When Jamie McGeechan was laying down the tracks for his goodbye album to Ayr, he did so with hope in his heart.
The troubadour, a man renowned for his positive outlook on the world, signed off his second record in Scotland with words from Dr Martin Luther King.
The “Pursuit of Happiness” is three minutes and seven seconds of the famous ‘I Have A Dream’ speech of 1963.
“I saw it as the perfect message to end the album with,” says Jamie, who swapped Ayrshire for St Louis, Missouri in December.
“The need for equality has been a huge part of the US constitution throughout the decades.
“And with me moving there to start a new chapter of my own life, I thought it only fitting to recognise that.
“It’s pretty surreal that those words have never been as important as they are now.”
Jamie picks up the Local Music Award at the 2016 Cream of Ayrshire Awards
(Image: Ayrshire Post)
Little did Jamie know how prophetic the choice of track would turn out.
Less than six months later, the world is grappling with its conscience again as racial tensions erupt from the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
And Jamie, who has been making his way as a newly married man in the States, admits it has been a culture change to see the bitter divide up close.
He told the Ayrshire Post: “As a Scot coming in from the outside, my eyes have been opened to a lot.
“America is a fantastic country and it truly is the land of opportunity.
“But the recent events have exposed what many see as a clear divide which remains to this day.”
Jamie added: “The level of protest around America has been something else.
“I think what saddens me the most is that, in this day and age, we still have a world where racism exists.
“Back home in Scotland, you sort of take a lot for granted in being able to walk down the street without a care in the world.
“This has clearly opened so many wounds, not just here in America but around the world.
“Hopefully these events can challenge people to engage positively and we can all move on for the better.”
A young Jamie forging his path to musical fame back in 2007
(Image: Ayrshire Post)
Jamie, who performs under the stage name Little Fire, is enjoying a new life in the States after marrying wife Sara in February.
The 34-year-old added: “It’s been an amazing experience to come out here and have a totally different way of living.
“Before coronavirus struck, I had planned to do a lot of gigging at Scottish festivals out here in places like Oklahoma and LA.
“But I’ve been keeping busy working on a podcast with the American Scottish Foundation – trying to explain to the Americans what our wonderful country is all about!
“And hopefully it won’t be too long before we’re back to some kind of normality.”
To check out Jamie’s album Midnight Kingdom, CLICK HERE