mudcat.org: DTStudy: The Dark Island
Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe

Post to this Thread - Printer Friendly - Home
Page: [1] [2]


DTStudy: The Dark Island

DigiTrad:
DARK ISLAND 2
THE DARK ISLAND


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Dark Island (Alan Bell) (18)
Nationality of songs (104)
Dark Island: Too late to have DigiTrad alteration? (7)
Lyr Req: The Dark Island (Alan Bell) (10)
(origins) Origins/Author: Dark Island (43)
Information on The Dark Island (5)
(origins) Tune Req: The Dark Isle (14)
Dark Island (47)
(origins) Origin: The Dark Island (41)
(origins) Lyr/Tune Add: The Dark Isle (16)
Lyr Req: Eilean Dorcha (3)


Steve Shaw 29 Jan 20 - 06:43 PM
GUEST 29 Jan 20 - 05:03 PM
GUEST,Rossey 29 Jan 20 - 09:06 AM
GUEST,Ang 29 Jan 20 - 02:20 AM
GUEST,Rossey 03 Dec 19 - 03:48 PM
meself 03 Dec 19 - 03:27 PM
GUEST,Guest Rossey - oops! 03 Dec 19 - 02:54 PM
GUEST,O' Conner. 03 Dec 19 - 02:40 PM
GUEST,Starship 03 Dec 19 - 10:19 AM
Jack Campin 03 Dec 19 - 10:13 AM
GUEST,Connor 03 Dec 19 - 09:02 AM
GUEST 09 Nov 19 - 06:51 PM
GeoffLawes 09 Nov 19 - 05:51 PM
Jack Campin 09 Nov 19 - 02:09 PM
GUEST,Rossey 09 Nov 19 - 10:30 AM
GUEST,Dtm 09 Nov 19 - 08:16 AM
Megan L 09 Nov 19 - 08:13 AM
GUEST,Rossey 09 Nov 19 - 07:07 AM
GUEST 09 Nov 19 - 06:24 AM
Anne Lister 09 Nov 19 - 06:13 AM
GeoffLawes 09 Nov 19 - 04:30 AM
GeoffLawes 09 Nov 19 - 04:23 AM
GUEST,crumbly 06 Nov 19 - 01:29 PM
GUEST,Rossey 13 Apr 19 - 03:36 PM
GUEST,Ang 13 Apr 19 - 02:43 PM
GUEST,Terry Murphy 12 Apr 19 - 08:59 PM
GUEST,Rossey 12 Apr 19 - 02:34 PM
Tattie Bogle 12 Apr 19 - 02:00 PM
John MacKenzie 12 Apr 19 - 01:18 PM
GUEST,Rossey 12 Apr 19 - 08:24 AM
GUEST,Ang 12 Apr 19 - 04:38 AM
GeoffLawes 27 Mar 19 - 05:50 PM
GUEST,Rossey 24 Mar 19 - 08:40 PM
GUEST,Rossey 24 Mar 19 - 07:41 PM
GUEST,Bradfordian sans cookie 24 Mar 19 - 02:10 PM
GUEST,Alan Ross 17 Jan 16 - 03:17 AM
GUEST,StrachanGirl 16 Jan 16 - 12:09 PM
GUEST,Georgina Boyes 14 Feb 11 - 08:23 AM
GUEST,Georgina Boyes 14 Feb 11 - 08:11 AM
JHW 14 Feb 11 - 06:00 AM
Peter the Squeezer 13 Feb 11 - 02:07 PM
GUEST 13 Feb 11 - 02:00 PM
GUEST,Alan Ross 17 Dec 08 - 09:05 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 25 Nov 03 - 02:20 PM
Malcolm Douglas 25 Nov 03 - 02:19 PM
Jeri 25 Nov 03 - 02:12 PM
Willie-O 25 Nov 03 - 01:22 PM
Folkiedave 24 Nov 03 - 03:41 PM
VIN 24 Nov 03 - 10:17 AM
GUEST,craig herbertson 24 Nov 03 - 05:14 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:








Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Jan 20 - 06:43 PM

It's a nice tune which we've played in our sessions for donkey's years, never knowing it had words, he said innocently...


