USA Songwriting Competition Finalist

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Talitha MacKenzie's trans-Atlantic song "Land of the Setting Sun" has won 5th place in the World Music Category of the 12th Annual USA Songwriting Competition out of 33,700 entries overall. This is the "World's Leading International Songwriting Competition, promoting the art and excellence of songwriting". For more information, please see

Track 9 on the album Indian Summer, the song is written in Gaelic and English. Beginning in Sutherland, Scotland and ending with the long journey from Georgia to Oklahoma, the song draws a parallel between the Highland Clearances and the Cherokee Trail of Tears. After consultation with Gaelic scholar Anthony Dilworth, the author worked with linguistics specialist Dr Nancy Dorian to translate the Gaelic language lyrics into East Sutherland Gaelic (a dialect currently spoken by only four people).

The song celebrates the life and work of Cherokee Chief John Ross (aka Kueskuwi), whose father was born in Sutherland. His Scottish and Cherokee heritage is echoed by the author's own family background.