A HEARTFELT song which has been been written by one of Scotland’s most accomplished poets has taken inspiration from an abandoned mining village in East Ayrshire.

Ghaists is the second single from Coylton artist Seán Gray who has been collaborating with noted poet Rab Wilson since 2017 when he was commissioned to write a piece of music inspired by the legacy of Ayrshire’s mines for Celtic Connections’ New Voices concert series.

Ghaists – which is the Scots spelling of ‘ghosts’ – follows on from this creative partnership and sees Seán, who now lives in Glasgow, adapt Rab’s poem of the same name, inspired by the village of Benwhat which has been left derelict since 1952.

Seán said: “When I first contacted Rab, he sent me a huge amount of his poems mainly on the subject Ayrshire coal mining and I was immediately drawn to Ghaists. I think it is of great importance that the people who worked and lived in villages such as Benwhat are remembered.

“The song strikes a nostalgic tone, paying tribute to an almost forgotten way of life and I hope people are transported there when they listen to the track.”

Rab added: “There’s not much to see now of what was once a thriving community of miners and their families who occupied this lonely hamlet that consisted of four rows of cottages, a school and a general store. Only the outline of houses now remains, bricks overgrown with moss, to tell the story of its people.”

Ghaists will be available on Friday, August 13. For more information, visit: www.seangraymusic.com