The Balladeer


George Donaldson, the oldest singer in Celtic Thunder, is one of a kind. This balladeer from Glasgow, Scotland, brings songs to the group that covers all of life’s experiences. His songs speak about love, loss, and loyalty; all of which test a man’s mettle. He sings each song with deep conviction and unparalleled passion.


In the few short years of the group’s existence, George has added more pop-like songs to his repertoire that had consisted primarily of ballads. These upbeat songs, mostly from The Proclaimers, allow us to see that while he is the oldest in the group, he still has the same amount of energy as the younger members. He also shows that even people of his advanced age (JOKE) knows how to have fun; after all life would be vera borin’ if you didn’t know how to have fun. One interviewer even said he thought George had found the fountain of youth. I believe that this statement is partially true; I think that you are only as old as you feel. George is entirely happy to be living his dream of being a musician and he is not going to let the “old man” comments get to him.

At the age of 39, George took a chance and auditioned for a show he knew nothing about. He said that even if all he accomplished was meeting the living legend, Phil Coulter, it would have been worth it. I am entirely grateful that he auditioned and was selected to join this unique group of extremely talented lads.

For the last 3 ½ years, I have listened with amazement as George sang of the many different ways that life affects a person. One song in particular affected my life. The first time I heard George sing I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) in March 2009, I was stunned by the complete change from his previous songs; which I had seen him perform just 5 months earlier. However, it wasn’t until someone else mentioned how they had been motivated to walk 500 miles for George that I realized that I wanted to do that; I wanted to walk 500 miles for George. I am pleased that I did accomplish that, I did walk 500 miles for George and many, many more. (Incidentally, I ended up reaching 1500 miles last summer while in Scotland.)

Now at 43 (seemingly with the energy of a man almost ½ his age), George is showing the world that you are never too old to give up your dreams. George is working on his first solo album, and I will be first in line to buy it. I cannot wait to see what incredible songs he has chosen for his long awaited debut album, whatever he has picked is sure to sound extraordinary because he’s singing it.

Here are some sneak peeks of George’s upcoming album “The White Rose.”  It is available at CDbaby.



  1. Good post, Alicia. You got George right down. Of course, my faves of his are different – mine are Working Man, Yesterday’s Man, and Skye Boat Song, mostly because I like Scot folk music, and I really, really like his duet with Ryan on Gold and Silver Days.

    • Working Man is my all time favorite, followed by the others you mentioned, along with The Voyage.

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