Arlene and Bill Radasky

                                       How Steve’s music inspires me

                                                     by Arlene Radasky

I love history. Ancient history, especially. I have seen bog bodies in museums

so when I found the book, The Life and Death of a Druid Prince,

by Anne Ross, and Don Robins I was totally engrossed. As I looked at other

bodies and ancient findings in that book and museums, a single thought

replayed in my mind. The people who lived then had the same hopes and

dreams that we have, today. I was compelled to write about the life of the man

called the Lindow Man, and tell his story so he can live on in time, beyond being

a museum show-piece. I love Scotland. The times I have visited, I could feel the line of Scottish blood in me start to heat and make my heart rush. I love the history of other lands I have been to, but the very earth of Scotland vibrates when I am there. So, my book is based in Scotland.

I wanted to listen to music as I wrote and remembered a CD I picked up in Scotland that had some very stirring songs. Stone of Destiny. As I listened, the music wove itself around me like a plaid. I played it continually, in my car, while I wrote, while I gardened. I decided to look for more of the magical songs and voice of Steve McDonald and found Highland Farewell, Legend, and Sons of Somerled. Not much other music was heard coming from any of my music players, my iPod, my stereo, or my car radio. I even played his Christmas music.

My book is about the life a Druid in Caledonia, before it was called Scotland and Steve even had music that helped me form ideas for that time period. I was given permission to use some lyrics in my book and when I decided to give it away free, online here,, I asked for and received permission to use his songs for my podcasts, the reading of my chapters. The choices came easily, I had already listened to the albums so many times I had the series set in my mind. Boudicea (Stone of Destiny) was my main character, Lovern’s, queen. It was her death and the subsequent Roman rampage that caused him to flee north.

Jahna (the narrator of most of the ancient story) was waiting for him. They are introduced to the music of All You Can Know (Sons of Somerled), in the first chapter. This song sets my feeling for the whole book, “Will a man sell his soul/When a man wants to know/Memories are forever… Look with amazement/soon you will find/That the past is still real/and it’s all in your mind.” The whole song is about remembering our past, where we came from.

The modern archaeologist, Aine MacRae, is from Skye, so of course, Come to the Isle of Skye (Sons of Somerled) is her introductory song in chapter two.

I don’t want to give away too much of the story, I hope you go read or listen to it and hear the songs I have chosen to accompany each of the twenty-seven chapters.

I will say that Freedom (Stone of Destiny) I Will Return (Sons of Somerled), Soldier’s Lament (Sons of Somerled), A Scottish Soldier (Highland Farewell) and The Painted Men (Stone of Destiny) accompany the last five chapters.

It has taken me four years to get to this point, and Steve’s music still makes my heart race when I play it, and I play it often. Thank you Steve McDonald, for all your inspirational words, Dorie Cofer,GM, Etherean Music for allowing me to use his music, and Jackie, of the Steve McDonald Fan Club, for this opportunity to meet other fans who are as appreciative as I am.

          Bill and Arlene

Piper at Urquhart Castle