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Lyr Req: camp version of 'Road to the Isles'

DigiTrad:
LEO McGUIRE'S SONG
ROAD TO THE ISLES
THE FAR NORTHLAND


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Wangle o the Isles (Bill Hill) (16)
Lyr Req: Road to the Isles (parody) (23)
Bill Hill (21)
Tune Req: The Road to the Isles (8)
Lyr Req: The Border Trail. (4)
Lyr Req: Far Northland (2) (closed)


Sandy Paton 22 Sep 99 - 08:32 PM
dick greenhaus 23 Sep 99 - 12:41 AM
Joe Offer 23 Sep 99 - 04:32 AM
kendall morse (don't use) 23 Sep 99 - 07:13 AM
Joe Offer 23 Sep 99 - 01:32 PM
Sandy Paton 23 Sep 99 - 01:43 PM
Joe Offer 23 Sep 99 - 02:01 PM
kendall morse (don't use) 23 Sep 99 - 08:54 PM
Joe Offer 23 Sep 99 - 09:09 PM
Malcolm Douglas 23 Sep 99 - 09:20 PM
kendall morse (don't use) 23 Sep 99 - 09:37 PM
kendall morse (don't use) 23 Sep 99 - 09:46 PM
Sandy Paton 23 Sep 99 - 10:00 PM
Susanne (skw) 24 Sep 99 - 06:56 PM
Sandy Paton 24 Sep 99 - 11:13 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 25 Sep 99 - 01:14 AM
Ewan McVicar 25 Sep 99 - 04:56 AM
Sandy Paton 25 Sep 99 - 11:49 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 26 Sep 99 - 02:31 AM
Sandy Paton 26 Sep 99 - 02:46 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 27 Sep 99 - 12:37 AM
Joe Offer 27 Sep 99 - 01:53 AM
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Subject: camp version of 'Road to the Isles'
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 22 Sep 99 - 08:32 PM

Afert the program we did the other night for the New York State Folklore Society, someone asked if we knew a song about "the far northland, calling me away." Seems she has and old-timer friend that used to know it but can no longer remember all of the words. Well, I recognized it, and was shocked to realize that I couldn't rememebr the words either! Even my trusty companion, she of the steel-trap memory, who was so Gung Ho that she went to camp every summer with both Girl Scouts and Campfire Girls, was unable to come up with the words. It's like the Road to the Isles in the DT, but Americanized. Begins something like:

It's the far northland that is calling me away,
As take I with my knapsack to the road...

So, here I am, folks, confident that I'll have the text from several of you within half an hour. Right?

Sandy


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Subject: Lyr Add: LEO McGUIRE'S SONG
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 23 Sep 99 - 12:41 AM

Also: Check out:

LEO McGUIRE'S SONG

Ah wis headin' wi ma cromack up frae Gretna Green tae Skye
But ma journey has an element of farce.
'Cos the calendar has stated - it's the middle o' July,
Yet here ah am wi' snaw up tae ma arse, Oh - yo!

CHORUS: Wi' ma pipes below ma oxter an' ma sporran neatly pressed
Ma pockets full o' porridge for the road.
Wi' some Crawford's Tartan Shortbread an' some tattie scones as weel
An' ah'm jist aboot tae paint masel' wi' woad. Oh - yo!


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE FAR NORTHLAND
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Sep 99 - 04:32 AM

Sorry we couldn't serve you in half an hour, Sandy. Here's a version from the Charles L. Sommers Wilderness Canoe Base, a vacation trip I regrattably had to miss a few years back.

The Far Northland

It's the far northland that's a callin' me away,
as take I with my packsack to the road.
It's the call on me of the forest in the north,
as step I with the sunlight for my load.

Chorus:
From Lake Agnes, by Louisa, to Kawnipi I will go,
where you see the loon and hear his plaintive wail,
If you're think'n in your inner heart there's a swagger in my step,
then you'll know I've been along the border trail.

 

It's the flash of paddle blades a gleamin' in the sun,
a canoe softly skimming by the shore,
It's the smell of pine and bracken comin' on the breeze
that calls me to the waterways once more.

Chorus:
From Lake Agnes, by Louisa, to Kawnipi I will go,
where you see the loon and hear his plaintive wail,
If you're think'n in your inner heart there's a swagger in my step,
then you'll know I've been along the border trail.^^
The version in the Rise Up Singing songbook - called "The Border Trail." - is almost the same, but with different place names. It also has a couple of skiing verses.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: Lyr Add: ROAD TO THE ISLES
From: kendall morse (don't use)
Date: 23 Sep 99 - 07:13 AM

Another version:

It's a fae croonin' that's pullin' me away
As take I wi' my cromak to the road,
The far coolins' are puttin' love on me
As step I wi' the sunlight for my load.

CHORUS: Sure by Tummel and Loch Rannock and Lochaber I will go
By heather tracks wi' heaven in their wiles;
If yer thinkin' in yer inner heart the braggarts in me step,
You've never smelt the tangle of the isles
Oh the far coolins are puttin' love on me,
As I step wi' my cromak to the isles.

