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Origins: Loch Tay Boat Song info

DigiTrad:
THE LOCH TAY BOAT SONG


GUEST,rhunt 27 Nov 20 - 11:56 AM
GUEST,Richard Williamson 27 Sep 18 - 04:48 AM
Tattie Bogle 04 Sep 18 - 06:34 AM
meself 03 Sep 18 - 12:13 PM
Tattie Bogle 03 Sep 18 - 11:46 AM
Lighter 02 Sep 18 - 04:00 PM
BobKnight 02 Sep 18 - 04:27 AM
Tattie Bogle 01 Sep 18 - 06:35 PM
Richard Mellish 01 Sep 18 - 05:35 PM
GUEST 31 Aug 18 - 02:26 AM
GUEST 14 Oct 14 - 07:38 PM
GUEST,Guest 30 Aug 11 - 03:43 AM
GUEST 20 Sep 10 - 04:08 PM
Tattie Bogle 07 Jun 09 - 07:24 PM
BobKnight 07 Jun 09 - 12:27 PM
GUEST,machree01 07 Jun 09 - 08:44 AM
leeneia 23 Apr 07 - 08:34 AM
mg 22 Apr 07 - 09:18 PM
GUEST,DonMeixner 22 Apr 07 - 03:09 PM
GUEST,Henrik W. 22 Apr 07 - 01:53 PM
Malcolm Douglas 21 Apr 07 - 06:15 PM
ard mhacha 21 Apr 07 - 04:50 PM
leeneia 21 Apr 07 - 11:07 AM
leeneia 21 Apr 07 - 10:49 AM
GUEST,machree01 21 Apr 07 - 07:34 AM
Freso 21 Apr 07 - 05:57 AM
Malcolm Douglas 10 Jan 07 - 09:52 PM
GUEST,Arkie 10 Jan 07 - 05:55 PM
GUEST,Tullybeag 10 Jan 07 - 10:23 AM
ard mhacha 10 Jan 07 - 07:36 AM
ard mhacha 10 Jan 07 - 07:30 AM
Malcolm Douglas 10 Jan 07 - 01:13 AM
Cluin 10 Jan 07 - 12:32 AM
Jim Lad 10 Jan 07 - 12:21 AM
Cluin 10 Jan 07 - 12:13 AM
Malcolm Douglas 09 Jan 07 - 09:55 PM
Effsee 09 Jan 07 - 09:44 PM
GUEST 09 Jan 07 - 08:52 PM
Muttley 09 Jan 07 - 08:48 PM
GUEST,Maggie Cruickshank, Scotland. 09 Jan 07 - 12:20 PM
shankmac 13 Dec 01 - 10:58 AM
DonMeixner 13 Dec 01 - 08:54 AM
shankmac 13 Dec 01 - 05:03 AM
Scabby Douglas 12 Dec 01 - 06:16 AM
DonMeixner 11 Dec 01 - 11:28 PM
arkie 15 May 99 - 11:38 AM
Tony Burns 15 May 99 - 11:36 AM
Jack Hickman - Kingston, ON 14 May 99 - 11:55 PM
Susanne (skw) 14 May 99 - 08:16 PM
arkie 30 Apr 99 - 11:42 AM
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Subject: RE: Origins: Loch Tay Boat Song info
From: GUEST,rhunt
Date: 27 Nov 20 - 11:56 AM

Worth noting there is an American version of this song, recorded as Ohio River Boat Song as sung by the Palace Brothers. Not sure if it was Bonny Prince Billy himself who americanized it, but the garbling of 'nighean ruadh' into 'Carolina' leaves little doubt that it went from Scotland to America and not the other way round!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Loch Tay Boat Song info
From: GUEST,Richard Williamson
Date: 27 Sep 18 - 04:48 AM

The following is just a one-take, simple recording on a mobile phone. But maybe somebody fancies a listen and will enjoy it. It's a truly beautiful song.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jx1hF6DG8Ck


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Subject: RE: Origins: Loch Tay Boat Song info
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 04 Sep 18 - 06:34 AM

Yes, a man of many talents, or fingers in many pies!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Loch Tay Boat Song info
From: meself
Date: 03 Sep 18 - 12:13 PM

Reading Harold Boulton's obituary kind of makes me wonder what I've done with my life ... !


