Here's a question about the melody I hope someone can answer...
In the most popular pipe setting of the tune, the melody for the notes underlined below goes down to the first note of the scale... the same note that starts the first and third lines. Most accordion and fiddle players I've heard play the second note of the scale at those points.
Away to the Westward I'm longing to be
Where the beauties of heaven unfold by the sea
Where the sweet purple heather runs fragrant and free
On a hill top high above the Dark Island.
Which is the original melody, as created by McLachlan?
I personally play the accordion/fiddle version even on the pipes. Don't ask me why. It just sounds better!
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