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Tune Req: The Great Silkie

DigiTrad:
GREAT SILKIE
HIROSHIMA
LADY ODIVERE (GREY SILKIE 3)
THE GREY SILKIE OF SULE SKERRY
WOMAN BY THE BAY


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: The Great Silkie (60)
(origins) Origin: I Come and Stand at Every Door (P Seeger) (22)
Folklore: Selkie/Selchie? & pronunciation (39)
Lyr Add: Silkie (as sung by Anne Lister) (12)
Lyr Req: The silkie of skule skerry (closed) (9) (closed)
The Great Silkie "earthly norris..." (42)


SINSULL 05 Nov 02 - 06:43 PM
Peter T. 05 Nov 02 - 06:54 PM
Mary in Kentucky 05 Nov 02 - 07:59 PM
Susan of DT 05 Nov 02 - 08:46 PM
michaelr 05 Nov 02 - 09:29 PM
Malcolm Douglas 05 Nov 02 - 09:55 PM
Peter T. 06 Nov 02 - 08:29 AM
sharyn 06 Nov 02 - 02:44 PM
GUEST,Tim 06 Nov 02 - 03:17 PM
RolyH 06 Nov 02 - 03:26 PM
SINSULL 06 Nov 02 - 08:04 PM
Sandy Paton 06 Nov 02 - 09:56 PM
Peter T. 07 Nov 02 - 11:31 AM
Naemanson 07 Nov 02 - 12:29 PM
Malcolm Douglas 07 Nov 02 - 01:15 PM
GUEST,Q 07 Nov 02 - 02:46 PM
GUEST,Q 07 Nov 02 - 04:08 PM
Malcolm Douglas 07 Nov 02 - 04:16 PM
TonyK 07 Nov 02 - 04:45 PM
SINSULL 07 Nov 02 - 05:41 PM
Guy Wolff 07 Nov 02 - 08:48 PM
Sandy Paton 07 Nov 02 - 08:53 PM
Mary in Kentucky 07 Nov 02 - 09:00 PM
Peter T. 08 Nov 02 - 08:42 AM
Big Mick 08 Nov 02 - 02:34 PM
MMario 08 Nov 02 - 02:45 PM
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Subject: Tune Req: The Great Silkie
From: SINSULL
Date: 05 Nov 02 - 06:43 PM

John Nolan sang a version of the "Great Silkie" at Barry Finn's two years ago - it is the same ,I think, as in the Digitrad, I think. Can anyone recommend a recording either on CD or LP?
Thanks,
Mary


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: The Great Silkie
From: Peter T.
Date: 05 Nov 02 - 06:54 PM

Judy Collins has a fine version on her now rereleased "maids and golden apples" twofer album.   (Great Selkie of Shule Skerry). yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: The Great Silkie
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 05 Nov 02 - 07:59 PM

Art Thieme sings it on his CD.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: The Great Silkie
From: Susan of DT
Date: 05 Nov 02 - 08:46 PM

Jean Redpath on her untitled Philo album with the ponies on the cover. There are two common tunes - you can listen to them from the DT and a couple of other tunes.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: The Great Silkie
From: michaelr
Date: 05 Nov 02 - 09:29 PM

Maddy Prior, on "Ravenchild" (Park Records, 2000).


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: The Great Silkie
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 05 Nov 02 - 09:55 PM

Of the two best-known tunes, one is traditional and the other is modern, written by Dr. James Waters of Columbia University. In the DT, both Silkie1.mid and Silkie2.mid are transcriptions (in different keys) of the modern tune. Silkie2.2.mid is a traditional tune taken from Bronson, though according to Alan Bruford (The Grey Selkie, in Ballad Studies, ed. Emily Lyle, 1976) it doesn't actually belong to the text with which it has been matched.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: The Great Silkie
From: Peter T.
Date: 06 Nov 02 - 08:29 AM

Does either tune appear in the film "The Secret of Roan Inish?" yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: The Great Silkie
From: sharyn
Date: 06 Nov 02 - 02:44 PM

Alison McMorland sings this on Belt Wi' Colours Three (Tangent Records, 1977) The note says the tune comes from John Sinclair, Flotta, Orkney in 1938 and the text from Anne Gilchrist. This is the "traditional" tune others are speaking of -- it is the more dramatic tune, the tune Baez sings is prettier. Coincidentally, as I write, Ray Fisher (on tape) is singing a variation of this tune that is almost a new tune in and of itself).


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: The Great Silkie
From: GUEST,Tim
Date: 06 Nov 02 - 03:17 PM

Peter T. -- not on roan Inish soundtrack

My two cents -- Joan Baez version by far the best


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: The Great Silkie
From: RolyH
Date: 06 Nov 02 - 03:26 PM

Trees - The Garden of Jane Delawney

Which is pretty rare on vinyl but is available on CD


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: The Great Silkie
From: SINSULL
Date: 06 Nov 02 - 08:04 PM

Thank you, all. Looks like I will be investing in a few more CDs.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: The Great Silkie
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 06 Nov 02 - 09:56 PM

Joan Baez sang the Great Silkie to the James Waters tune. You can see the slightly confused reference in her Ballad Book. The copyright on the Waters tune, by the way, is held by Folk-Legacy.
Sandy


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: The Great Silkie
From: Peter T.
Date: 07 Nov 02 - 11:31 AM

How did it get into Folk Legacy's hands, Sandy? (I love the tune, just wondering about the history). yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: The Great Silkie
From: Naemanson
Date: 07 Nov 02 - 12:29 PM

I used to do this with an old girlfriend. Then I lost the girlfriend and even worse, I lost the chords to the song. Can anyone provide the chords Joan Baez used?