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Subject: RE: Origins: Loch Tay Boat Song info
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 03 Sep 18 - 11:46 AM

Not exactly, but there are phrases within it which often appear in other Gaelic airs, based on arpeggios and runs up and down the scale (or many other tunes, come to think of it!)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Loch Tay Boat Song info
From: Lighter
Date: 02 Sep 18 - 04:00 PM

Note too that the melody only "came from" an old Gaelic tune. Changes have been made.

My guess is that the second strain was added for the "Boat Song." But that's only a guess.

Does anybody recognize the "old Gaelic tune" said to have been heard in 1870?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Loch Tay Boat Song info
From: BobKnight
Date: 02 Sep 18 - 04:27 AM

Sorry folks - I posted the wrong info about the "Northern Lights of Old Aberdeen." It was in fact written by a woman called, Mary Webb. She wrote it for a work colleague who was homesick for Aberdeen. Her Broadwood piano was brought to Aberdeen after her death and is in the Aberdeen Art gallery and Museums Collection. I believe she visited Aberdeen once.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Loch Tay Boat Song info
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 01 Sep 18 - 06:35 PM

Yes, it does not in fact say that there were ever Gaelic words, more that the MELODY came from an old Gaelic tune.
Looks like the link I provided in 2009 no longer works, so here is a further one, obit for Harold Boulton, who was apparently involved in many different things!
Harold Boulton
I think I first heard this song on the North Sea Gas CD, Schiehallion: also a good version.

By the way, anyone who got a copy of "Songs of the North Vol 111" is very lucky! (leaving aside any argument about what was done with the songs by our forebears!) Rare as hens' teeth! I have vols 1 and 11 but not 111.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Loch Tay Boat Song info
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 01 Sep 18 - 05:35 PM

> What a darned shame nobody seems to have noted the original words the woman sang in Gaelic!

If any! She may have sung English words or no words. Anyway not Gaelic words corresponding to those written by Boulton. See the 10 Jan 07 - 01:13 AM post by (the late lamented) Malcolm Douglas.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Loch Tay Boat Song info
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Aug 18 - 02:26 AM

What a darned shame nobody seems to have noted the original words the woman sang in Gaelic!


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Subject: RE: Origin: Loch Tay Boat Song
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Oct 14 - 07:38 PM

I was thinking it could be named about the Boatman of Loch Tay


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Subject: RE: Need Loch Tay Boat Song info
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 30 Aug 11 - 03:43 AM

From volume III of Songs of the North (Cramer, 1926) and also issued as a separate song, copyrighted MCMXXVI. JBC&Co 13248. 4pp

Song has:

Loch Tay Boat Song. / (A ROWING MEASURE) / (IORRAM LOCH TATHA)
Words by Harold Boulton.
Variant of Old Air / Taken down by Col. Arthur Cameron about 1870 and contributed by Mrs. Cameron Head of Inverailort. / Adapted and arranged by / ROBERT MACLEOD.

In rowing time - with steady swing

1
When I've done the work of day
And I row my boat away
Down the waters of Loch Tay
As the evening light is falling
Then I look upon Ben Lawers
Where the after glories glow
And I dream of two bright eyes
With a merry mouth below
Horo, Horo, Heigh-ho,
She's my beauteous Nighean ruadh (Red-haired maid)
She's my joy and sorrow too
For I doubt she is not true
But I cannot live without her
For my heart's a boat in tow
And I'll give the world to know
If she means to let me go
As I sing heigh ho! Horo!
Horo! Horo! Heigh-ho!