Sue me!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Jan 20 - 05:03 PM

Thanks for the advice Rossey, will send a few copies to myself ASAP and will keep it to myself until I have used it for my play.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: GUEST,Rossey
Date: 29 Jan 20 - 09:06 AM

Well, as soon as you write it, and you have it down. Make sure you have dated evidence.. post a copy to yourself.. and keep it sealed. Register it with copyright agencies (if you have enough works to join), or assign some rights to a publisher. Keep any press clippings, recordings, interviews and anything to do with the songs, so you can prove its origins, One problem is when something becomes popular, it takes on a life of its own. We live in a viral media age and worldwide copyright is a control problem. It doesn't take long for a song to become taken by others to be traditional, particularly if there is no-one protecting it. It's all a catch 22, you want something to be popular and enter the public consciousness - but as soon as you do, it means other people may take it, intentionally or not. Anyway, this one belongs in its own thread..of copyright protection.   Dark Island as an instrumental, was a confusing one, due to the title being changed, and having been played for at least a few years before being physically recorded and used as the theme for the 1962 TV programme. Then all the hassles arose over competing parties writing lyrics to it afterwards.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: GUEST,Ang
Date: 29 Jan 20 - 02:20 AM

Hi again, FYI I have written a song, lyrics and melody, so far the only person who has heard a bit of it is my piano teacher. In the hope of preventing this kind of discussion, please advise me what I need to do next. (obviously it's going to go viral, ha ha).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: GUEST,Rossey
Date: 03 Dec 19 - 03:48 PM

People don't actually bother reading. To be honest, I think you'd be hard pushed to find any Scottish records with dubbed on sound effects until the 1960's. It just wasn't used on Scottish accordion instrumentals. I think Joe Meek (Telstar etc.) kind of stirred producer's imaginations, plus then tracking technology came into common currency in studios. My father recorded a 1965 single of the 'Mingulay Boat Song' with seagulls, and waves lapping in similar vein to the Alexander Brothers recording of the Dark Island from the same period. A picture in sound - it was fashionable and a novelty. But its not something that would have been used on early 78's. it just irritates when people come up with a perceived memory which is physically impossible.. to imply that recordings existed before it was ever issued under the title, as the TV series from which it gained its name was only broadcast in 1962.   A time machine would have been required!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: meself
Date: 03 Dec 19 - 03:27 PM

Friend Rossey - everything to do with this tune/song is clearly close to your heart - but don't you think you were unnecessarily harsh in your response to someone else's reference to a fond childhood memory - however 'false' or otherwise inaccurate? The poster was clearly not criticizing you or the tune/song; he was seeking help in finding a recording that, in your authoritative judgement, does not exist - at least, not in the way the poster remembers it. Your indignation seems excessive.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: GUEST,Guest Rossey - oops!
Date: 03 Dec 19 - 02:54 PM

Sorry, I put my name in wrong on that last entry above, as I was so annoyed by the tosh that had just been spouted about it being on an old 78...unless it was a foreign one certainly NOT anything pre 1962-1963. About the first single I know of was Ian Powrie's 1963 recording of the BBC TV instrumental theme on HMV. The Alexander Brothers did a well known instrumental version with seagulls for PYE records in the mid 1960's.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: GUEST,O' Conner.
Date: 03 Dec 19 - 02:40 PM

There was no instrumental with seagulls, pre 1962. It was used as the theme for the TV series and only became 'Dark Island' in 1962. It did NOT exist on record until after the BBC TV series. If you actually read the thread you will learn. Dr. Mackay's Farewell to Creagorry as it was previously named, was never recorded before that point. Lyrics were added after the TV series appeared in 1963. Anybody who thinks otherwise is deluding themselves with a false memory. I have many legal papers that give these details, and it is accepted fact - also you can find the broadcast listed in newspapers and radio times. You can also trace the recordings through many of the old record discography sites. The Scottish tune 'Dark Island' did not exist in fixed form pre-1962 -1963. The dubbing of seagull sound effects fitted the South Uist theme, and you can hear it on the radio version. That kind of dubbing of sound, effects on Scottish music wasn't very common until that point.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 03 Dec 19 - 10:19 AM

GUEST,Connor: Did the tune you listened to have a title you recall??


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 Dec 19 - 10:13 AM

If there was a 78 version someone will have catalogued it.

The Yale site on 78s says some were still made in the 1970s, though perhaps not Scottish ones. The latest 78 I've seen (and still have) is probably one of Jewish cantorial music by Rabbi Hershel Heisz of Glasgow - design of the cover looks early 1960s to me.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: GUEST,Connor
Date: 03 Dec 19 - 09:02 AM

I used to listen to this tune on an old 78rpm my grandmother had back in the early 1960s. It was an accordion instrumental with seagulls in the background, and no lyrics. I wish I could have rescued her old records after her death, but someone just got rid of everything.

