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Origins: Farewell to Stromness

Joe Offer 12 Jul 15 - 01:47 AM
Joe Offer 12 Jul 15 - 01:57 AM
Jack Campin 12 Jul 15 - 03:40 AM
GUEST 12 Jul 15 - 03:53 AM
Jack Campin 12 Jul 15 - 04:44 AM
GUEST,# 12 Jul 15 - 01:12 PM
Megan L 12 Jul 15 - 01:41 PM
Paul Reade 12 Jul 15 - 01:41 PM
Richard Mellish 12 Jul 15 - 03:36 PM
Joe Offer 12 Jul 15 - 03:58 PM
GUEST,G 29 Jul 15 - 10:05 AM
Tattie Bogle 29 Jul 15 - 11:23 AM
GUEST,Sarah Jane Gibbon 21 Apr 17 - 04:17 PM
michaelr 21 Apr 17 - 06:44 PM
Reinhard 21 Apr 17 - 07:38 PM
Jackaroodave 21 Apr 17 - 09:33 PM
Joe Offer 22 Apr 17 - 12:43 AM
michaelr 22 Apr 17 - 03:48 PM
Ross Campbell 22 Apr 17 - 05:40 PM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 23 Apr 17 - 10:16 AM
Tattie Bogle 26 Apr 17 - 08:19 PM
RTim 27 Apr 17 - 08:42 AM
GUEST,Jim I 27 Apr 17 - 11:39 AM
Ross Campbell 27 Apr 17 - 01:33 PM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 27 Apr 17 - 04:18 PM
GUEST 06 Sep 18 - 08:53 PM
Joe Offer 07 Sep 18 - 12:08 AM
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Subject: ADD: Farewell to Stromness
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Jul 15 - 01:47 AM

Farewell to Stromness
This song was collected by the Big Orkney Song Project.

FAREWELL TO STROMNESS

Come, come my kind comrades, once more let us join
Once more your fine voices, in chorus with mine
Let us drink and be merry, from all sorrow refrain,
For we ever or never, may we all meet again.

The time is advancing when I must away,
I bid you a farewell for many long days
Likewise pretty fair maids of every degree
Long in vain will I wish for your kind company.

CHORUS
So farewell to Stromness, since I must away
I leave my best wishes to one who there stays
May fortune protect her and with her remain
May she never want a friend til I see her again

So adieu to all pleasure, adieu for a while
When the winter is over, sweet summer will smile
Wherever I do wander, by the land or by sea
I will always remember your kind company

The mountains and valleys of Orkney farewell
If ever I return again, there's no one can tell
But you pretty fair maids who happy live here
While away on the ocean my course I must steer.

FINAL CHORUS
So farewell to Stromness, since I must away
I bid you a farewell for many long days
May fortune protect her that's loyal and true
Here's a health, peace and plenty, farewell and adieu.

Here's the song, as recorded by Éamonn Coyne and Kris Drever: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-aH2cxOeR4

The melody is very familiar, but I can't identify it. It's certainly not the piece with the same name that was composed by Peter Maxwell Davies.

These videos may not play outside the U.S.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Farewell to Stromness
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Jul 15 - 01:57 AM

We spent three nights in Stromness, Orkney, last month. It's a magical place. This song was in the songbook Jim and Susie Malcolm provided for our tour.

Any other versions of this song. Any idea where it comes from?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Farewell to Stromness
From: Jack Campin
Date: 12 Jul 15 - 03:40 AM

"This video is not available".


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Subject: RE: Origins: Farewell to Stromness
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Jul 15 - 03:53 AM

Try here


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Subject: RE: Origins: Farewell to Stromness
From: Jack Campin
Date: 12 Jul 15 - 04:44 AM

Some similarity to "Fathom the Bowl".


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Subject: RE: Origins: Farewell to Stromness
From: GUEST,#
Date: 12 Jul 15 - 01:12 PM

"Drever, returned to sing Farewell to Stromness – collected by the Orkney Song Project, even though it includes the line "The mountains and valleys of Orkney farewell," suggesting it does not originate from there, joked Drever – before the polkas ended the session."

from

http://www.shetlandtimes.co.uk/2013/05/05/roaring-crowd-revels-in-the-isles-gathering


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Subject: RE: Origins: Farewell to Stromness
From: Megan L
Date: 12 Jul 15 - 01:41 PM

never thought of that # St John's Head is one of the highest vertical sea cliffs in Britain which rises to a sheer 352m (1,154 ft) above a rocky beach. Ward Hill the highest hill On Orkney stands at 1,565 feet not exactly mountains but perhaps someone was feeling poetical and mountains sounds better than bonnie peedie hill.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Farewell to Stromness
From: Paul Reade
Date: 12 Jul 15 - 01:41 PM

There is also a beautiful piano piece "Farewell to Stromness " by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. I thought perhaps he had arranged the tune for this song for piano, but his piece seems to bear no relation to the words of the song.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Farewell to Stromness
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 12 Jul 15 - 03:36 PM

Verse 1, line 4 "For we ever or never, may we all meet again", immediately reminded me of a song I heard yonks ago from Robin Morton. So I dug out his book "Folksongs Sung in Ulster", and the last song therein is "We May and Might Never All Meet Here Again".

