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Lyr Req: Da Slockit Licht / Da Slockit Light

GUEST, Banjo Johnny 26 Oct 00 - 07:34 PM
Skipjack K8 26 Oct 00 - 07:38 PM
GUEST,Murray MacLeod 26 Oct 00 - 08:31 PM
Malcolm Douglas 26 Oct 00 - 08:39 PM
GUEST,Murray MacLeod 26 Oct 00 - 09:06 PM
Malcolm Douglas 26 Oct 00 - 09:56 PM
Chanteyranger 26 Oct 00 - 10:19 PM
Chanteyranger 26 Oct 00 - 10:21 PM
Anglo 22 Feb 03 - 02:50 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 22 Feb 03 - 03:25 PM
The Shambles 22 Feb 03 - 03:25 PM
Leadfingers 23 Feb 03 - 08:51 AM
Willie-O 23 Feb 03 - 10:09 AM
Jim McLean 23 Feb 03 - 10:54 AM
The Shambles 23 Feb 03 - 02:16 PM
The Shambles 23 Feb 03 - 02:22 PM
cyder_drinker 27 Jan 06 - 02:13 PM
Dave Hanson 28 Jan 06 - 01:24 AM
Pauline L 28 Jan 06 - 02:28 AM
selby 29 Mar 07 - 06:58 AM
GUEST,Lynn W 29 Mar 07 - 07:33 AM
Willie-O 29 Mar 07 - 09:41 AM
GUEST,dgood 03 Apr 07 - 03:37 AM
GUEST,Scabby Douglas 03 Apr 07 - 05:29 AM
The Vulgar Boatman 06 Nov 07 - 04:27 PM
Tattie Bogle 06 Nov 07 - 07:21 PM
Sorcha 06 Nov 07 - 09:49 PM
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Subject: Da Slockit Licht
From: GUEST, Banjo Johnny
Date: 26 Oct 00 - 07:34 PM

DA SLOCKIT LICHT

Does anyone have the lyrics? It's a nice tune, supposed to be about an old lighthouse. == Johnny


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Da Slockit Licht
From: Skipjack K8
Date: 26 Oct 00 - 07:38 PM

Never have heard any lyrics, Johnny. The tune was written in 1969 by Tom Andersen as a tribute to his recently deceased wife, wityh a second fiddle part written a decade later by one of his students.

I enjoy it played as slowly as possible, but have heard it played at almost jolly speed, which didn't make it sound at all solemn.

Skipjack


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Da Slockit Licht
From: GUEST,Murray MacLeod
Date: 26 Oct 00 - 08:31 PM

This is indeed a beautiful air, and likewise I have never heard any lyrics to it. But what I have heard is an incredibly beautiful version by the Irish dobro player Frankie Lane (Laine ? Well worth hearing and a million miles from what the Dobro normally sounds like.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Da Slockit Licht
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 26 Oct 00 - 08:39 PM

There are no lyrics: it isn't a song.  And, for what it's worth, if anyone were so insensitive and disrespectful as to attempt to set lyrics to it, I would cheerfully murder them.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Da Slockit Licht
From: GUEST,Murray MacLeod
Date: 26 Oct 00 - 09:06 PM

I tend to agree with you Malcolm, but,whatever ones opinion as to the merits of the practice, there is a tradition of setting words to classic airs, and Da Slockit Light is an ideal candidate for the treatment. So don't be too surprised if you are indicted at some time in the future ! Many of O'Carolan's tunes have been done, Planxty Irwin springs to mind as one which survived the process. Lokewise "The Dawning of the Day" predated Patrick Kavanagh's "Raglan Road" by centuries, before Like Kelly combined them. If it is done with taste, I dont think it is necessarily detrimental to ther melody.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Da Slockit Licht
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 26 Oct 00 - 09:56 PM

Quite so; but I've rarely come across a song set to one of those classic airs ("Dawning of the Day/ Raglan Road" being an honourable exception) that does justice to the tune.  Usually, unfortunately, the lyrics are trite and would disappear without trace in ten minutes if they didn't have the melody to parasitise.  People who want to make memorable songs really should either learn how to write properly, or make their own tunes; I stand by my threat!