I feel it predated the 1963 version by a way simply because 78rpm was dead by them.

That's the version I hear in my head and I can hear the differences in EVERY other version I come across. I just cannot find it anywhere.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 06:51 PM

Yes Geoff, though not quite accurate.. the quality of information changes over the years. The short TV series was made in 62, though there was a repeat showing in '63. Later in '69 the radio series came out.   all that has been pretty well covered in screes of previous discussion. My father's version doesn't really straight fit the tune, which has led to some horrible crashes when people try and sing his words to the more familiar one. There are fine lyrics which have been written by a number of people, and each have different qualities, same with the instrumental which is obviously beautiful on its own, and covered ad infinitum.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: GeoffLawes
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 05:51 PM

Some information here
http://www.ericdentinger.com/dark-island_en.html


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: Jack Campin
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 02:09 PM

You can post images to the Mudcat FB group, if the moderator doesn't suddenly take exception to them.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: GUEST,Rossey
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 10:30 AM

It depends on who arranged the music on a trad work - but my father's version is quite different in notation and tune to the other versions - so if it had been based on a trad. work I think he could have justifiably claimed for both tune and lyric as his lyrics fit a unique settting. The original 1963 printed sheet music wrongly had it as a trad. air. or by a Mrs. Gibson (a music teacher who wrote it down for him). He was only ever credited as 'Words by Stewart Ross' on the sheet.    Also the split varies depending on the deal or publisher. Anyway, with 'Dark Island' - there is no legal proof that it is based on any trad. work, so I have tried to rectify it on my father's version as a matter of honour. My father only wrote the lyrics to this ghost version..and would never have deliberately tried to do Maclachlan out of credit, it was genuine belief that the rumour was true that set the whole thing off, so I don't want to claim for the whole work. He would indeed though have probably got 100 percent if he could have proved the origins - but rumours are not proof. I wish to heck you could attach images to Mudcat Cafe. I have some great documents on how this happened, though equally I destroyed a number of papers I wish I'd hung on to.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: GUEST,Dtm
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 08:16 AM

Am I correct in assuming that if you write lyrics to a 'trad' tune then you are entitled to 100% of the royalties or, are they split 50/50? If 50/50, who receives the trad's portion of the royalties,\,\\,,\,\,\q?.
For example, in the case of The Dark Island, royalties for the 'official' version would be split 50/50 between Maclachlan & Silver. If Stewart Ross wrote his lyrics to the original version (let's assume it WAS a trad tune), does it mean he would be entitled to 100% royalties for recordings using his lyrics?
(Fwiw, I note that Alan Ross seems to be okay with the his father's version being accredited 50/50 to Maclachlan & Ross)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: Megan L
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 08:13 AM

Mr Ross I really wish you would stop changing your guest name with monotonous regularity if anything it degrades your case to keep posting as different people.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: GUEST,Rossey
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 07:07 AM

From my father's solicitors files: Handwritten Letter from Prof.. John MacQueen, head of dept. School of Scottish Studies. 5th June 1971.   Dear Peter... My enquiries have elicited the following points:   

1. Ian Maclachlan of Benbecula claims to be the composer of the tune.

2. A Phd student here, one Angus John Macdonald of North Uist, who has made extensive recordings in N. and S. Uist & Benbecula was told that Maclachlan heard the tune played on the chanter by an old man in Glendale South Uist. A.J. Macdonald made enquiries in Glendale and vicinity and was completely unable to identify this "old man". No one could remember any old man in Glendale who played the chanter/

3. Ian Maclachlan has composed other tunes, eg the "Boys/Men of Glendale' (or some such title), and it is said that his style is recognisable in both this "boys of Glendale" and in the "Dark Island".

4. Attribution of "the Boys of Glendale" has never been questioned.

The uncertainties in all this will be clearer to you as a lawyer than to me, but this musch is obvious : -   All of Maclauchlin's (sic) tunes may be traditional tunes: he may just have a predilection for a certain category - possibly for out variants of a similar structure. Assuming that Maclauchlin heard the "Dark Island" melody from someone, he may have rearranged it to give it his own characteristic stamp. (Would that have been sufficient to give --- (?) copyright. You will recollect a Court of Session case some years back which concerned if my memory serves me right, "Westering Home". I seem to remember that this exact point came up.)    Professor MacQueen then goes on to say that they would have difficulty in becoming involved in any legal action, due to having to maintain an independent stance and also that they had to continue to make recordings in the Island area concerned.   