It's by Sheil water the track is to the west,
By Aillort and by Morar to the sea.
The cool cresses I'm thinkin' o' for pluck
And bracken for a wink on Mother knee. CHORUS

It's the blue islands are pullin' me away
Their laughter puts the leap upon the lame,
The blue islands from the Skerries to the Lews,
Wi' heather honey taste upon each name. CHORUS

I've also heard it sung.. if yer thinkin' in yer inner heart there's madness in my smile..


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Subject: Road to the Isles
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Sep 99 - 01:32 PM

The version Kendall provided is very similar to the version of ROAD TO THE ISLES that's in the database, with a couple of interesting variations.
I notice that the song is copyrighted. Rise Up Singing says "Road to the Isles" has words by Kenneth MacLeod and music by Patuffa Kennedy-Fraser and Marjorie Kennedy-Fraser, from a book by Marjorie Kennedy Fraser called Songs of the Hebrides with the 1917 copyright renewed in 1944 by Boosey & Hawkes, Inc. The database makes things clearer by saying the song was collected and translated by Kennedy-Fraser and MacLeod. I guess this is thread creep, but does that 1917 copyright mean the song is now in the public domain? Are there earlier versions of the song and tune?
-Joe Offer-

By the way, Rise Up Singing says the source of the camp version is unknown, but it may be from U.S. Scouts. The canoe base didn't attribute the song to anyone, either.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: camp version of 'Road to the Isles'
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 23 Sep 99 - 01:43 PM

Damn, Joe! Why didn't I think of "Rise Up Singing?" See what silly prejudices can do to you? I've got that book around here somewhere, and I think that may be the answer. I have wasted a lot of time looking through dozens of the indices of old Recreation Co-op booklets, too. I suspect your text is a Canadian one. Am I right?

Thanks, Kendall, too. Your text is close to the one in the dear old DT. It's a real one, less a re-write, I'd guess.

And, Dick: Yours is the one I'd probably choose to learn for my own use, but right now I'm hunting words for a genteel old gentleman.

Thanks to you all.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: camp version of 'Road to the Isles'
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Sep 99 - 02:01 PM

Hi, Sandy - the canoe base is in Minnesota (on the Canadian border). I assmed those were Minnesota place names in the version I posted. the verses in rise Up singing are the same, but here is the chorus, plus the skiing verses.
By Lake Duncan and Clear Water to the Bearskin I will go
Where you see the loon and hear its plaintive wail
If you're thinking in your inner heart there's swagger in my step
You've never been along the Border trail.
(softly)It's the far Northland that's a-calling me away
As take I with my packsack to the road.
...and the ski verses:
It's the hiss and glide of skis on newly fallen snow
It's the sparkle of the sun on snow and hoar
It's the snap and tingle of cold air upon the face
That calls me to the snowcapped peaks once more.

(as chorus)To Mt. Washington, Mt. Mansfield, and to Cannon I will go
Where the thrills of skiing make an endless tale
If you're thinking in your inner heart there's braggart in my talk
You've never skied along the snowbound trail.


Since I started hanging around here, I've been surprised to come across some songs I learned in camp in the 1960's. I had thought they must have been made up from past generations of counselors from my own Camp Chippecotton in Wisconsin, since they spoke of places in the area. It was a big surprise to learn that they were traditional songs from faraway places, and that my counselors just changed the place names.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: camp version of 'Road to the Isles'
From: kendall morse (don't use)
Date: 23 Sep 99 - 08:54 PM

I should have noted that I got this from a book titled SONGS OF SCOTLAND.. That one has a foot note..Printed and published by kind permission of the copyright holders Me ssrs. Boosey and Hawkes, Music publishers, London

Would anyone be interested in a parody of this song?? It was recorded by THE CORRIES.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: camp version of 'Road to the Isles'
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Sep 99 - 09:09 PM

Yessir, Kendall. We'd love another parody.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: camp version of 'Road to the Isles'
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 23 Sep 99 - 09:20 PM

In Kenneth MacLeod's book, "The Road To The Isles" (Grant & Murray, 1927) the author says of this song: "Written for the lads in France during the Great War". He goes on to say, "The track referred to here led in the old days from the Northern Isles to the Cattle Trysts of Falkirk and Carlisle. Traditionally, watercress is regarded as both food and drink; it is said to have been the food of the pilgrims on their way to Iona." He is generally quite scrupulous in differentiating between traditional material and his own composition, so presumably the text is his own and not a translation.

Malcolm


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Subject: Lyr Add: ROAD TO THE ISLES?
From: kendall morse (don't use)
Date: 23 Sep 99 - 09:37 PM

OK but there will be a few blank spots because of words I did not understand.

ROAD TO THE ISLES?

