Songs for Sound Minds are our picks of the best music that uplifts, inspires and boosts mental health. Songs written as an anthem to overcoming the storms of life. The songs that give hope in those times when we are struggling. Pick number 6 continues our Scottish theme with a track that many regard as the unofficial Scottish national anthem – ‘Dignity’ by Deacon Blue.
Dignity – Deacon Blue
In a time when the world seems obsessed with vast wealth and celebrity as a measure of worth, Dignity is a track from another world. The story of a humble council streetsweeper and his dream of a dignified retirement is at odds with contemporary music’s obsession with fame and excess. But that is what makes it such an inspirational song. It is a celebration of an honest, quietly dignified approach to life and the importance of finding your own slice of contentment.
It is difficult not to feel your heart burst with pride at the imagery of a faceless ‘nobody’ ultimately winning in life. When times are tough the values exemplified in Dignity are often of the greatest worth. Yet conversely they are often celebrated least in modern culture.
In an interview with The Scotsman, Deacon Blue front man and song writer Ricky Ross talked about Dignity as an anthem for the working man/woman, recounting a particular story from 2009 when Deacon Blue played Glasgow’s Hogmanay.
“There’d been a big freeze and during the soundcheck all these working guys from the council were chipping away at the ice…one shouts up, ‘Ricky, gonnae do Dignity?’ Now, we never do that song at soundchecks. But I said, ‘You know what? Let’s do that.’ So, for about three or four guys and whoever else was in George Square at four o’clock in the afternoon, we performed the most moving version of Dignity that I can remember. Those guys probably didn’t realise, but it meant more to me than anything.”
If it feels like life is working against you and you find it hard to believe good guys/girls can find happiness, turn up the volume on Dignity. When you need a boost to get up and tackle the world all over again, few songs are better than this one.