FID­DLER’S CORNER

The Victoria Standard - - Arts - by Paul S. Cran­ford. Thanks to Dr. Stephanie Conn for sourcing the Gaelic ref­er­ences.

If you have a tune you would like to share with other Cape Bre­ton fid­dlers or a mu­si­cal event that could be pro­moted in this col­umn con­tact The Vic­to­ria Stan­dard or Cran­ford Pub­li­ca­tions. Email - psc@cran­ford­pub.com (www.cran­ford­pub.com).

aka: The Cuckoo (A Chuthag), The Blue Cuckoo. (A Chuthag Ghorm). This air has been recorded by var­i­ous Cape Bre­ton in­stru­men­tal­ists in­clud­ing Natalie NIacMaster, Dan Hughie MacEach­ern. Dave MacIsaac and Joan Mac­Don­ald Bowes. Over the years it has been a song pop­u­lar for both choirs and Gaelic Mod per­form­ers. Since the '70s this type of song has all but dis­ap­peared in ru­ral Cape Bre­ton as the main so­cial con­text for Gaelic song has be­come the Milling Frolic (which fo­cus on a more rhyth­mi­cal reper­toire). For­tu­nately, a lo­cal rec-or­d­ing is posted on the SFX web­site (www.gael­stream.stfx.ca) sung by the late John Shaw (Seog.an) of In­dian Brook. Vic­to­ria County. Ar­ranged close to the man­ner sung by Seogan, pi­anist Joan Mac­Don­ald also ar­ranged it in the same key I have cho­sen. I fmd it does fall into the fin­gers eas­ily in Bb how­ever note that like most song melodies it can be trans­posed to an­other key to ac­com­mo­date the singer's range. The Gaelic lyrics were pub­lished at least a cou­ple times in 19th cen­tury Scot­land: i. An TO rainaiche (The Gaelic Song­ster) [1879]. ("0 Faille ort fliein, a chuthag ghorm - Wel­come to you, blue cuckoo). ii. An Uneag. 1898 Glas­gow (a pub­li­ca­tion of Gaelic songs for schools).

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