The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #6987   Message #4200214
Posted By: GUEST,Rossey
01-Apr-24 - 02:31 PM
Thread Name: Lyr ADD: Northern Lights of Old Aberdeen
Subject: RE: Lyr ADD: Northern Lights of Old Aberdeen
COMPOSER of the Granite City anthem “The Northern Lights of Old Aberdeen” Mary Webb, who died last year aged 82, is being honoured at James Dun’s House museum in Aberdeen. An exhibition of furniture from her flat, including the piano on which she wrote the tune, is on display at the museum until January 19. The piano was saved by Buchan-born journalist Mr Jack Webster last year when he managed to acquire it for Aberdeen City District Council from Mary’s relatives. The tune, which strikes a chord in the hearts of many Aberdonians, was actually written in London in 1952 for a homesick Aberdonian whom Mary met. The lyrics came from Mary’s husband. Bill. By writing the song, Mary managed to immortalise the fine displays bf the aurora borealis which are often seen lighting up the Northern skies on clear, frosty winter nights". Evening Express 1991

Another article, tells how she met the homesick exiled young lady, Winifred Forgie in 1952 who mentioned how much she missed her Aberdeen home, and how her mother spoke of the northern lights, as "merry dancers in the sky". The song really took off in 1953, after Scottish recording, TV radio and Music Hall star Robert Wilson sang it and of course sheet music was still popular.   It's singability, crowd sway along melody and now overfamiliarity leads to people lazily sticking traditional on it, when it is modernish, and has a few decades of copyright left to run. It hacks me off that people can't understand that someone can occasionally come up with an original tune, even though all tunes may have a slight parallel somewhere out there.