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Origins: Lark In The Clear Air

Stringsinger 22 Feb 08 - 07:03 PM
MartinRyan 22 Feb 08 - 08:04 PM
gnomad 22 Feb 08 - 08:06 PM
Jim Lad 22 Feb 08 - 08:24 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 22 Feb 08 - 09:07 PM
masato sakurai 22 Feb 08 - 10:48 PM
Gulliver 24 Feb 08 - 04:22 PM
ard mhacha 25 Feb 08 - 05:45 AM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 25 Feb 08 - 02:47 PM
Irene M 25 Feb 08 - 03:33 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 25 Feb 08 - 03:37 PM
The Villan 25 Feb 08 - 03:40 PM
Willa 25 Feb 08 - 04:36 PM
Willa 25 Feb 08 - 04:45 PM
The Villan 25 Feb 08 - 04:52 PM
Bernard 25 Feb 08 - 05:33 PM
Willa 25 Feb 08 - 05:46 PM
GUEST,Terry McDonald 26 Feb 08 - 04:43 AM
billybob 26 Feb 08 - 07:44 AM
ard mhacha 27 Feb 08 - 06:02 AM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 27 Feb 08 - 10:20 AM
ard mhacha 27 Feb 08 - 01:20 PM
GUEST 21 Feb 17 - 08:39 AM
GUEST,Learaí na Láibe 21 Feb 17 - 08:40 AM
leeneia 21 Feb 17 - 04:55 PM
Steve Shaw 21 Feb 17 - 05:21 PM
Tattie Bogle 22 Feb 17 - 05:02 AM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 22 Feb 17 - 05:37 AM
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Subject: Origins: Lark In The Clear Air
From: Stringsinger
Date: 22 Feb 08 - 07:03 PM

I understand this to be an Irish semi-classical number. Can someone tell me the composer?
And the place of origin? It was the theme song for an Irish DJ whose name I can't remember. It was also used in a great movie about a lady who contracted Alzheimer's disease.

Please clarify.

Thanks,

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lark In The Clear Air
From: MartinRyan
Date: 22 Feb 08 - 08:04 PM

He'd have smiled at the "DJ" tag! Ciaran Mac Mathuna. I'll post some links tomorrow, maybe.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lark In The Clear Air
From: gnomad
Date: 22 Feb 08 - 08:06 PM

Sir Samuel Ferguson was your man.

I know nothing of the song, except to say I like it a lot, and that my favourite recording of it is an old LP of Packie Byrne and Bonnie Shaljean (thanks Bonnie!)

I seem also to remember that in Borstal Boy, Brendan Behan mentions it being his "party piece", but I doubt he ever recorded it.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lark In The Clear Air
From: Jim Lad
Date: 22 Feb 08 - 08:24 PM

"I understand this to be an Irish semi-classical number."
It was a standard for every Irish/Scottish tenor.
Eileen Donaghy was the first that I remember to take it away from the grand stages & music halls to record it with more of a contemporary feel.
I loved her version as much as any of the old tenors'.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lark In The Clear Air
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 22 Feb 08 - 09:07 PM

Ralph Vaughan Williams and John Rutter are among the composers who have arranged the tune; versions for orchestra, violin, and chorus.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lark In The Clear Air
From: masato sakurai
Date: 22 Feb 08 - 10:48 PM

From Fiddler's Companion:

LARK IN THE CLEAR AIR [1]. Irish, Air (irregular time). D Major. Standard tuning. One part. English words by this title were written by poet Samuel Ferguson to a tune taken from the Petrie collection, "An tailiur." The song was popularized by the tenor John Cormack. John Loesberg (1979) remarks that the tune was featured for many years as an introduction to Cairan Mac Mathuna's radio program Mo Cheol Thu.

***

Dear thoughts are in my mind and my soul soars enchanted,
As I hear the sweet lark sing in the clear air of the day;
For a tender beaming smile, to my hope has been granted,
And tomorrow she shall hear, all my fond heart would say.   (Samuel Ferguson, 1810-1886, Dublin)

***

Source for notated version: Northumbrian bagpiper Billy Pigg (1902-1968) [Miller & Perron]. Miller & Perron (Irish Traditional Fiddle Music), 1977; vol. 3, No. 71. Miller & Perron (Irish Traditional Fiddle Music), 2nd Edition, 2006; pg. 142. Leader LEA 4006, Billy Pigg – "The Border Minstrel" (1972).


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lark In The Clear Air
From: Gulliver
Date: 24 Feb 08 - 04:22 PM

"An Táiliúr" is Irish for "The Tailor".


