back to top

Spotify Streams Of Scottish Music Jumped Up To 2500% Thanks To #indyref

Scotland went to the polls while listening to patriotic music.

Posted on

Plays of pro-independence Scottish songs by the the likes of The Proclaimers went through the roof on the day of the independence referendum, according to data from Spotify.

Following a request from BuzzFeed News, the music streaming service shared data on the popularity of songs associated with Scotland's pro-independence movement.

Spotify analysed the number of streams of these songs on referendum day, before comparing them to the number of streams on an an average pre-referendum day. The results are staggering, with the popularity of some songs jumping 2500%. It turns out that large swathes Scotland went to the polls on 18 September while blasting out a playlist Runrig, Braveheart, and The Proclaimers.

Streams of The Proclaimers' "Cap In Hand" were up 2,581% on the day of the referendum.

The Proclaimers

Lyrics: "I can't understand why we let someone else rule our land / cap in hand."

Plays of "500 Miles" also jumped 68% on referendum day. Enjoy the royalties, lads.

Streams of "Caledonia" by Dougie McLean were up 555% on the day of the vote.


Lyrics: "Let me tell you that I love you and I think about you all the time / Caledonia you're calling me and now I'm going home / But if I should become a stranger you know that it would make me more than sad / Caledonia's been everything I've ever had."

Crack open a can of Tennent's to celebrate.

Billy Bragg's "Take Down the Union Jack" was up 613%.

Billy Bragg

Lyrics: "And ask our Scottish neighbours if independence looks any good / Cos they just might understand how to take an abstract notion / Of personal identity and turn it into nationhood"


Plays of Runrig's "Loch Lomond" were also up.


Lyrics: By yon bonnie banks and by yon bonnie braes / Where the sun shines bright on Loch Lomond / Where me and me true love spent many days / On the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond"

Former Runrig member Pete Wishart is now a somewhat fearsome MP for the SNP. But this one was written before he joined the band, so no royalties there.

But it wasn't just pro-independence music that saw a massive spike in popularity on the day of the referendum vote.

Plays of tubthumping pro-union tune "Rule Britannia" jumped 366% on the day of referendum and has enjoyed a "fairly noticeable increase" since then, according to Spotify.

Jim Waterson is a politics editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Jim Waterson at

Jamie Ross is a Scotland reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Edinburgh.

Contact Jamie Ross at

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.