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: The Great Silkie
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 07 Nov 02 - 01:15 PM

The Joan Baez Songbook suggests chords as follows for the key of D:

An [G(D)]earthly [F(C)]nurse sits and [G(D)]sings,
And aye, she [F(C)]sings by lily [G(D)]wean,
And [C(G)]little ken [G(D)]I my [F(C)]bairn's fath-[G(D)]er,
Far [F(C)]less the [Am(Em)]land where [Dm(Am)]he dwells [G(D)]in.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: The Great Silkie
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 07 Nov 02 - 02:46 PM

There is a little gem of a recitation composed by Gordon Bok that fits into the Silkie legends, called "Peter Kagan and the Wind." Copyright Gordon Bok, 1977. "North Wind's Clearing" cd (and also "Peter Kagan and the Wind"), Folk-Legacy. The text is on this website:
Kagan and the Wind
Kagan, a dory fisherman, is married to a seal. When a storm catches Kagan, she comes and saves him from freezing to death in the open dory.
Jim Branigan recorded this on "The Singing Bard." Also Makem, who also gives the text on his website, Liam Clancy and others..


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: The Great Silkie
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 07 Nov 02 - 04:08 PM

Jim Brannigan is spelled with two n's and the Album is "The Singing Bird," not "bard."


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: The Great Silkie
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 07 Nov 02 - 04:16 PM

See also this earlier thread, Peter Kagan and the Wind, where the full text was posted.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: The Great Silkie
From: TonyK
Date: 07 Nov 02 - 04:45 PM

Karan Casey's version as a member of Solas is my favorite, on their 'The Words THAt Remain' CD.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: The Great Silkie
From: SINSULL
Date: 07 Nov 02 - 05:41 PM

I love "Peter Kagan And The Wind". Listened to it tonight on my way home from work.

Hi Brett! Now that you have the chords, will you sing it at the Chantey Sing
for us when Roll & Go takes a break?


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: The Great Silkie
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 07 Nov 02 - 08:48 PM

This is fun.. Lui Collins and I did this on a phylo records in the seventies that was re issued by Green Linnett called "Made In New England" Lui Collins .. I think Lui has some at her web -sight.. ALso I just redid it for old times sake with a nod to Lui on my new CD comming out this mounth.. (Just called up the Patons to get the licencing today ! funny thing! !!!) As always when it comes out I will give a batch to Max for all he has done here.. I love Lui's vertion.. I hope you can hear it.. All the best , Guy


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: The Great Silkie
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 07 Nov 02 - 08:53 PM

To answer Naemanson's question: One day, while Folk-Legacy was still operating out of an old farmhouse in Vermont, a young fellow came by to get some records from us. Bought our early albums Frank Proffitt and Hobart Smith, as I recall. When he told us his name was James Waters, we asked if, by any chance, he was the fellow folks had told us who composed the splendid modal tune for "The Great Silkie." He allowed as how he was. Turns out he had never copyrighted it. We urged him to do so, and he said, "You can be the publisher, if returns from the tune will help you produce more albums of genuine traditional folk artists." We handled the copyright for him, and then things got complicated. Turns out that Pete Seeger had thought the tune to be traditional, and borrowed it to set the Turkish poet's "Girl of Hiroshima." This had been recorded by one of the 50s popular groups, as well as by Pete, himself. When Pete learned that Jim Waters had wrwitten the tune, he went out of his way to make sure that royalties from his recording of the tune came to us. Unfortunately, Manny Solomon at Vanguard, and many others who recorded "The Silkie," took advantage of the late copyright disclaim responsibility for royalties. Even though Joan Baez's book actually says that the tune was by James Waters (who wrote it, by the way, while he was a banjo-picking student at MIT), Vanguard never paid Jim a cent for her recording, as it was released before the copyright was filed. Legally, they were within their rights, I'm told, but ethically...? Even admitting that the tune was the creative work of Jim Waters? Well, Pete Seeger has always been a man with a great sense of ethics. He alone took the honorable stand, God bless him. So, James Waters, who wound up teaching high school math in Vermont and is now retired, and his publisher (us) never got rich off of his wonderful melody.

I'm too tired to go back and proof read what I've written, so that's the story, folks, warts and all.
Sandy


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: The Great Silkie
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 07 Nov 02 - 09:00 PM

Here are some links to info on the Silkie Legend

Sigurd Towrie's Orkney Website

Selchies

Selkies: The legend in Scottish history


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: The Great Silkie
From: Peter T.
Date: 08 Nov 02 - 08:42 AM

Thanks, Sandy. Pretty sleazy -- but then, given the crummy liner notes in Vanguard's recent releases (what is it with these people?), it sounds like par for the course.
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: The Great Silkie
From: Big Mick
Date: 08 Nov 02 - 02:34 PM

And only on The Mudcat will you folkies be able to get such a great bit of folk history straight from the horses mouth. Sandy, I feel so blessed to have you and Caroline as friends. Wonderful stuff, my good friend. By the way............I owe you a call.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: The Great Silkie
From: MMario
Date: 08 Nov 02 - 02:45 PM


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