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Da Slockit Licht
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 26 Oct 00 - 10:19 PM

Here's Tom Anderson's description of why he wrote Da Slockit Light, taken from his book Ringing Strings:

"I was coming out of Eshaness in late January, 1969, the time was after 11 pm and as I looked back at the top of the hill leading out of the district I saw so few lights compared to what I remembered when I was young. As I watched, the lights started going out one by one. That, coupled with the recent death of my late wife, made me think of the old word 'Slockit,' meaning, a light that has gone out, and I think that was what inspired the tune."

I agree with Malcolm. Why mess with something that expresses such a specific meaning for the this composer.

-chanteyranger


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Da Slockit Licht
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 26 Oct 00 - 10:21 PM

I mean "for this composer." (!)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Da Slockit Licht
From: Anglo
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 02:50 PM

Does anyone know who the "American student" was who wrote the second half of the tune?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Da Slockit Licht
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 03:25 PM

I know that it was recorded by Norman Blake and the Rising Fawn String Ensemble with Alabama fiddler James Bryan twinning with Norman around 1980. Could James be the "student" in question? Their version is structured AABB if my memory serves my correctly.

Definitely one of my favorite airs.

Bruce


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Da Slockit Licht
From: The Shambles
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 03:25 PM

"I was coming out of Eshaness in late January, 1969, the time was after 11 pm and as I looked back at the top of the hill leading out of the district I saw so few lights compared to what I remembered when I was young. As I watched, the lights started going out one by one. That, coupled with the recent death of my late wife, made me think of the old word 'Slockit,' meaning, a light that has gone out, and I think that was what inspired the tune."

We were lucky enough to have had a croft in Eshaness. There were even fewer lights when we arrived, and even less twelve years later when we sadly had to leave in 1987. There is probably not a day that passes when I don't think of those days and fine folk. I have never been back and remember as well looking back on my last view from the hill out of the district...........


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Da Slockit Licht
From: Leadfingers
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 08:51 AM

Writing a lyric to fit to an old tune very rarely seems to work,
whereas finding that a poem 'fits ' a tune ot writing a tune to fit a poem seems to work far better.Raglan road fits the tune in the same way as Kiplings poems work with the tunes that Pete Bellamy among others found for them.Cecily Fox Smith wrote GOOD poetry which has been turned into some superb songs.I do not know of a single 'song'
written to an old tune that doesnt sound twee.I am prepared to be educated in this by some of you out there,bearing in mind the premise
that music is EXTREMELY subjective,and what I love you may detest.And
vice versa.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Da Slockit Licht
From: Willie-O
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 10:09 AM

Another Slockit Light...isn't there a famous mystery, referred to with the same title?

The story I heard involved a lighthouse offshore from the Orkneys, at the end of the 19th century, which was manned by three keepers. One night the light went out, and when the authorities went to see why, there was no trace of any of the three keepers. None was ever found.

Tom Anderson must have been aware of this story. I'm wondering if he just figured that everyone would get the connection, although he had a different inspiration for writing the tune of the same name...

Or is there a tune or song relating to the lighthouse version? I believe someone wrote a contemporary classical piano piece using that theme...I heard it on the radio once but I'm not sure if Anderson's tune was appropriated or incorporated for this purpose.

W-O


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Da Slockit Licht
From: Jim McLean
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 10:54 AM

I don't know whether Burns ever wrote a tune in his life as he set his poems to old, established airs. This, of course, emphasises the fact that a good poet is required to marry his words to a fine air.
Jim Mclean


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Da Slockit Licht
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 02:16 PM

Eshaness also has its own lighthouse. It has not been manned for many years now but its light was a welcome addition to light up the dark nights of the district and would be seen from the hill Tom describes.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Da Slockit Licht
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 02:22 PM

Some photos of Eshaness lighthouse.

http://claymore.wisemagic.com/scotradiance/esha2.htm


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Da Slockit Licht
From: cyder_drinker
Date: 27 Jan 06 - 02:13 PM

Willie O - The lighthouse the keepers disappeared from was Flannan Isle, in December 1900.
There's a lot of stuff on the web - just google "flannan isle".