2
Nighean rudh (Red-haired maid), your lovely hair
Has more glamour I declare
Than all the tresses rare
From Killin to Aberfeldy
Be the lint-white gold or brown
Be they blacker than the sloe
They are no more worth to me
Than a melting flake of snow
Horo .....
Oh! Your dance is like the gleam
Of the sunlight on the stream
Like the fairies' songs they seem
The songs you sing at milking
But my heart is full of woe
For last night you bade me go
And my tears begin to flow
As I sing heigh-ho! Horo
Horo ....


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CV2MNY2i0po


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Subject: RE: Need Loch Tay Boat Song info
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Sep 10 - 04:08 PM

Written by Harold Boulton, an Engishman!!


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Subject: RE: Need Loch Tay Boat Song info
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 07:24 PM

Here's a link to more about Sir Harold Boulton:
http://members.cox.net/ggtext/haroldedwinboulton1859_obit.html


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Subject: RE: Need Loch Tay Boat Song info
From: BobKnight
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 12:27 PM

"The Northern Lights of Old Aberdeen" was indeed written by an English lady. Her name was Margaret Mitchell, if I remember correctly.


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Subject: RE: Need Loch Tay Boat Song info
From: GUEST,machree01
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 08:44 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CV2MNY2i0po


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Subject: RE: Need Loch Tay Boat Song info
From: leeneia
Date: 23 Apr 07 - 08:34 AM

Thanks, Don, for the explanation of lint-white. There's a family in my neighborhood (the Murphys)whose children often have hair that color.


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Subject: RE: Need Loch Tay Boat Song info
From: mg
Date: 22 Apr 07 - 09:18 PM

I think definitive version was sung by Trapper Graves on the latest Broadside CD..I first heard it at a folklife concert and was wowed by it..partly because I have usually heard her do songs more of a humerous nature...mg


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Subject: RE: Need Loch Tay Boat Song info
From: GUEST,DonMeixner
Date: 22 Apr 07 - 03:09 PM

Lint white is the color of Tow. Which is what is left over from stripping flax fibers out to make linen.

Don Meixner


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Subject: RE: Need Loch Tay Boat Song info
From: GUEST,Henrik W.
Date: 22 Apr 07 - 01:53 PM

One of the best renditions of Loch Tay Boat Song I have ever heard is found on Davy Steele's "Chasing Shadows" album - absolutely magic.


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Subject: RE: Need Loch Tay Boat Song info
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 21 Apr 07 - 06:15 PM

Freso:

The 'R McLeod' referred by 'The Cottars' is presumably a mistake for A C (Annie Campbell) MacLeod, Harold Boulton's co-editor on Songs of the North. It was she who adapted a traditional melody (basically, she wrote the second strain) - whether heard in Skye, in the most common anecdote, or noted from a singer in Moidart as Andy M Stewart is quoted earlier in this old thread as having stated - into the tune to which Boulton set his 'Skye Boat Song'. She married the diplomat Sir James Wilson in 1888, and spent some 20 years with him in India.


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Subject: RE: Need Loch Tay Boat Song info
From: ard mhacha
Date: 21 Apr 07 - 04:50 PM

In the early 1950s this song was one of the most requested on Radio Eireann and the singer was Brendan O`Dowda.


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Subject: RE: Need Loch Tay Boat Song info
From: leeneia
Date: 21 Apr 07 - 11:07 AM

Me again.

Recently i read a book called "Last of the Donkey Pilgrims." It was the true tale of a Vietnam vet who travelled around Ireland with a donkey and cart in the 1970's. A good book.

One thing that surprised me was (and prob still is) the real enmity that people in Ireland feel toward those with red hair. The woman in the Loch Tay Boat Song has red hair, and that implies a lot about her that Americans would probably never think of. She's probably assumed to be oversexed and devious.

My grandmother (born in 1888) had red hair. I remember her telling me how the kids in Evansville, Indiana taunted her about it, and how ashamed she was. Then one day a woman she had never seen before stopped her in the street and told her how beautiful her hair was and how lucky she was to have something that made her stand out from the ordinary. After that, she was happy about having red hair.


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Subject: RE: Need Loch Tay Boat Song info
From: leeneia
Date: 21 Apr 07 - 10:49 AM

what kind of hair is "lint-white," exactly?


