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by Sofia Villegas
12 April 2024
Jeremy Balfour: 'On a dark night, a bit of Celine Dion can't go wrong'

Jeremy Balfour MSP | Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament

Jeremy Balfour: 'On a dark night, a bit of Celine Dion can't go wrong'

What was the first record you ever bought?
It was Save All your Kisses for Me, which was sung by Brotherhood of Man, who won the Eurovision Song Contest back in 1976. 

What record would always get you on the dance floor?
It has got to be I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor. It’s such a great dancing song. It reminds me of good parties when I was in my 20s and 30s.

What is your karaoke song?
Well, I’m totally tone deaf and I’ve been flung out of karaoke bars for such bad singing. But my number one hit is always going to be Frank Sinatra’s New York, New York.

What song do you want played at your funeral?
I have actually planned my own funeral and I would like Nimrod by Edward Elgar playing as I come in. At the end of the service, I would like Highland Cathedral played by a lone piper in the background. I would also like to have a couple of hymns, which I will choose nearer the time. I would like it to be quite an upbeat and joyful thing.

What music is guaranteed to make you cry?
I am a bit of an Elton John fan and Candle in the Wind is the one that gets me. Even before it was associated with the death of the late Princess Diana. 

What music would you always associate with your childhood?
Football was my big passion growing up. The team I supported was Hearts. They have their own song that goes “Hearts, Hearts, glorious Hearts” and it will always bring me happy childhood memories.

And what song takes you back to university?
The Power of Love by Huey Lewis and the News. It was played constantly at the union and every nightclub I went to.

What song was the first dance at your wedding? Caledonia by Dougie MacLean.

Is there a song that reminds you of your daughters and why?
For a long time, my twin daughters would only go to sleep with a CD player on and me in the room. They played the same CD every night, which included Fischy Music songs like Build Up

What song would you chose to describe yourself?
It would be Eye of the Tiger by Survivor. I am a positive person who always gets there in the end. 

What record do you absolutely hate but can’t get out of your head?
Every now and then I like to listen to Agadoo by Black Lace. It is just one of those songs that everybody knows and once you get it into your head, you can’t get rid of it.

What record would you be embarrassed owning up to having in your collection?
I am actually a bit of a Celine Dion fan and I’ve got a couple of her albums. On a dark night, a bit of Celine Dion can’t go wrong. 

What was the last band you went to see and who with?
It wasn’t a band, but I went to see Elton John with my wife in Edinburgh. It was great.

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