Karen Matheson hailed for ‘moving’ rendition of Psalm in Gaelic at St Giles’ service

SCOTTISH singer Karen Matheson has received plaudits for performing a Psalm in Gaelic during a thanksgiving service for Queen Elizabeth. 

Matheson, who is the lead singer of group Capercaillie, sung Psalm 118: 17-21 in the language at St Giles’ Cathedral before First Minister Nicola Sturgeon read Ecclesiastes 3: 1–15.

The folk singer, who frequently sings in Gaelic, blew the congregation away with her performance which was accompanied by Catriona McKay on harp.

Ian Blackford, SNP Westminster leader, said it was a “beautiful moment” in the service.

He tweeted: “What a beautiful moment @karenmatheson7 singing Psalm 118 in Gaelic at the service for the Queen at St. Giles. So moving.”

The service began at 3pm at the cathedral after the Queen’s coffin was brought up the Royal Mile from the Palace of Holyroodhouse. 

Na h-Eileanan an Iar MP Angus McNeil hailed Matheson’s “beautiful voice”.

He said: “Great to see Karen Matheson again, and hear her beautiful voice, in St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh, singing Psalm 118 in Gaelic.”

Dozens of other people across social media described the performance as “exquisite”, with some admitting it brought them to tears.

What is the relationship between Gaelic and the Crown? 

Gaelic was introduced to Scotland from Ireland in the fifth century and remained the language in most rural areas until the 17th century.

It was outlawed by the Crown in 1616, and suppressed further after the Jacobite rebellion of 1745. 

Today, the Highlands and Islands region accounts for 55% of Scotland’s Gaelic speakers, of which there are more than 58,000. 

Who is Karen Matheson?

Matheson, 59, is a singer from Taynuilt in Argyll and is the lead singer of Capercaillie who perform traditional Gaelic and contemporary English songs.

READ MORE: Andrew Marr says arresting monarchy protesters is ‘outrageous’

She often sings with Welsh folk singer Elaine Morgan, and they sang together on the Breton language song “Diwanit Bugale”, the French entry in the 1996 Eurovision Song Contest.

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