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Subject: RE: Need Loch Tay Boat Song info
From: GUEST,machree01
Date: 21 Apr 07 - 07:34 AM

I have a LP called The Best of Brendan O'Dowda and he's singing Loch Tay Boat Song.


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Subject: RE: Need Loch Tay Boat Song info
From: Freso
Date: 21 Apr 07 - 05:57 AM

Malcolm, I'm so glad you mentioned MacLeod! You see, I'm currently trying to figure out what one McLeod has to with the song.

The Cottars have a version of Loch Tay Boat Song on their release "On Fire!", however, it is apparently attributed to "H. Boulton-R. McLeod", and I believe this thread has so far given me background info detailing Boulton's involvement with the song, but... what is R. McLeod's role in this?


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Subject: RE: Need Loch Tay Boat Song info
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 10 Jan 07 - 09:52 PM

Specific detail of that sort is often accurate; though all references on the web, so far as I can see, were copied from the copy of Andy M Stewart's comment quoted earlier in this thread (apart from the sleevenotes on a cd made by an American player of the Celtic harp, which were probably copied directly from Stewart's songbook); so there is no corroborating information available. As I've said, I haven't seen vol III of Songs of the North (the first two are easy to find, but the third is not) so I can't say what details, if any, were provided.

Most of the tunes in Songs of the North were from traditional or older print sources; only a very few, I think, were modern compositions. The term "collected" is probably an anachronistic modern gloss of Stewart's, though; I doubt if Boulton or MacLeod would have used it.


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Subject: RE: Need Loch Tay Boat Song info
From: GUEST,Arkie
Date: 10 Jan 07 - 05:55 PM

What about this: "The melody was collected from a Mrs. Cameron at Inverailort, in the district of Moidart, in 1870".   Is this part true? or did Boulton write the tune as well?


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Subject: RE: Need Loch Tay Boat Song info
From: GUEST,Tullybeag
Date: 10 Jan 07 - 10:23 AM

"The Northern Lights.." was written by a little old lady from London who had never been in Scotland in her life.


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Subject: RE: Need Loch Tay Boat Song info
From: ard mhacha
Date: 10 Jan 07 - 07:36 AM

Listen to the Corries singing this song on Youtube another lovely rendering.


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Subject: RE: Need Loch Tay Boat Song info
From: ard mhacha
Date: 10 Jan 07 - 07:30 AM

For all that, a beautiful song, I have Liam Clancy singing it with a group of young musicians from an RTE programme, this is my favourite recording of the song.


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Subject: RE: Need Loch Tay Boat Song info
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 10 Jan 07 - 01:13 AM

The song was presumably in vol 3 of Songs of the North; it isn't in the first two, at any rate. Harold Boulton wrote a lot of songs that are often passed off as "traditional" nowadays (see previous discussions on 'Castle of Dromore', for example), and these were often set to older, sometimes traditional, tunes; though he wrote some tunes as well, most notably (from our point of view) the melody to which 'The Lyke Wake Dirge' is nowadays sung.

What Boulton didn't do was write in, or translate from, Gaelic; Andy M Stewart was quite wrong to say that. Unfortunately that error has by now been repeated all over the place. He worked in the same area of songwriting as did Thomas Moore and Albert Percival Graves, both of whom also wrote a lot of stuff that is resolutely claimed as "ancient" and "traditional" by people who are too lazy to do a little basic research.

The excuse made by 'Silly Wizard' is a bit feeble; Boulton only died in 1935, and when they recorded his song it was barely out of copyright.


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Subject: RE: Need Loch Tay Boat Song info
From: Cluin
Date: 10 Jan 07 - 12:32 AM

Perthshire is beautiful as is Loch Tay itself. Highly recommend a visit.


Trivia: some scenes from "Monty Python & the Holy Grail" were filmed near Killin, most notably the scenes of the killer rabbit outside the cave of Caer Bannog. I think scenes of the falls at Killin were used as well.