So you think you're gang intae the north to spend a holiday,
'Cause you're vaguely Scottish on your mother's side,
and you've heard of ancient glories both renowned in song and stories,
Kilts and haggis Andy Stewart and ... Clyde?

Ye come in by Crianlarich, it's the gateway to the north,
And the scenery will please your eyes I'm sure
Ye take out your picnic basket 'cause the car has blown a gasket,
In the middle of a place called Rannock Moor.

So, ye telephone the garage listed in the tourist guide,
That was published for you by the R.A.C.
But by design, or by intention, or, they just forget to mention,
That the garage closes down at half past three.

So, you're towed behind a tractor to a corrugated shed,
That's surrounded by farm implements and carts,
And ye scratch your head and wonder why you ever bought a Honda,
'Cause they'll have to send to Tokyo for the parts.

But your thoughts begin to quicken at the thought of berry picking,
So, you take a trip to Goudy for a spell,
Wi' some wellies of your mothers that she bought in Alley Brothers,
And a Gideon bible pinched frae your hotel.

So you take the train to Oban and you get the boat to Mull
Feeling like you've had a night upon the tiles,
Ye pay 20 pence for coffee wi' a tang of diesel oil,
You're experiencing the swindle of the isles.

So, you're standing picking rasps being stung to death by wasps,
The midges and the klegs are making free,
And the bairns have ate the berries and contracted dysentery,
'Cause last week they sprayed the crop with DDT.

So, you're headed back to Birmingham more waterlogged than tan,
But no sign of habitation do you see,
When you thought you were in Verrick you were actually in Lerrick
'Cause some vandal changed the signpost in Dundee

I hope you will excuse the spelling, I came as close as I could.

Line Breaks <br> added. Hope they're in the right places.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: camp version of 'Road to the Isles'
From: kendall morse (don't use)
Date: 23 Sep 99 - 09:46 PM

Sorry.. I didn't realize that the other version I posted was in the DB.. it pays to look.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: camp version of 'Road to the Isles'
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 23 Sep 99 - 10:00 PM

That's five! Two camp versions, the one in the DT which is apparently the Kennedy-Fraser translation from Songs of the Hebrides, and two smashing parodies. Ain't the Mudcat sump'n else?
" (which Joe knows how to print).

Thanks, Kendall. I've added the line breaks and sent it to myself as an e-pistle. Now we'll see if Joe can fix it here. He's retiring soon, so he'll have a lot of extra time to fix our many goofs!

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: camp version of 'Road to the Isles'
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 24 Sep 99 - 06:56 PM

Kendall, your song is 'The Scottish Holiday', written by J. W. Hill (whoever he may be) and recorded by the Corries on 'Live from Scotland, vol. 1'.
line 2: and THE Clyde (I think)
last line: Berwick (Northumberland), Lerwick (Shetland)
That's just from memory. I'll try and check the text against the record. Anyway, you've saved me having to type it all out. Thanks!- Susanne


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: camp version of 'Road to the Isles'
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 24 Sep 99 - 11:13 PM

Does anyone have an idle copy of the Kennedy-Fraser books lying around that they'd like to part with? I have one of the two volumes, but not both. I'd always assumed that all of the texts they published were translations, but apparently I was wrong. Reach me by personal message if you want to quote a price for the two-volume set!

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: camp version of 'Road to the Isles'
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 25 Sep 99 - 01:14 AM

That's funny. Mine is a three volume set. Not original mind you. It's a photocopy set, which was supplied by a company Unicorn Press in West Virginia, I think it was.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: camp version of 'Road to the Isles'
From: Ewan McVicar
Date: 25 Sep 99 - 04:56 AM

The Hill person is not a pseudonymous Scottish mountaineer, but comedic folkie Bill Hill. He was / is one of a small band who lashed out parodies by the score in the 60s and 70s with scant regard for copyright rights. (Billy Connolly was the most successful practitioner.)

Ewan McVicar


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: camp version of 'Road to the Isles'
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 25 Sep 99 - 11:49 PM

You're right! Three volumes, 1920s, Boosey & Co. One three-volume set listed on Bookfinder for about $205. That's too much for me! I'll just have to wait another twenty-five years or so, I guess.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: camp version of 'Road to the Isles'
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 26 Sep 99 - 02:31 AM

Cost me about 60 or 70 US$ from the Unicorn company for their photo-copy fascimile.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: camp version of 'Road to the Isles'
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 26 Sep 99 - 02:46 PM

Thanks. I'll look for them. Do you have an address?

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: camp version of 'Road to the Isles'
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 27 Sep 99 - 12:37 AM

Joe, try this....

Unicorn Limited/Scotpress

I can't right at the moment, that shows me the prices from back around 4 or 5 years back.

Good Luck.


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Subject: Scottish Music Books
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Sep 99 - 01:53 AM

Looks like an interesting selection of books, George. I was hoping you were linking me to a site that had Songs of the Hebrides for cheap. It's a good selection, but was there a particular book you wanted to point out, George?
-Joe Offer-


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