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Tune Req: Dark Lochnagar

Related threads:
Chord Req: Dark Lochnagar (from The Corries) (26)
(origins) Origins: James Connolly / Lochnagar (17)
Lyr/Chords Req: Dark Lochnagar (7)


GUEST,Roger O'Keeffe 18 Feb 02 - 05:37 AM
Murray MacLeod 18 Feb 02 - 05:59 AM
masato sakurai 18 Feb 02 - 06:12 AM
GUEST,Philippa 18 Feb 02 - 06:46 AM
GUEST,micca at work 18 Feb 02 - 06:49 AM
Tiger 18 Feb 02 - 06:55 AM
Scabby Douglas 18 Feb 02 - 07:55 AM
masato sakurai 18 Feb 02 - 08:03 AM
GUEST,Roger 18 Feb 02 - 09:53 AM
GUEST,Roger O'K 22 Feb 02 - 09:55 AM
GUEST 09 Sep 05 - 05:42 AM
GUEST,malc 09 Sep 05 - 05:51 AM
GUEST,Boab 10 Sep 05 - 03:18 AM
Tam the man 10 Sep 05 - 08:56 AM
GUEST,A Lost Scot 05 Nov 07 - 10:30 AM
GUEST 05 Nov 07 - 08:36 PM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 06 Nov 07 - 12:12 PM
goatfell 06 Nov 07 - 12:15 PM
GUEST,An Auld Elgin Loon 20 Mar 09 - 08:52 PM
Jim McLean 21 Mar 09 - 07:22 AM
Jack Campin 21 Mar 09 - 08:17 AM
Jim McLean 21 Mar 09 - 09:00 AM
GUEST,A Scot in Arizona 21 Oct 09 - 07:28 PM
Q 21 Oct 09 - 07:38 PM
Georgiansilver 22 Oct 09 - 02:12 AM
Big Tim 22 Oct 09 - 02:23 PM
Q 22 Oct 09 - 03:03 PM
GUEST,Jonny 25 Jan 11 - 02:18 PM
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Subject: Dark Lochnagar
From: GUEST,Roger O'Keeffe
Date: 18 Feb 02 - 05:37 AM

Can anyone help me find words and/or music for a Scottish song called Dark Lochnagar, please? It may also show up as Lochnager or Loch na gCaor (the lake of the sheep).

It's popular among uilleann pipers as a "slow air" and has been passed on from one to another or learnt from other pipers' recordings in this form, but it seems to me that in the process the tune has got buried under too many layers of ornamentation, and I'd like to get back to the original in order to have a clearer idea of the appropriate phrasing.

I found a set of words through Mudcat at http://www.mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=3350, but they don't seem even remotely to fit the tune which I'm interested in.

I read on a sleeve note somewhere that the song I'm after relates to the Battle of Culloden, and that a set of words written by one of the English romantic poets (Byron?) used to be sung to it in the 19th century.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Dark Lochnagar
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 18 Feb 02 - 05:59 AM

Dark Lochnagar here, in Mudcatter Suzanne's excellent site.

You better be a really good singer to attempt this song.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Dark Lochnagar
From: masato sakurai
Date: 18 Feb 02 - 06:12 AM

As a starter, 3 CDs with audio clips are HERE. The Fiddler's Companion says:

DARK LOUGH NA GAR (Loc Dorca Na Gar). AKA - "Dark Loch na gCaor," "Dark Lochnagar." Irish, Air (6/8 time). D Major. Standard. AABB. Gearoid O' hAllmhurain believe this tune may have been learned in County Clare from Scottish sappers in the 1830's who were sent to the region as part of the British survey of the country. Whatever its origins, it became the melody of a popular 19th century song circulated on ballad sheets (the ballad gives reference to the Scottish battle of Culloden, in 1746). Recorded by Clare piper Robbie Hannon. Piper Jimmy O'Brien-Moran says it was a favorite of Willie Clancy's. O'Neill (1850), 1903/1979; No. 477, pg. 83. Piping Pig Productions PPPCD001, Jimmy O'Brien-Moran - "Sean Reid's Favourite" (1996).

Lord Byron's poem is: HERE, and HERE, too.

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Dark Lochnagar
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 18 Feb 02 - 06:46 AM

the tune was also usd for a song about James Connolly, so you may hear it that way.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Dark Lochnagar
From: GUEST,micca at work
Date: 18 Feb 02 - 06:49 AM

There is a version on one of the Corries CDs, I am certain, but whether it is your tune?? if you need a tape, or an MP3 Pm me and I will see what I can do!!


