The "Better Times" Project

Janis Ian & Friends

Dame Evelyn Glennie

Listen to or download the song.

Play this on the jukebox and listen to a lot of other versions too.
You can also download all the different musical versions, in the order they went up.

Check Dame Evelyn Glennie’s online store, podcast, newsletter and Listen World! book for more info.

Adaptation to Doric/Buchan Tongue by Dame Evelyn Glennie
Photo by Eric Richmond

From Janis: After I posted several sign interpretations of “Better Times Will Come” in different languages, a fan wrote to say how wonderful it would be if Dame Evelyn Glennie participated. Frankly, I held out very little hope of that happening, and said so. Dame Glennie has performed worldwide with the greatest orchestras, conductors, and artists; she paved the way for orchestras to feature percussion concerti when she played the first ever percussion concerto in the history of the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, in 1992. She’s a leading commissioner of new works, and has vastly expanded the solo percussion repertoire with more than 200 pieces to her name. As she herself says, ““It’s important that I continue to commission and collaborate with a diverse range of composers whilst recognising the young talent coming through”. A double Grammy winner, her TED speech is an inspiration for any artist. You can read more about her below, but I’m sure you already understand why I didn’t think this would happen. Nonetheless, heart in hand, I wrote to the address on her website – and to my joy, received an almost immediate response telling me that while Dame Glennie could not record a musical version of the song, she would be happy to adapt it to her native Doric/Buchan Tongue and perform it on video.

Well. As they say, the rest is history. See below for a copy of the lyric, and more information about Dame Glennie!

More information about Dame Evelyn Glennie:

Leading 1000 drummers, Evelyn had the honour of a prominent role in the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. “Playing at an event like that was proof that music really affects all of us, connecting us in ways that the spoken word cannot”. Evelyn’s solo recordings, which now exceed 40 CDs, are as diverse as her career on-stage. These range from original improvisations, collaborations, percussion concerti and ground-breaking modern solo percussion projects.

Evelyn was awarded an OBE in 1993 and now has over 100 international awards to date, including the Polar Music Prize and the Companion of Honour. She was recently appointed the first female President of Help Musicians, only the third person to hold the title since Sir Edward Elgar and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies.

The Evelyn Glennie Podcast was launched in 2020 featuring popular personalities from the worlds of music, television and academia. The episodes centred around what listening means to different people and its importance in everyday life. Subsequent series are being planned with a wider range of guests.  Evelyn is currently creating The Evelyn Glennie Collection with a vision to open a centre that embodies her mission to Teach the World to Listen. She aims to ‘improve communication and social cohesion by encouraging everyone to discover new ways of listening as proven in her book ‘Listen World!’. We want to inspire, to create, to engage and to empower’.

(Janis Ian)

Adapted for the Doric/Buchan Tongue by Dame Evelyn Glennie

Better times, better times will come
Better times, better times will come
Fan es world learns tae bide as ween,
Oh, better times will come

Fan we greet each dawn wi’ oot fear
Kenin love eens seen will be near
Fan the winds o’ war
Canna bla only mare
Oh, better times will come


Though we bide each day as oor last
We ken someday seen it will pass
We will dance, we sing
In that niver-endin’ spring
Oh, better times will come

Better times, better times will come
Better times, better times will come
Fan es world learns tae bide as een
Oh, better times will come
Oh, better times will come