The whole truth is that rumour does not equate to fact, and with copyright generally whoever gets something in a fixed form is usually the owner of that copyright. By the same token my father Stewart Ross's lyrics to the "Dark Island" tune variant were copyrighted and fixed in sheet music as well as a recording.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 06:24 AM

Sadly it is hearsay.. all sorts of myths surround the tune. Whoever got it down in fixed form owned the copyright.   I re-iterate this letter, The MCPS were trying to establish whether it was a trad. piping tune. One of the other parties involved was W.Gordon Smith who wrote his own set of lyrics. "Dear Sirs, thank you for your letter of 26th October. It so happens that I know quite a bit about the tune now called 'the Dark Island'. Its original name was was 'Doctor MacInnes's Farewell to South Uist', and it was composed about 7 or 8 years ago by Ian Maclachlan of Benbecula. There is no question of its being a traditional tune. Mr. W. Gordon Smith is totally mistaken in thinking that any piper knew this tune earlier than about 1958.   To my knowledge there about three sets of lyrics at present being sung in Scotland to the melody and perhaps one of these that I have heard belongs to W.Gordon Smith. Yours sincerely... (photo copy signature unclear... E M (?) Laughlin pp Seumas Macneil College of Piping Glasgow.
Received by MCPS 23 November 1966.   My father Stewart Ross got ripped off for many thousands of pounds due to confusion over the tune's copyright status when he wrote a well known lyric to an altered version of the tune. Had he been able to prove the rumour he would have had a far stronger case, though he did win directly against one record company. After decades of argument his lyric is now formally registered as Stewart Ross with music bv Iain Maclachlan. The butchered version of his lyrical arrangement is on the Digibase but some cloth eared person has written it down with cock ups, and fitted it to the wrong tune variant.   I don't mind giving credit to the late Iain Maclachlan, more irritating is to see MIke Oldfield having fully claimed in his registration to have written the instrumental. as it at least dates from when he was in short trousers!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: Anne Lister
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 06:13 AM

All I have to add to this discussion is that after listening to the R4 Extra broadcasts of the thriller it's the most assertive earworm I've had in years. It plays at volume at the most inopportune moments (in my head, that is - the theme tune stays in the right place, of course).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: GeoffLawes
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 04:30 AM

Further down on recording 16 on the above Tobar link is a recording about which it says

"The air 'The Dark Island' played on the fiddle, followed by the jig 'Paddy's Leather Breeches'. This is followed by a discussion on the composer of 'The Dark Island'. Mrs MacKenzie says it was composed by Lachlann Bn, a blind piper from Benbecula, and that John [Iain] MacLachlan got it from him."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: GeoffLawes
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 04:23 AM

There are references to "The Dark Island" on the Tobar an Dualchais/Kist o Riches site
This is the tune of 'The Dark Island' sung in non-canntaireachd vocables.
http://www.tobarandualchais.co.uk/en/search?page=1


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: GUEST,crumbly
Date: 06 Nov 19 - 01:29 PM

The 1969 radio version of the 'Dark Island' series is currently available (for a while) on BBC radio 4 extra in six 30 minute episodes.

This is not the original series with Robert Hardy, but the later one, with Robert Barr


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: GUEST,Rossey
Date: 13 Apr 19 - 03:36 PM

Yeah.. Ang. There are two answers, a strict formal legal one, and a will I get away with it one?
'Dark Island' is such a simple and adaptable tune that its spread round the world and fallen into different cultures. Its sheer popularity has undermined a lot of the tune's copyright. You have this problem that even the publishers and copyright societies can't really fully control it, especially with 'youtube' and streaming. Nearly 60 years of popularity mean most people have heard it, and its entered into consciousness - and some cultures have been hearing it anew due to the Internet and 'Youtube'.