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Dark Lochnagar
From: Tiger
Date: 18 Feb 02 - 06:55 AM

The above link doesn't have all the words. A fabulous song, as done by John McDermott. There are many spellings, so I won't try to resolve that here.

Lachin Y Gair — John McDermott
Words by George Gordon, Lord Byron. Music by H.R. Bishop, 1807

Away, ye gay landscapes, ye garden of roses!
In you let the minions of luxury rove;
Restore me the rocks, where the snowflake reposes,
Though still they are sacred to freedom and love:
Yet, Caledonia, beloved are thy mountains,
Round their white summits though elements war;
Though cataracts foam 'stead of smooth-flowing fountains,
I sigh for the valley of dark Loch na Garr.

Ah! there my young footsteps in infancy wander'd;
My cap was the bonnet, my cloak was the plaid;
On chieftains long perish'd my memory pondered,
As daily I strode through the pine-cover'd glade;
I sought not my home till the day's dying glory
Gave place to the rays of the bright polar star;
For fancy was cheered by traditional story,
Disclosed by the natives of dark Loch na Garr.

Shades of the dead! have I not heard your voices
Rise on the night-rolling breath of the gale?
Surely the soul of the hero rejoices,
And rides on the wind, o'er his own Highland vale.
Round Loch na Garr while the stormy mist gathers,
Winter presides in his cold icy car:
Clouds there encircle the forms of my fathers;
They dwell in the tempests of dark Loch na Garr.

Ill-starred, though brave, did no visions foreboding
Tell you that fate had forsaken your cause?
Ah! Were you destined to die at Culloden,
Victory crown'd not your fall with applause:
Still were you happy in death's earthy slumber,
You rest with your clan in the caves of Braemar;
The pibroch resounds, to the piper's loud number,
Your deeds on the echoes of dark Loch na Garr.

Years have roll'd on, Loch na Garr, since I left you,
Years must elapse ere I tread you again:
Nature of verdure and flow'rs has bereft you,
Yet still are you dearer than Albion's plain.
England! thy beauties are tame and domestic
To one who has roved o'er the mountains afar:
Oh for the crags that are wild and majestic!
The steep frowning glories of dark Loch na Garr!


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Dark Lochnagar
From: Scabby Douglas
Date: 18 Feb 02 - 07:55 AM

Incidentally, since no-one has mentioned it yet.. Lochnagar is actually the name of a mountain... not a loch.

here's a link to more info and pics:

Try this link

Cheers

Steven


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Dark Lochnagar
From: masato sakurai
Date: 18 Feb 02 - 08:03 AM

Info (with picture and map) on Beinn Cichean (Lochnagar) is HERE.

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Dark Lochnagar
From: GUEST,Roger
Date: 18 Feb 02 - 09:53 AM

Thanks to all those who have chipped in with suggestions and links. This is only my second time using this site and I'm really blown away by the amount of goodwill and help that's available out there.

The ",and" link on Masato's first contribution leads to a melody which fits the Byron words very well. On the other hand, the tune which I have half-learnt from the various pipers' recordings doesn't seem to suit those words at all comfortably. So is there an entirely different poem (possibly in Gaelic) set to the tune which Irish pipers play?

I've tried to play the CD clips mentioned under the first link in the same contribution from Masato, but unfortunately can't get them to play on my PC. I have the Sean Keane album and it contains the tune which I know, so I wonder if the other two recordings feature the same tune or a different one.

Incidentally, the mother of all the pipers' versions is probably a Willie Clancy recording which I also have, and this would be consistent with the suggested provenance via Scottish sappers in Clare. It's also the one in which the phrasing seems most credible, but it's still pretty tricky given Clancy's very personal style.

The photographs on the hillwalker site explain the Mountain/lake question raised by Steven: the Loch is a corrie below the summit.

There's a similarly-named manmade feature of sad memory (Lochnager Crater) here in Belgium, where I currently live. It's a water-filled crater resulting from the detonation of an enormous mine which was set off under the approaches to the Messines Ridge in Flanders during the first world war. If I remember the story correctly, the detonation was slightly delayed and a large number of Scottish troops, who were due to advance after the explosion, were killed because it was assumed that the mine had failed and they had already begun to advance when it went up.

And finally, may I reassure our English friends that, in spite of the weird ranting exchange going on in another string under the title "Bloody Sunday" (what's that doing on this friendly site?) and also in spite of last Saturday's cruel treatment of my compatriots by the England rugby team, I'm not trying to stir up anti-English sentiment!


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Dark Lochnagar
From: GUEST,Roger O'K
Date: 22 Feb 02 - 09:55 AM

Me again.