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Subject: RE: Need Loch Tay Boat Song info
From: Jim Lad
Date: 10 Jan 07 - 12:21 AM

I recorded this one more than twenty years ago.
The song is set on Loch Tay in Perthshire and is a place where I spent many summers in my youth. The loch is 18 miles long and the Village of Killin sits on its western tip. Killin is famous for The Falls O' Dochart which were prominantly featured on one of the Scottish bank notes.
On the eastern tip of Loch Tay sits the village of Kenmore and just a little further up the road.... Aberfeldy. Famous for its BIrks. (Birch Trees)
The song of love gone awry is sung by the Ferryman who would carry goods etc. along along the length of the loch or from one bank to the other. Ben Lawers towers high over the loch on the north side.
A must see for any tourist.


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Subject: RE: Need Loch Tay Boat Song info
From: Cluin
Date: 10 Jan 07 - 12:13 AM

I had asked Martin Hadden about this song several years ago, since I was performing it regularly at the time. I had first learned it from a Dougie MacLean album "Snaigow" and there the song was credited to him. Silly Wizard (the group Martin was in) recorded it afterwards on their "Kiss The Tears Away" album, where it was credited as trad. Then later, I acquired an Anderson & Brown CD with "Loch Tay Boat Song" on it, credited to Harold Bolton. Ken Brown said it was written by the same fellow who penned "The Skye Boat Song". (I guess he specialized in boat songs)

Martin's response was, yes, Harold Bolton had written the song, but long enough ago that Silly Wizard felt no compunction in calling the song traditional since so many were now singing it. He said it was a beautiful song (which it is) and had become part of the Scots folk tradition, its writer being an Englishman notwithstanding, as much as the other work "The Skye Boat Song".

Now, shall we discuss authorship of "Northern Lights of Auld Aberdeen"?


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Subject: RE: Need Loch Tay Boat Song info
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 09 Jan 07 - 09:55 PM

There's always the risk that an old, forgotten thread revived after nearly 7 years in the tomb will attract irrelevant replies to things said long years ago.

For the benefit of 'Muttley' and 'Guest', I will repeat what I have said before. "Scotch", though old-fashioned and well on its way to obsolescence, is still perfectly correct usage as an alternative to "Scots" or "Scottish". Although mostly used nowadays as an adjective in compound forms ("Scotch whisky", "Scotch mist" etc) there are still a good many older Scots who are perfectly happy to use it as a general adjective as well as an abbreviation for whisky. Though there will inevitably be people who make a fuss about it (that is nothing new), they do risk making themselves look more ignorant than those they criticise.

See any standard Scots dictionary if you don't believe me.

Now, do either of you have anything helpful to add on the subject of the Loch Tay Boat Song?


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Subject: RE: Need Loch Tay Boat Song info
From: Effsee
Date: 09 Jan 07 - 09:44 PM

Actually, it's a song written by an Englishman, the aforementioned Harold Boulton, who also wrote the "Skye Boat Song" I believe.
And , yes , Scotch is whisky, nothing else!


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Subject: RE: Need Loch Tay Boat Song info
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Jan 07 - 08:52 PM

It is a Scotch song not a drink you twat!


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Subject: RE: Need Loch Tay Boat Song info
From: Muttley
Date: 09 Jan 07 - 08:48 PM

From: RobertBurns@OBLaw.com - PM
Date: 06 Apr 99 - 12:24 PM

A traditional Scotch song. Need more info.?

And, pray tell Robbie; what the hell is a traditional song sung by a bottle of Whisky??????????

It's Scot, Scots or Scottish

SCOTCH is a bbloody drink !!!