The first verse goes thus:
Kind friends and companions come join me in rhyme,
Come lift up your voices in chorus with mine,
Let's drink and be merry all griefs to refrain,
For we may and might never allmeet here again.

Clearly closely related to the Stromness one in the first verse, though the rest of the verses are quite different.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Farewell to Stromness
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Jul 15 - 03:58 PM

I think you've found a great lead, Richard. Also take a look at these lyrics from Reinhard Zierke's Website:

Jeana Leslie & Siobhan Miller sing The Parting Glass

Oh kind friends and companions, come join me in rhyme,
And lift up your voices in chorus with mine;
Let's drink and be merry all grieve tae refrain
For we may or might never all meet here again.

Now here's tae the wee lass that I love so well,
For style and for beauty there's nane can excel;
Shesmiles at me proudly as she sits upon my knee,
For there's nane in this wide world as happy as me.

So here's a health tae the company, likewise tae my lass,
Let's drink and be merry all out of one glass;
Let's drink and be merry all grieve tae refrain,
For we may or might never all meet here again.

My ship lies in harbour, she's ready tae sail,
God grant her safe bondage without any gale;
And if we should meet again, be it land or on sea,
I will always remember your kindness tae me.

So here's a health tae the company, likewise tae my lass,
Let's drink and be merry all out of one glass;
Let's drink and be merry all grieve tae refrain,
For we may or might never all meet here again.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Farewell to Stromness
From: GUEST,G
Date: 29 Jul 15 - 10:05 AM

The tune reminds me of "Farewell to Tarwathie."
http://youtu.be/qV29xK2xyZ4


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Subject: RE: Origins: Farewell to Stromness
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 29 Jul 15 - 11:23 AM

The "Kind Friends and Companions" song was sung regularly by the late Sheila Stewart (of the Stewarts of Blair) and that'll be very likely where Siobhan and Jeana got it from. (Jeana is Orcadian too). Same tune as "Puir Rovin' Lassie" and a number of other songs.
The tune Kris Drever sings there is almost an inversion of the "Kind Friends" one: it certainly fits the same meter. On the YouTube it mentions Charlie McKerron in the credits: possibly he wrote the tune, as it says MCPS after his name? He is the fiddler with Capercaillie and other bands and has written plenty of good tunes.
By the way, I do also love Sir Peter Maxwell Davies' tune but it bears not even a passing resemblance to the one in Kris's song.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Farewell to Stromness
From: GUEST,Sarah Jane Gibbon
Date: 21 Apr 17 - 04:17 PM

The Song closest to Farewell to Stromness is The Emigrants Farewell. You can read a Song biography for this song in the song book I wrote as part of the Big Orkney Song Project, in fact the book takes its title from this song: Voices in Chorus.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Farewell to Stromness
From: michaelr
Date: 21 Apr 17 - 06:44 PM

Joe, did you get mixed up? That Zierke page has under the heading of "The Parting Glass" some versions of the well-known song that begins "Of all the money that e'er I had, I spent it in good company". The page does not show the lyrics you put up, which I know as "Here's a Health to the Company" aka "Let's drink and be Merry".


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Subject: RE: Origins: Farewell to Stromness
From: Reinhard
Date: 21 Apr 17 - 07:38 PM

Michael, my original The Parting Glass page had both versions. I have recently split them in two pages. The other one is Here's a Health to the Company / The Parting Glass.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Farewell to Stromness
From: Jackaroodave
Date: 21 Apr 17 - 09:33 PM

I found that Joe Offer's link did work, but Guest's "try here" was unavailable. I have an old iPad; maybe that's why. Lovely song.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Farewell to Stromness
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Apr 17 - 12:43 AM

Thank you for saving my reputation, Reinhard. Michael, as indicated on ghe GEST page, "Here's a Health to the Company" is also known as "The Parting Glass."

Jackaroodave, my link works in the US and some other nations, but not in the UK - and vicey-versey for Guest's link.