Third time hopefully lucky. As I was saying on another string, there goes that feckin' (q.v.) hair-trigger again.

I've been listening repeatedly to the uilleann pipers' Dark Lochnagar as recorded by four pipers (Willie Clancy, Liam O'Flynn, Jimmy O'Brien-Moran and Brian McNamara) and a not exactly stripped-down fiddle version by Sean Keane, and am inexorably drawn to the unoriginal conclusion that we're looking at not only two songs but also two tunes with the same name.

The tune on the link provided by Masato is definitely different from the pipers' one, but fits the Byron words fine. The fiddler's companion description would probably suit the Byron one also.

But the tune which I'm after has the structure A1A2 B1B2B3 A2 (much the same as Easter Snows or Port na bPucai, though in Lochnagar B1 and B2 are almost identical). So does anybody know Lochnagar words with similar structure to this?

I have O'Neill's 1001 and the tune is not in it. Is his 1850 available on line anywhere?


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Dark Lochnagar
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Sep 05 - 05:42 AM


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Dark Lochnagar
From: GUEST,malc
Date: 09 Sep 05 - 05:51 AM

can anyone help me find the sheet music for dark lochnagar for the bagpipes


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Dark Lochnagar
From: GUEST,Boab
Date: 10 Sep 05 - 03:18 AM

And the Corries made it sound like something from a Roy R


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Dark Lochnagar
From: Tam the man
Date: 10 Sep 05 - 08:56 AM

who is this Roy R, can't people not speak or write in English anymore.

What with your abbrevtions, and lazy way that people write, it's no wonder that they are shite at spelling.

I know I'm hopeless at spelling but I can't help it, but there are others that can.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Dark Lochnagar
From: GUEST,A Lost Scot
Date: 05 Nov 07 - 10:30 AM

I love this song. The first and only time, I heard performed by Ian Bruce on his CD Jigs, Jives & Jacobites. I would like to hear it on pipes, but I'll probably never agree that anyone sings it better than Ian Bruce. His performance gives me chills, tears & a lump in my throat.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Dark Lochnagar
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Nov 07 - 08:36 PM

The Corries version is on UTube here


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Dark Lochnagar
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 06 Nov 07 - 12:12 PM

Traditional Scots riddle; "Is Lochnagar salt-water or fresh-water?" (anyone who thinks he's got a 50% chance of being right is, of course, wrong)


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Dark Lochnagar
From: goatfell
Date: 06 Nov 07 - 12:15 PM

i thought that Guests who don't give there names wern't allowed on this site anymore


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Dark Lochnagar
From: GUEST,An Auld Elgin Loon
Date: 20 Mar 09 - 08:52 PM

I hear an affa lot o stuff fae fowk ootside the northeast.
Are we a deid? wha are these fowk wha debate the point ower and ower ? Fits the point?.. weel may ye ask! The loon was a Gordon and his mam brought him up weel, nae wonder he waxed lyrical about Dark Lochnagar
A Bishopmill Laddie


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Dark Lochnagar
From: Jim McLean
Date: 21 Mar 09 - 07:22 AM

I find the three tunes, Dark Lochnagar, Scotland the Brave and O'Donnell Abu very similar and wonder which came first? Hamish Henderson's Great John MacLean is a variant of all three. Luke Kelly once told me that when he was at school, they all had to march in to the tune of O'Donnell Abu.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Dark Lochnagar
From: Jack Campin
Date: 21 Mar 09 - 08:17 AM

The tune for "Scotland the Brave" is "Brave Scotland" in the Gesto Collection of the 1880s, and I've seen it in a pipe tune manuscript of 1915 under the modern title. Cliff Hanley's words for it were written a couple of years after Hamish Henderson's. I would guess that Hamish got it orally from army pipers during WW2.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Dark Lochnagar
From: Jim McLean
Date: 21 Mar 09 - 09:00 AM

I have it as Scotland for Ever in my copy of the Gesto Collection but sub-indexed as Brave Scotland. Jack, can you see the connection with Donnell Abu?


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Dark Lochnagar
From: GUEST,A Scot in Arizona
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 07:28 PM

The only voice I've heard sing Dark Lochnagar is Ian Bruce and actually I doubt any person could do greater justice to the words or tune. The words & his voice gives me chills, lumpy throat & has brought tears to my eyes. Yes, I'm very partical to Ian Bruce - he could sing the phone book & I'd be thrilled.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Dark Lochnagar
From: Q
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 07:38 PM

Kenneth MacKellar did the song superbly. It was on the LP "The Tartan," now available as a CD. This CD has many of these classic songs.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Dark Lochnagar
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 22 Oct 09 - 02:12 AM

The Corries... Dark Lochnagar.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Dark Lochnagar
From: Big Tim
Date: 22 Oct 09 - 02:23 PM

If any of the following has been posted before, forgive me.                                                         

Written by Lord Byron, 'Lochnagar' was first published, as 'Lachin y Gair' in Byron's first [privately] published poetry collection, 'Hours of Idleness' (1807). Below are the oroginal lyrics from that book.