Anyway, it would be great if you added something to the world by creating a new original song!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: GUEST,Ang
Date: 13 Apr 19 - 02:43 PM

Thanks for the prompt replies. My piano teacher gave it to me to play and I have been massacring it, (I am not a natural). I love the tune and like the 'maudlin' words. The lyrics I intend to write are nothing to do with current ones. I assumed it would be an old traditional melody, but thought I had better check first. Your conversation has been an education. I Think I will find another tune, (or maybe I'll even write one!).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: GUEST,Terry Murphy
Date: 12 Apr 19 - 08:59 PM

It was the title of a Ryan's Fancy LP from 1971-"Dark Island" they recorded it again in 1981 for the "Dance around this one" LP. They also played it live every gig I saw them..great band


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: GUEST,Rossey
Date: 12 Apr 19 - 02:34 PM

Of course its ok to play the tune its been played since 1958 and formally copyrighted since 1962. But obviously only a fraction of uses ever gets through to the PRS or whichever country's society your inm who distribute royalties. Then umpteen performers just shove it down as trad. Legally Iain Maclachlan (deceased) wrote it. But then you have people like Mike Oldfield registering a separate claim on it, even though he had nothing whatsoever to do with the work, other than recording it.   

As for John Mackenzie talking about maudlin lyrics... set by various parties including my father - it's a lament!!! The tune was written as 'Dr. Mackay's Farewell to Creagorry' and also known as 'Dr. McInnes's Farewell to South Uist'.. purportedly first written in 1958 by Maclachan. It's not supposed to be a happy go lucky jig - lament by definition, maudlin by mood. A slow air used for the BBC TV programme 'Dark Island' in 1962. Though it's been played in every conceivable style and tempo.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 12 Apr 19 - 02:00 PM

It is often played in sessions (just the tune) and even requested on occasion, favourite for funerals even, dance bands play it for waltzing. It IS a lovely tune. If there is no money changing hands, is it Ok to play?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 12 Apr 19 - 01:18 PM

I love the tune, and feel that lyrics only detract from it. Sorry to upset anyone, but most of the lyrics I have heard to this tune border on the maudlin, and give me a Tartan Cringe.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: GUEST,Rossey
Date: 12 Apr 19 - 08:24 AM

Technically and legally it is a copyright work... music by Iain Maclachlan. There have been umpteen legal disputes over the setting of lyrics to the tune.   However, the main person who wrote an officially sanctioned version in 1963, David Silver - is now dead. He created legal disputes using the publishers Essex/Westminster Music. There are a few already existing lyrics, providing clearance is given, I don't really see why it is necessary to create yet another version. Anyway, it is better as an instrumental. Legally it is a copyright tune, not an old air. But Westminster Music seem to have given up trying to defend the tune. Even Mike Oldfield has a spurious credit and claim on his instrumental that Westminster Music have not defended. There are many versions on the internet with the tune stated to be trad., this is loss of control and over-familiarity of the tune rather than legal fact. It has spread so far and wide that the publishers can't stop the flood, and just pick up what they can. However, if you do not intend to make commercial use on recordings, and are just using it in context of a play - I can't see a law suit. Though you should give a courtesy credit to Maclachlan and anyone's work you use in any printed or physical version. Just be aware that my late father's own lyrics are a separate copyright work "in the years long gone by.... lovely dark island where memories stray' (C) 1963 Stewart Ross MCPS/PRS or "Away to the west... When I'm back once more upon the dark island" (C) 1963 David Silver Westminster Music or Alan Bell's lyrics or W. Gordon Smith's lyrics etc.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: GUEST,Ang
Date: 12 Apr 19 - 04:38 AM

I want to use the melody in a play, but want to use new lyrics to advance the narrative. Can I do that without incurring anyones' wrath? I have seen it suggested that the tune is based on an old air.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: GeoffLawes
Date: 27 Mar 19 - 05:50 PM

Lots on YouTube


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: GUEST,Rossey
Date: 24 Mar 19 - 08:40 PM

Sorry that should have read November 1966 letter from the college of piping - (It was enclosed with a January 1967 letter written by the MCPS to Music shop owner Captain N. D. Henderson, who earlier published sheet music of the Stewart Ross lyrical version (..lovely dark island where memories stray). The MCPS were trying to establish whether it was a trad. piping tune. One of the other parties involved was W.Gordon Smith who wrote his own set of lyrics. "Dear Sirs, thank you for your letter of 26th October. It so happens that I know quite a bit about the tune now called 'the Dark Island'. Its original name was was 'Doctor MacInnes's Farewell to South Uist', and it was composed about 7 or 8 years ago by Ian Maclachlan of Benbecula. There is no question of its being a traditional tune. Mr. W. Gordon Smith is totally mistaken in thinking that any piper knew this tune earlier than about 1958.   To my knowledge there about three sets of lyrics at present being sung in Scotland to the melody and perhaps one of these that I have heard belongs to W.Gordon Smith. Yours sincerely... (photo copy signature unclear... E M (?) Laughlin pp Seumas Macneil College of Piping Glasgow.
Received by MCPS 23 November 1966.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: GUEST,Rossey
Date: 24 Mar 19 - 07:41 PM