There was even an opera written about it, by Peter Maxwell Davies. (I've heard it - not my sort of thing!)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Da Slockit Licht
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 28 Jan 06 - 01:24 AM

Willie O, have you not read all this thread ? if you have, why do you doubt Tom Andersons word about this beautiful air ?

eric


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Da Slockit Licht
From: Pauline L
Date: 28 Jan 06 - 02:28 AM

I just checked Ringing Strings and learned that Tom Anderson was born in the Eshaness district, and he returned there and wrote a tune called Eshaness Two Step in 1967.

I tried to follow the link given above for a photo of the Eshaness lighthouse, but it didn't work. This one does, and it's fascinating. Eshaness is very hard to get to. The landscape and seascape are beautiful in a rugged and almost severe way. The black cliffs rise up almost perpendicular to the Atlantic Ocean. The lighthouse there was built in 1929 in a square, rather than round, shape. There are books about the lighthouses in remote areas of the Orkney and Shetland Islands, including Eshaness. Every photo I've ever seen of the Shetland Islands makes me feel the cold, wet air. The buildings are very spare there, too. Shetland is a place where people take fiddling seriously. I've heard that there are more fiddlers per unit population in Shetland than anywhere else. (I've also heard that the same is true of Cape Breton.) Shetland is severe and remote, but it has been the birthplace of many beautiful fiddle tunes.    `


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Da Slockit Licht
From: selby
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 06:58 AM

Has anyone got the dots for this?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Da Slockit Licht
From: GUEST,Lynn W
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 07:33 AM

Just Google "slockit light abc" and your first hit will be the dots/abc on thsession.org. There is abc for the second part in the comments section.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Da Slockit Licht
From: Willie-O
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 09:41 AM

Eric, if you're still around, I didn't say or imply I doubted Tom Anderson's explanation of his tune's origin. (And if you reread my post it is clear I did read the thread first). I was confused by the coincidence of names with "Da Other Slockit Light" tale and its various musical spinoffs. And I believe that I have heard Anderson's tune used in reference to the other event. Doesn't mean that was the composer's intention, but I still think it's reasonable to expect he would be familiar with this well-known mystery from his part of the world, and that it was referred to by the same name.

Thanks for the lead, cyder drinker. I'll look that up.

Now Eric, perhaps you can save this thread and reply around 2009, we could go for the slowest-paced argument on Mudcat.

W-O


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Da Slockit Licht
From: GUEST,dgood
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 03:37 AM

Referring back to Leadfingers 23 Feb 03, "Writing a lyric to fit to an old tune very rarely seems to work, whereas finding that a poem 'fits ' a tune or writing a tune to fit a poem seems to work far better."

It's not really the same situation, but still it's intersting that in opera the libretto comes first and the music is written to it, not the other way around.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Da Slockit Licht
From: GUEST,Scabby Douglas
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 05:29 AM

Hmm...

Old tunes, new words.

51st Highland Division's Farewell to Sicily (set to "Farewell to the Creeks")
and
The Freedom Come All Ye (to "Bloody Fields of Flanders")

Mind you, that's Hamish Henderson... no ordinary lyric writer.
No ordinary anything.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Da Slockit Licht
From: The Vulgar Boatman
Date: 06 Nov 07 - 04:27 PM

Kipling is known to have written a number of poems with traditional or popular tunes in mind - principally to help him with the rhythms.
"Screw Guns" is an exact fit for the Eton Boating Song (!), and "Poor Honest Men" for Spanish Ladies, a minor key version of which was used by Peter Bellamy. Has anybody ever calculated the number of songs set to the "Lazarus" tune?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Da Slockit Licht
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 06 Nov 07 - 07:21 PM

I happened to mention to Pete Clark (renowned Scottish fiddler)that on one of Natalie McMaster's CDs there's a song called "Get me through December" set to the tune of "Niel Gow's Lament for the death of his second wife" - a truly beautiful tune. Pete said very succintly (possibly through gritted teeth!) "That tune doesn't need any words". Similar scenario to Da Slockit Light", I would think.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Da Slockit Licht
From: Sorcha
Date: 06 Nov 07 - 09:49 PM

It's darn sure at JC's Tunefinder and unattributed to boot.


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