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lark In The Clear Air
From: ard mhacha
Date: 25 Feb 08 - 05:45 AM

Kenneth McKellar the Scottish Tenor regarded this song as his Irish favourite.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lark In The Clear Air
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 25 Feb 08 - 02:47 PM

Further to other correspondence; There's a second verse too:

I shall (or maybe "will") tell her all my love,
All my soul's adoration,
And I think she will hear me,
And will not say me nay;
It is this that gives my heart
All its joyous elation,
As I hear the sweet lark sing
In the clear air of the day"

(the third line above scans a bit awkwardly, but I'm pretty sure this is correct) Ndever heard McCormack's recording, but there is one from the 1930s by Father (later Canonm) Sydney McEwan, one of many who were clearkly influenced by McC. In his "Songs of the Irish", Donal O'Sullivan identifies the melody with O'Carolan's "Kitty Nowlan", and attaches Irish words re. "Caitlin ni Houlihan" to a variant.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lark In The Clear Air
From: Irene M
Date: 25 Feb 08 - 03:33 PM

Nah. Eileen Pratt sang it best.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lark In The Clear Air
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 25 Feb 08 - 03:37 PM

Thank you anyway, Gnomad!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lark In The Clear Air
From: The Villan
Date: 25 Feb 08 - 03:40 PM

And here is a great young band who have covered it. Do listen. The fourth song on the right hand list. The Lark In The Clear Air - Kerfuffle
If you are anywhere near Faldingworth Lincolnshire on Saturday October the 18th 2008 come and see them. Tickets need to be booked early as this will be a sell out. Faldingworth Live


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lark In The Clear Air
From: Willa
Date: 25 Feb 08 - 04:36 PM

Yes, Les. Heard Kerfuffle first at, I think, Cleethorpes Festival. Very talented bunch.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lark In The Clear Air
From: Willa
Date: 25 Feb 08 - 04:45 PM

Thanks for the link, Les. Thread drift, I know, but that;s a beautiful version of Silkie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lark In The Clear Air
From: The Villan
Date: 25 Feb 08 - 04:52 PM

Oh Willa, you are supposed to Listen to Lark In The Clear Air :-)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lark In The Clear Air
From: Bernard
Date: 25 Feb 08 - 05:33 PM

Jane and Amanda Threlfall do my favourite version, though Kerfuffle's Hannah comes a close second!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lark In The Clear Air
From: Willa
Date: 25 Feb 08 - 05:46 PM

But of course I did, Les; then to all the rest!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lark In The Clear Air
From: GUEST,Terry McDonald
Date: 26 Feb 08 - 04:43 AM

I'm with Irene. Eileen (and Graham) Pratt's version was near perfection.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lark In The Clear Air
From: billybob
Date: 26 Feb 08 - 07:44 AM

I'm with Irene and Terry, Eileen's version was perfection!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lark In The Clear Air
From: ard mhacha
Date: 27 Feb 08 - 06:02 AM

An Buachaill, the third line is correct.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lark In The Clear Air
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 27 Feb 08 - 10:20 AM

Yes, I thought so (I remember that I thought, on first encountering the recording or perhaps the words written down, that something like "And I think that she will hear" would have been a better fit to the notes, the verb coming on the stress instead of "think she WILL hear ME", and consequently remembered Ferguson's own words even though I've never sung the song). There's another set of words to this gentle way of the air, something about "The leafy Cool-Kellure" and a visit to Ireland by Queen Victoria.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lark In The Clear Air
From: ard mhacha
Date: 27 Feb 08 - 01:20 PM

I remember her husband was included in an old Irish air which went something like this,

Old Albert he works in the shite house

he works there from morning to night

and when he come home in the evening

he`s covered all over with,

Shine up your button with Brasso

it`s only three halpens a tin

and if you haven`t got any Brasso

then clean up your buttons with Vim.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lark In The Clear Air
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Feb 17 - 08:39 AM

A lot of information about the origins of the song here.



Click here


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lark In The Clear Air
From: GUEST,Learaí na Láibe
Date: 21 Feb 17 - 08:40 AM

Learaí na Láibe was the guest who posted the last message.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lark In The Clear Air
From: leeneia
Date: 21 Feb 17 - 04:55 PM

Thanks. That's an informative video and one pleasant to watch.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lark In The Clear Air
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 21 Feb 17 - 05:21 PM

We used to set the Swan Teasmade on Sunday mornings and listen to Ciaran Mac Mathuna's programme on RTE medium wave. As lovely a radio voice as you could wish for and a grand selection of gentle music. "Lark" was his theme tune. It's often regarded as a slow air. I find it pretty difficult to bring off!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lark In The Clear Air
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 22 Feb 17 - 05:02 AM

Beautiful video, and so much information therein. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lark In The Clear Air
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 22 Feb 17 - 05:37 AM

When I was a lad, the regional BBC radio wavelength on Tyneside was the North Home Service. This was, however, shared with Northern Ireland, and the theme tune fir the sshared station was this lovely air.

One of the byproducts of this sharing was that north-eastern listeners were treated to some excellent Irish music. Maybe one reason the 'Lark' was so popular with Northern musicians like Billy Pigg and John Doonan.

One of the downsides was that Saturday results for our First Division football clubs had to wait until we'd heard about Ballymena
United and Cliftonville!

I wonder if Northern Irish listeners enjoyed listening to Jack Armstrong and his Barnnstormers or the Cheviot Ranters? It'd be good to know....


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