I'm not sure why the link to the later 1969, radio series has been put on here. The original 1962 BBC TV series on which it is based has been wiped. The tune was before the TV series titled Dr. Mackay's Farewell to Creagorry before becoming the Dark Island in 1962, and another title is also recorded in a 1967 letter I have from the College of Piping (sent to the MCPS), 'Dr. McInnes's Farewell to South Uist'. Otherwise not much more can be added to this - as it's all been covered in previous screes of discussion.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: GUEST,Bradfordian sans cookie
Date: 24 Mar 19 - 02:10 PM

The Dark Island - radio version


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: GUEST,Alan Ross
Date: 17 Jan 16 - 03:17 AM

David Silver's 'Away to the West...' version is copyright to Westminster Music. You can of course perform it in public as per any song. You only have no legal right to claim a copyright of any arrangement.

My father Stewart Ross's copyright version 'in the year long gone by....' is more personal, and not as suitable for choirs. Both these lyrics date from 1963.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: GUEST,StrachanGirl
Date: 16 Jan 16 - 12:09 PM

Hello all, hoping someone can help me here!

I'm looking to arrange 'The Dark Island' for my community choir and want to make sure I do this without any boundaries crossed in terms of copyright. The lyrics that I know and would be using are the same as the original post. This could possibly be performed later on to the public, so would like to make sure I'm not standing on any toes before I go ahead and create a nice arrangement.

Any help would be great, thanks everyone


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: GUEST,Georgina Boyes
Date: 14 Feb 11 - 08:23 AM

Apologies, The Dark Island was both a radio and TV serial - which the author, Robert Barr (himself a notable actor) then turned into a novel. The radio series (which post-dated the TV version) featured Edward de (not da) Souza, but I can confirm that the series was indeed "a taut, fun listen". More details here -

THE DARK ISLAND is story of espionage in the remote islands of the Outer Hebrides. It starts out with the discovery of a strange, unidentified torpedo, found washed up on shore of a small, nearly uninhabited island. It leads to a long-standing Soviet esponage ring
and an action-filled effort to find and capture the members of the ring.

It originally aired as a TV serial on BBC TV, starting on 8 July 1962. Later, it was done as a 6-part radio serial, airing on BBC Radio 4, from 19 September, 1969 to 24 October, 1969.

Both the TV and radio scripts were written by Robert Barr, who went on to write it into a
novel, published in March of 1973.

The radio serial is a taut, fun listen, very much based in the times, an interesting return to the late '60's Cold War times.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: GUEST,Georgina Boyes
Date: 14 Feb 11 - 08:11 AM

At the risk of adding further confusion, I don't think "The Dark Island" - which had a tune of that name without words as its sig tune - was a TV series. I heard it on the radio (Radio 4 or even Home Service at that time) with (I think) Edward Da Souza as the main character in the 1960's.

Georgina


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: JHW
Date: 14 Feb 11 - 06:00 AM

Very pleased to come across this thread. I'd heard Dark Island a number of times as a melody (probably fiddle) so was a bit irritated when I heard Alan Bell's song changing the tune to fit his words. One of the versions above must be as I heard in the Southfield at Girvan a few years back, fitting the melody.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: Peter the Squeezer
Date: 13 Feb 11 - 02:07 PM

I've used the tune many times - often before a Church service (on organ, starting with the tune as a solo, building up, then taking down again). I wasn't aware that there were Sassunach words to it!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Feb 11 - 02:00 PM

In 1999 my friend martin sang a song called dark island but it was not the one i knew. I was glad to know the writers of the 2 songs. when martin heard the song on a recording from 1966 by calum kennedy he claimed that the words were written by him. this is the true story of the song, i just heard and part of the song you and i did when we were in a band together. the song martin sang years ago was writen in 1963 by stuart ross and first recorded by argow cammeron the same guy who did the waters of kilesqu and the song is part of the slow waltz was written by ian macloclin in the same year of 1963 . i am so glad i still play this song and the others in the set and it has been a great pleasure for me.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: GUEST,Alan Ross
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 09:05 AM

I have to correct my own innacuracy, repeated in many places. The TV series 'dark island' was first broadcast in July 1962.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 02:20 PM

Willie, there never really WAS a Dark Island. That's what all the information to date is about. Alan's been informing us of the status of the song "Dark Island"'s origins. His father Stewart, wrote the first version, before the version Mr. Silver made popular via the TV show, Dark Island.

