.’

David wants to raise as much money as he can through the song and has already made hundreds of pounds with it to help MND Scotland carry on its research work and support of others like Brian and his family.

The song lyrics remember Brian’s beaming smile, fearlessness, strength and the hope he clung on to that a cure might be found. Until Covid struck, he had been hoping to take part in the largest ever pioneering clinical trial of drugs tackling motor neurone disease, signing up to it with the likes of rugby legend Doddie Weir.

During his firefighting career in Glasgow, he attended some of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s biggest incidents, including being part of the emergency response sent to the Clutha bar on November 29, 2013, after a police helicopter plummeted through its roof. He also responded to the George Square bin lorry crash in December 2014, which killed six and injured 15 others just days before Christmas.

‘The man was a hero on and off duty. He was always helping someone, it wouldn’t be uncommon to see him helping change a complete stranger’s tyre. He was just that kind of guy. I hope my song helps the charity that helped him,’ said David.

The song is available to buy now on all major streaming platforms from Spotify to iTunes.

To make a donation go to

Other musicians who added their support, included vocal harmony group The Little Acres, guitarist Conor Smith, bassist Colin Cunningham, and drummer Audrey Tait who, with Lauren Gilmour, helped David to mix the track.


Caption: Brian MacDonald is remembered in a song written to raise funds for MND Scotland