I was thinking of Stromness just the other day. It's a near-perfect place to visit - at least, when the weather is good.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Farewell to Stromness
From: michaelr
Date: 22 Apr 17 - 03:48 PM

Aha, thanks for clearing that up.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Farewell to Stromness
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 22 Apr 17 - 05:40 PM

I've been trying to track down a story I had from a guest at an event hosted by Ron Baxter at Fylde Folk Festival many years ago. Can't recall the lady's name or find the written version which I am sure she supplied soon after, so I thought I should set down what I do remember.

The lady's father's main folklore study was the history of dance, particularly how new dance forms came to spread from cultural centres where they might have been first introduced (royal courts, society balls, etc) to rural areas, how long the process took and whether the new fashions would be adopted into local culture. He corresponded with people all over Britain and Ireland on the topic. A respondent from Orkney sent him this tale.

Her grandmother had worked as a serving-lass in one of the local "big houses" in Stromness as a young girl. Her work was mainly in the kitchen and thus away from the public areas of the house, but on the occasion of one great gathering her colleagues called her through to the door of the great hall to witness a sight they must have thought worthy of note - the waltz had come to Orkney for the first time! The occasion was a ball held in honour of Sir John Franklin and his crew. Their last land-fall before setting off in search of the North-West Passage was at Stromness, where they would have picked up water from Login's Well, a regular supply-point for whalers and other distant-water traders.

As I said above, I haven't been able to find any documentation for the story, but it made an impression on me at first hearing. Ron and I had some time before put together a set of songs and stories about the Franklin Expedition and the searches that followed. This story added a very poignant detail. Interest in the mystery of how the Erebus and Terror and their crews met their end continues to the present day, when the remains of the vessels themselves seem to have been found.

Ross


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Subject: RE: Origins: Farewell to Stromness
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 23 Apr 17 - 10:16 AM

Ross ... it sounds as if you were talking to one of the daughters of Tom and Joan Flett, who were both dance researchers, with books on Scottish and Lake District dancing. The daughters are both clog dancers. ... Derek


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Subject: RE: Origins: Farewell to Stromness
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 26 Apr 17 - 08:19 PM

Any relation to "Flett frae Flotta" in the pipe tune of the same name by PM Donald Macleod? But then, I believe the surname, Flett, is not that rare in Orkney.

And you can't mention Stromness and Franklin without referring to John Rae, Orcadian sailor and qualified doctor, who led the expedition to try to find Franklin, and was later discredited for his efforts. All in another thread on here.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Farewell to Stromness
From: RTim
Date: 27 Apr 17 - 08:42 AM

I heard this on the radio today played by the composer - and he wrote is a part of the protests to a Uranium mine being built on the islands..........

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Origins: Farewell to Stromness
From: GUEST,Jim I
Date: 27 Apr 17 - 11:39 AM

Since I couldn't get either of those Youtube links to work I found the song here.

https://soundcloud.com/journalofmusic/farewell-to-stromness-kris


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Subject: RE: Origins: Farewell to Stromness
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 27 Apr 17 - 01:33 PM

Thanks for the link. Blue clicky version -

https://soundcloud.com/journalofmusic/farewell-to-stromness-kris

The tune seems similar to "Thousands are Sailing" as performed here by Andy Irvine and Planxty -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOIB7MjkH2M


Ross

ps Derek, you may be right I found the daughters' names in Joan Flett's obituary, but neither name occurs in my email history.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Farewell to Stromness
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 27 Apr 17 - 04:18 PM

Ross ... married or maiden names?
Derek


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Subject: RE: Origins: Farewell to Stromness
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Sep 18 - 08:53 PM

Hi, Joe! I, too, was on the tour to Orkney (The Sk'orkney Tour) with Jim and Susie Malcom. Today I was given a link to a song called "Pretty Saro" that we'll be playing at an upcoming harp retreat. I went to YouTube to look it up and found this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6ArylRGWME

And was struck by the similarity of the tune. I love musical connections like this! Here's what it says in Wikipedia about "Pretty Saro":
"Pretty"


Hope to see you again on a Jim and Susie tour of Scotland!
Best,
Kathy Wimmer


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Subject: RE: Origins: Farewell to Stromness
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Sep 18 - 12:08 AM

I'm sure most of the answers above are correct, but the tune that "Farewell to Stromness" reminded me of, was "Pretty Saro." I would have been really impressed with myself if I had remembered that. Thanks, Kathy.
-Joe Offer-

P.S. The Northern California group will be going on the Jim & Susie Malcolm Borders trip in September, 2019.


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