From a paper table-mat a friend brought back for me from the Dark Island Hotel in Benbecula, you can read a bit about the Gaelic versions of the song. The first paragraph is taken from the introduction to the song.

Eilean Dorcha

Hope that helps, Willie.


Eilean Dorcha - Dark Island
Faclan le David Silver

The island of Benbecula was the inspiration for the emotive song The Dark Island. Written by David Silver of Inverness, the musician - journalist, who wrote the words, and was asked to write a song for a BBC Thriller called "The Dark Island", filmed here in Benbecula. He reveals how the quiet, lonely place was in mind for the number, and the words were set to music by the accomplished accordionist Ian Maclachlan from Creagorry. The tune has become a classic since it was first sung in 1963. There are more than 50 different recordings by Scot's, among them; Ann-Lorne Gillis, Peter Morrison and Kenneth Mackellar although fittingly the recording which gets most airing on radio is by Silver/Maclachlan on accordion.

The Dark Island Hotel opened on June 30th, 1981 originally for many years a small restaurant. This transformation developed through the years to its present 4 crown, Taste of Scotland, Les Routier status.

Why not read through the Dark Island words and reflect on the writers lyrics as follows:


1 Away to the west ward I'm longing to be,
Where the beauties of heaven unfold by the sea
Where the sweet purple heather blooms fragrant and free
On a hilltop high above - The Dark Island

Chorus Oh, isle of my childhood, I'm dreaming of thee,
As the steamer leaves Oban and passes Tiree
Soon I'll capture the magic that lingers for me
When I'm back once more upon - The Dark Island

2 So Gentle the sea breeze that ripples the bay
Where the stream joins the ocean and young children play
On the strand of pure silver I'll welcome each day
And I'll roam forever more - The Dark Island

3 True Gems of the Hebrides bathed in the light
Of the mid-summer dawning that follows the night
How I yearn for the cries of the seagull in flight
As they circle high above - The Dark Island

In Gaelic:

1 Air mo thùrus do'n iar 's ann bu mhiannach a bhi
Far bheil àilleachd nan Néimh dol fo sgéith 'sa chuan sios
Fraoch dearg 's e fo bhlàth fàile cùbhraidh cho saor
Air a' bheinn ud is àird 'san Eilean Dorcha

1-alt An mo thùras don iar 's leam bu mhiannach a bhi
Far bheil àilleachd nan eathar dol fo sgéith sa chuan sios,
Creag Dhearg 's e fo bhlàth faileadh cùbhraidh cho saor
Air a' bheinn ud as àird 'san Eilean Dorcha.


Séist Eilean òige mo ghràidh 's tu tha tàladh mo chridh'
Is mi seòladh bhon Obain 's a dol seachad Tiridh,
Bi mi glacadh a dh'aithghearr gach mais a tha 'gam dhith
'S bi mi fhìn air ais a-rithist 'san Eilean Dorcha.

Alt Eilean òige mo ghràidh 's tu tha tàladh mo chridh'
'S mi seòladh bhon Obain gu eilean bòidheach Thiridh,
Bi mi glacadh air oidhche gach mais a tha 'gam dhith
'S bi mi fhìn air ais a-rithist 'san Eilean Dorcha.

2 Gaoth na mara cho séimh séideach reidh staigh don bhaigh
Far bheil sruth dol don chuan clann suaimhneach le'n gàir',
Air an traigh gheal mar airgead bi mi falbh oirr' gach là

'S bi mi fhìn air ais a-rithist 'san Eilean Dorcha.

3 Fior àilleagan e measg gach cearn 'san taobh siar
Anns a mhoch mhaduinn thràth 's e ri dearrsadh 'sa ghrian:
Eòin na mara ri seinn 'sa toirt sòlas dom' chridh'
'S iad ag itealachd gu h-àrd 'san Eilean Dorcha.

