the song
title : Never going back again
written by : Lindsey Buckingham; words (re-)arranged and re-written by Eddi Reader
song copyright : © 1977 Gentoo Music Inc. and Now Sounds Music;
© 2008 Eddi Reader, copyright control (MCPS)
source recording : the original writer and his Fleetwood Mac colleagues recorded the original version for their famous Rumours album of 1977, one of the best-selling albums of all time

the performance
Eddi Reader vocals, backing vocals
with :
Teddy Borowiecki piano, bass accordion?
John Douglas ukelele
Alan Kelly accordion
Kevin McGuire double bass
Jack Maher acoustic guitar
key : C major
time-signature : 4/4
tempo : MM 83
form : v v c v V C ½v V C vx

provided for research and private study only (see above for copyright details) :

Queen of Scots

you broke down and you let me in
la-la, la-la, la-la, la-la-ah
I first heard this song in Irvine
la-la, la-la, la-la, la-la-ah

you told me I was good luck
I’m seventeen in Kilmarnock, hah-ah
I’m never going to be that again


now I’ve seen what it means to win
la-la, la-laaah
Queen of Scots to the Arms of Eglinton

you wished me good luck
I caught the sleeper from Kilmarnock
I’m never going back again

ooh-aah, ha, ha
I’m never going back


Here for comparison are the original Fleetwood Mac lyrics, provided for research and private study only (see above for copyright details). You will note that Eddi has almost completely re-written them to recall her youth :

Never going back again

she broke down and let me in
made me see where I’ve been

been down one time
been down two times
I’m never going back again


you don’t know what it means to win
come down and see me again

been down one time
been down two times
mm-hmm, I’m never going back again

In Eddi’s version, Irvine is the Ayrshire coastal town to which her family were re-housed in the mid-1970s. Kilmarnock is the large town about 10 km inland from Irvine, which acts as the local rail hub (Irvine is on the Ayr-Glasgow coastal line). Eddi decided to try her musical luck in London in the very early 80s: in the 1980-1981 and 1981-1982 British Rail timetables the 21:50 sleeper train from Glasgow Central to London Euston was routed via the old Glasgow and South Western Railway line and picked up passengers at Kilmarnock at 22:33 each night, arriving in London at 05:47 next morning (07:00 Sundays), although passengers could remain in their berths until 07:30 (08:30 Sunday). This train was diesel hauled to Carlisle where shunting, sometimes noisy, changed the locomotive for an electric one. There was a later sleeper departure from Glasgow, running via the electrified main (ex-Caledonian Railway) line and reaching Euston first!

I’m reliably informed (insofar as any electronic communication is reliable!) that ‘Queen o’ Scots’ was a knitwear factory in Irvine where the teenage Eddi worked – and not a pub, as one first assumes. ‘Arms of Eglinton’ does however refer to a pub, the Eglinton Arms Hotel in Eaglesham, near East Kilbride, which hosted a folk club at which Eddi used to perform.

I think that Eddi sings ‘Eglington’ but the Scottish peerage has ‘Eglinton’ as the correct spelling of the name, as used by the pub, so I have put this spelling in the lyric. I expect a lot of people actually say ‘Eglington’ though.

the recording
produced by : Eddi Reader
recorded by : Mark Freegard at 3kyoti studio, Glasgow, 2008;
additional recording by Teddy Borowiecki in ‘his mum’s garage’, somewhere in Canada
mixed by : Mark Freegard and Eddi Reader at 3kyoti studio, Glasgow, 2008
mastered by : Mark Freegard at 3kyoti studio, Glasgow, 2008
signal path : DDD
track timing : 3:14
song timing : 3:04
released on
album : Love is the way track 7

Eddi had sung a version of the Fleetwood Mac original for Colin Reid, released on his Tilt album (2001)