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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

Highly-Lauded Scottish Singer-Songwriter Blue Rose Code Drops Stirring New Single 'Thirteen Years'

By Stevie Connor. Photo Credit: Elly Lucas.

The thought-provoking protest song, Thirteen Years, is an impassioned condemnation of the hardships faced, particularly by children, in the UK today, and will see all proceeds donated to Scotland’s national children’s charity, Children 1st.

Blue Rose Code, which is the stage name of Edinburgh-born Ross Wilson, has been dubbed as “one of the greatest live acts around right now” (Americana UK) and a “holy fire of live performance” (The Times). Writing songs straight from – and to – the heart, he creates music which deals with universally significant subject matter in a deeply personal and profound way.

Filled with rhetorical questions which urge listeners to internally examine themselves and their beliefs, Thirteen Years shines a shaming light on the rise of child poverty in Great Britain.

The track is brimming with intense emotion, which is married in both the lyrics and musical composition. It sees Blue Rose Code’s usual seamless blend of folk, Americana, jazz and pop, injected with rock influences which capture the musician’s palpable outrage.

Ross Wilson aka Blue Rose Code said: "We live in the sixth richest economy in the world, yet roughly four million kids in the UK are going to bed hungry and to school with no lunch, while front line workers who risked their lives during the pandemic are using food banks and can’t afford to heat their homes. After 13 years of austerity in the UK, it felt right to highlight these shameful circumstances, and to encourage others to question this unacceptable situation.

“Children 1st do amazing work in providing support to Scottish children so it was only right all proceeds from the single go towards such a vital cause. I would also encourage anyone who is able to, to consider making a donation to the charity so they can continue to support wee ones and families who need it most.”

Children 1st’s ambition is for every child in Scotland to be safe, loved and well, together with their family. The charity offers emotional and practical support and financial advice to help families to put children first and campaign to uphold the rights of every child. Children 1st support the whole family when they need it, for as long as they need it. We offer help to prevent families reaching crisis point, to keep children safe and to support children and families to recover from trauma and harm.

Children 1st, Chief Executive Mary Glasgow said: “Blue Rose Code’s new single shines a light on the catastrophic impact that thirteen years of austerity have had on children’s health, wellbeing and safety. Poverty causes intolerable levels of stress, shame and anxiety for families making it so much harder for them to keep their children safe, loved and well.

“We are delighted and grateful that Blue Rose Code have decided to partner with Children 1st. Across Scotland we provide easy to access, stigma free support to help children and families experiencing poverty and campaign for changes in policy that will improve things for every child.

“The money raised from the single will make an immediate difference to children experiencing poverty and will help us provide longer term help and advice to their families.”

Blue Rose Code has built an esteemed reputation and invested following within the Scottish music scene. His most recent album, With Healings of the Deepest Kind, was released in 2020 to widespread acclaim. He has enjoyed many sell out shows across the country in the years which followed, including a triumphant headline performance at this year’s Celtic Connections, where this latest single was debuted.

Recorded in Glasgow, Thirteen Years features a host of musical talent, including Gus Stirrat on bass, Alan Benzie on piano and organ, Stuart Brown on drums, Lyle Watt on guitar, Konrad Wizsnieski on sax and Matt Gough on trumpet.

The release of the track will be accompanied by an official video featuring creative submissions on child poverty from young people from east Edinburgh, and comes ahead of a UK tour this spring.


Apr 14 - Crowborough Community Centre, East Sussex

Apr 15 - St. Luke’s Church, Portsmouth

Apr 20 - The Beacon, Greenock

Apr 21 - Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh

Apr 22 - Perth Theatre

Apr 27 - Motherwell Theatre

Apr 28 - The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen

May 12 - Eden Court, Inverness


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