Date: Sat, 9 Mar 91 12:30:15 EST
From: Craig Cockburn
Subject: An t-Eilean Dorcha / The Dark Island

Here are the Gaelic words to 'The Dark Island', this translation done by Iain Aonghas MacLeòid (John Angus Macleod). John Angus won the bardic crown at the Mod in Stirling in 1971 and this is taken from his book: Na Freumhan Thug Dhomh Cothrom Fàs. The book also contains Gaelic versions of Flower of Scotland, The first time I ever saw your face, A red red rose, Bridge over Troubled water, Mull of Kintyre, Isle of Arran as well as many others he has written himself. He's said it's OK for me to post this here.

An t-Eilean Dorcha

Air taobh thall a' chuain seo bu mhiann leam bhith 'n dràsd',
far eil smuaintean an àit' ud gham tharraing gach là,
far eil fraoch cùbhraidh àlainn air beanntan a' fàs
tha dìreadh àrd, àrd os cionn an Eilean Dhorcha.

Sèisd (chorus)

O Eilein bhig m'òige, 's ann riut tha mo mhiann,
sinn a' fàgail tìr-mòr 's a' cur cùrs' chun an Iar;
gheibh mi sòlas an anam nach d'fhairich mi riamh
on a' chiad latha dh'fhàg mi 'n t-Eilean Dorcha.

On chuan thig an oiteag cho socair don òb,
a' cur fàilt' air an allt ruith gu tràigh bhuidhe òir,
far an cluinn mi gach là aighear 's gàir' aig clann òg -
's e mo bhòid a chaoidh nach fhag mi 'n t-Eilean Dorcha.

O sheud Innse Gall, tha thu sealltainn do luach
ri boillsgeadh grèin samhraidh chuir oidhche gu ruaing;
's truagh nach robh mi mar fhaoileig a' saor-shiubhal cuain -
gura luath bhithinn taobh ri m'Eilean Dorcha.

(c) John Angus Macleod 1989

John Angus also runs the Gàidhlig aig deas group - Scottish Gaelic in the south. For more info on GAD or a copy of any of his books, you can contact him at:
 
5 Berkeley Crescent,
Lydney, Gloucestershire,
GL15 5SH.
 
If you do write to him, it would be useful if you could mention my name - I'm trying to persuade John Angus to get onto the computer network and this might be an interesting exercise in showing him the value of being on the network when it comes to spreading Gaelic news.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 02:19 PM

I think that everything relevant (and a great deal that is not) has already been said several times over in the course of the discussions indicated above, to which I would refer anyone considering posting to this thread. There is really only one useful question which remains: is there any hard evidence that the tune pre-dates MacLachlan? We have so far been offered a number of anecdotes, but no proof. It would be nice to have that matter settled.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: Jeri
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 02:12 PM

Willie-O, Alan Ross was talking about the version posted right before HE posted, and if he said anything about his father writing 'the "correct" or "official" version', that part's invisible on my browser.

His father wrote that version and should receive credit as well as royalties. More of the story's in other threads - see links at top of page. Other that that, I'll admit it gets a bit confusing when there are so many sets of modern lyrics to a tune that is (as far as we can prove) modern.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: Willie-O
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 01:22 PM

Oh man, this has totally given me a headache, more so every time someone tries to explain that "my father" wrote the "correct" or "official" version, without clarifying which version they mean. Sorry mates, I still don't get what you're after legally--royalties or just corrected credit, or suppressing certain versions which you consider inferior or a copyright infringement?   

But what I've really just been trying to figure out: is South Uist the Dark Island? Or is it a real place at all? Or....?

W-O


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: Folkiedave
Date: 24 Nov 03 - 03:41 PM

The "come gain" version is the one my friend knew - I will have to ask her where she got it. Circa 1972.


Regards

Dave
www.collectorsfolk.co.uk


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: VIN
Date: 24 Nov 03 - 10:17 AM

Quite like Alan Bell's 'The Dark Island' (often brilliantly sung by the legendary Mike Canavan!).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: GUEST,craig herbertson
Date: 24 Nov 03 - 05:14 AM

Sorry, I emailed some uniformed opinion on this before I realised that it was something of a minefield.

I have a tape recording made in a private club of my Grandfather playing this tune on the fiddle. As far as I knew this was made in the late 1950's and I am currently trying to check with relatives to see if they can establish the correct date of the recording.

I have a feeling this neither helps nor hinders anything but I felt I had to add it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
Next Page

  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 3 August 3:12 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright 1998 by the Mudcat Caf Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.