Muttley


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Subject: RE: Need Loch Tay Boat Song info
From: GUEST,Maggie Cruickshank, Scotland.
Date: 09 Jan 07 - 12:20 PM

My sister Liz learned this song in London in 1965 sung by a group from Ireland called (I think)'The Tinkers'.She joined me in Victoria, BC later that year and we sang it together from then on. We were unable to find who had written it but presumed that it was traditional Scottish. I am delighted to find it's origins and will pass on this info. as it is one of my most requested songs after 'Dumbarton's Drums'. This is another song I have very little info. about. I learned it from a Jean Redpath album in the seventies. I think that she learned it from the Beers Family but I believe that it originates from Scotland.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: The Loch Tay Boat Song
From: shankmac
Date: 13 Dec 01 - 10:58 AM

AH I have not reached diminished proportions yet.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: The Loch Tay Boat Song
From: DonMeixner
Date: 13 Dec 01 - 08:54 AM

Thanks Steve and Mac,

I;ll try these ideas. You know, I'm not a complete putz at this. It always seems with me that the simpler the song and melody, the harder it is to dress it up.

I was noodling around with "You are my sunshine" last night and some how it struck me to put on some diminished chords to play melody through rather than singular notes.

25 years playing that song and last night I find diminshed chords.

Don


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: The Loch Tay Boat Song
From: shankmac
Date: 13 Dec 01 - 05:03 AM

Don What key do you play it in? If its D then try F#m before the G in the first line. Mac


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: The Loch Tay Boat Song
From: Scabby Douglas
Date: 12 Dec 01 - 06:16 AM

Well - wire right in there yerself, big man..

E minor is one of my favourite chords - I'd recommend that wholheartedly - never let me down yet...

Cheers

Steven C


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Subject: The Loch Tay Boat Song
From: DonMeixner
Date: 11 Dec 01 - 11:28 PM

Hello All

Actually I have the lyrics and the chords appear to be a little straight forward. I'd like to have something to jazz this up a little. I think there should be a few minors in here some place.

Don


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Subject: RE: Need Loch Tay Boat Song info
From: arkie
Date: 15 May 99 - 11:38 AM

Susanne, if you will check out Tony Burns response in this thread, dated April 9, you will find one of those highly touted blue clicky things to take you directly to Paddy's website. That's what I did and ordered the CD. I am certainly glad I did. Paddy is a fine singer and there is a great choice of songs on the CD. This is the address: http://www.tallship.bc.ca/


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Subject: RE: Need Loch Tay Boat Song info
From: Tony Burns
Date: 15 May 99 - 11:36 AM

Susanne,

You asked about Paddy Hernon's "By Request" CD. I don't know if you can find it in stores. It is an independent release. It is called "By Request" because Paddy's friends urged him to record some of the songs they heard him do live. He did a wonderful job.

I just ordered 3 more copies recently (yes, I like this CD) via email from Paddy directly. His email address is paddy@tallship.bc.ca. I suggest you email him and work out arrangements to have a CD sent to you.

Paddy is also the skipper of a tallship on which he lives. He has a web site that you can get to by selecting this blue clicky thing.

If you contact Paddy tell him I sent you.


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Subject: RE: Need Loch Tay Boat Song info
From: Jack Hickman - Kingston, ON
Date: 14 May 99 - 11:55 PM

Greetings:

The nicest version of this song that I have heard is by John Allan Cameron, who accompanies himself by picking his 12-string guitar. It's on vinyl, the title of the album is Wakes and Weddings. I don't know whether or not it's been released on CD, but would be worth while looking for.

Keep the Faith.

Jack Hickman


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Subject: RE: Need Loch Tay Boat Song info
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 14 May 99 - 08:16 PM

Alistair, you mentioned Paddy Hernon's album 'By Request'. When did it come out? I can't find it at any of the music links from the Mudcat. Can you help? - Thanks, Susanne


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Subject: RE: Need Loch Tay Boat Song info
From: arkie
Date: 30 Apr 99 - 11:42 AM

Thanks Rick and Tony! And to all the others who have helped with this. One less mystery to confound my simple, little mind. One further note on the song, there are several cassette recordings, produced here in the Ozarks, of the song. One by a duo called Homespun which is now out of print and another really nice version by Comer (Moon) Mullins, who also happens to be a National Thumbpicking Guitar Champion, on "Old Love Songs". Robert Gillihan, who performs with several groups at the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View has a memorable version of the song, but it has not been recorded.


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