Away, ye gay landscapes, ye gardens of roses!
In you let minions of luxury rove;
Restore me the rocks, where the snowflake reposes,
Though still they are sacred to freedom and love:
Yet Caledonia, beloved are thy mountains,
Round their white summits though elements war;
Though cataracts foam, 'stead of smooth-flowing fountains,
I sigh for the valley of dark Lochnagar.

Ah! There my young footsteps in infancy wandered,
My cap was the bonnet; my cloak was the plaid,
On chieftains long perished, my memory pondered,
As daily I strode through the pine covered glade;
I sought not my home, till the day's dying glory,
Gave place to the rays of the bright polar star,
For fancy was cheered by traditional story,
Disclosed by the natives of dark Lochnagar.

'Shades of the dead! Have I heard not your voices,
Rise on the night-rolling breath of the gale?'
Surely the soul of the hero rejoices,
And rides on the wind, o'er his own highland vale;
Round Lochnagar, while the stormy mist gathers,
Winter presides in his cold icy car,
Clouds there encircle the forms of my fathers,
They dwell in the tempests of dark Lochnagar.

'Ill-starred, though brave, did no visions foreboding
Tell you that fate had forsaken your cause?'
Ah! Were you destined to die at Culloden,
Victory crowned not your fall with applause;
Still were you happy in death's earthly slumber,
You rest with your clan in the caves of Braemar,
The pibroch resounds to the piper's loud number,
Your deeds on the echoes of dark Lochnagar.

Years have rolled on Lochnagar since I left you,
Years must elapse e'r I tread you again,
Nature of verdure and flowers has bereft you,
Yet still you are dearer than Albion's plain;
England! Thy beauties are tame and domestic,
To one who has roved on the mountains afar,
Oh! For the crags that are wild and majestic!
The steep frowning glories of dark Lochnagar!.

The book also contained the following notes on the lyric, presumably by Byron.                                                                  

'Lachin y Gair', or as it is pronounced in the Erse [Gaelic], Loch na Garr, towers proudly pre-eminent in the Northern Highlands near Invercauld. One of our modern tourists mentions it as the highest mountain, perhaps, in Great Britain. Be this as it may, it is certainly one of the most sublime and picturesque among our 'Caledonian Alps'. Its appearance is a dusky hue but the summit is the seat of eternal snows. Near Lachin y Gair I spent some of my early life, the recollection of which has given birth to the stanzas.   

Of the 'ill-starred, though brave' verse, Byron wrote,

'I allude here to my maternal ancestors, 'the Gordons', many of whom fought for the unfortunate Prince Charles, better known by the name the Pretender. This branch was nearly allied by blood as well as attachment to the Stuarts. George [Gordon], the second Earl of Huntley [sic], married the Princess Arabella Stuart, daughter of James the First of Scotland. By her he left four sons. The third, Sir William Gordon, I have the honour to
claim as one of my progenitors'.

Regarding the song's stirring melody, the nineteenth century musician John Greig wrote,

'The melody set to Byron's song first appeared in vol. VI of R.A. Smith's, 'Scottish Minstrel' [1824]. Though somewhat exacting to the singer, it has met with well-earned popularity. Its composer was Mrs. Patrick Gibson, née Isabella Mary Scott, [1786-1838], who was born in Edinburgh and [who was] distantly related to Sir Walter Scott…she at one time kept a ladies' boarding-school in Inverleith Row, Edinburgh. [She] was an accomplished harpist and cultivated the society of 'litterateurs'.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Dark Lochnagar
From: Q
Date: 22 Oct 09 - 03:03 PM

The words are posted at the beginning of this thread but the notes are welcome.
The "Scottish Minstrel was issued in six volumes, but there is an expensive reprint in three volumes.
Most recorded versions are reduced to three verses. It takes an accomplished soloist, such as Kenneth Mackellar.
Another setting was made by Beethoven, but my preference is the one by Mrs. Gibson.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Dark Lochnagar
From: GUEST,Jonny
Date: 25 Jan 11 - 02:18 PM

it's on 'Robbie Hannon, Traditional Music on the Uilleann Pipes' CD-v beautiful melody


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