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Review: Roberton's 'Songs of the Isles'

DigiTrad:
AR FA LA LA LOW
MINGULAY BOAT SONG
WESTERING HOME


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Mingulay Boat Song again (40)
Lyr Req: Ah fol de la lay (Roberton) (21)
(origins) Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ??? (118)
(origins) Origins: Who's playing this Mingulay Boat Song? (23)
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Lighter 01 Apr 15 - 05:15 PM
Lighter 01 Apr 15 - 05:32 PM
Joe Offer 01 Apr 15 - 06:22 PM
Lighter 01 Apr 15 - 06:24 PM
Jack Campin 01 Apr 15 - 06:39 PM
Joe Offer 01 Apr 15 - 08:15 PM
Lighter 02 Apr 15 - 03:46 PM
Joe Offer 02 Apr 15 - 04:21 PM
GUEST 02 Apr 15 - 05:03 PM
GUEST,# 02 Apr 15 - 06:11 PM
Lighter 02 Apr 15 - 06:28 PM
Joe Offer 23 Jan 23 - 07:44 PM
Felipa 23 Jan 23 - 09:01 PM
Felipa 23 Jan 23 - 10:22 PM
GUEST,Rossey 24 Jan 23 - 11:06 PM
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Subject: Index: Roberton's 'Songs of the Isles'
From: Lighter
Date: 01 Apr 15 - 05:15 PM

In response to the various threads on "Mingulay Boat Song," I now have a copy of Roberton's book: "Songs of the Isles: A Collection of Island and Highland Tunes from Various Sources Set to English (or to Anglo-Scottish) Words and Arranged by Hugh S. Roberton" (London: J. Curwen, 1950).

The twenty songs are titled as follows. Roberton wrote the lyrics to all but the few I've indicated. I also give the acknowledged source of each tune and the USA copyright date.


The Fidgety Bairn - tune from Fr. John MacMillan, Barra, (crt. 1937).

Highland Cradle Song (O Hush Thee, my Baby) - traditional highland tune, words from Sir Walter Scott (crt. 1950).

Ho-Ree, Ho-Ro, My Little Wee Girl(A Tiree Love Song) - "Tune by Alexander Sinclair" (crt. 1947).

In Praise of Isla - Arrangement by Maurice Jacobson, lyrics translated from Gaelic by Thomas Pattison (crt. 1950 by Jacobson).

Island Spinning Song - tune from Donalda MacLeod (crt. 1938).

Air Falalalo - traditional Gaelic tune (crt. 1938).

Joy of My Heart - "Old Highland Air, Leannan mo ghaoil" (crt. 1934).

Lewis Bridal Song (Mairi's Wedding) - traditional tune from Dr. Peter MacLeod (crt. 1937).

Mingulay Boat Song - "Traditional Gaelic tune (probably 'Lochaber')" (crt. 1938).

Morag's Cradle Song - traditional Gaelic tune (crt. 1938).

Ossianic Processional - Gaelic tune from Duncan Morrison of Lewis, words adapted from Ossian (crt. 1939).

Iona Boat Song - traditional Hebridean air (crt. 1947).

Shuttle and Loom (Island Weaving Song) - Traditional Gaelic air" (crt. 1938).

Sing at the Wheel - traditional Gaelic tune (crt. 1938).

The Top of the Morning (Sheep-Shearing Song) - first part is a traditional Gaelic tune (crt.1939).

Uist Tramping Song ("Come Along") - "Tune by John R. Bannerman" (crt. 1937).

Westering Home - tune of chorus from Donald MacIsaac (crt. 1939).

Marie's Wedding - "Scottish Dance tunes," lyrics by J. S. McConochie (crt. 1940).

The Glenlyon Lament - "Gaelic air," "Words adapted from two Scottish ballads" (crt. 1939).

The Dashing White Sergeant - traditional (crt. 1948).

As for Mingulay, the words are those sung by Kenneth McKellar, given above, March 15, 3:03 p.m., except that Roberton wrote "Hill-you-ho."

Chorus, two stanzas.

"Songs of the Isles" is an attractive little book, designed frankly for children. Roberton writes that by singing these songs, they can "become one with" the people of the isles. A charmingly illustrated map clearly identifies the whereabouts of places mentioned - including Mingulay and the Minch.


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Subject: RE: Review: Roberton's 'Songs of the Isles'
From: Lighter
Date: 01 Apr 15 - 05:32 PM

The Roberton/McKellar words are on the recent thread "Mingulay Boat Song's Minch?"

And probably on other threads as well.


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Subject: RE: Review: Roberton's 'Songs of the Isles'
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Apr 15 - 06:22 PM

It surprised me to learn that the lyrics to "Mairi's Wedding" (Lewis Bridal Song) were written by Hugh Roberton and set to a traditional tune.

I wonder who controls the rights to these songs.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Review: Roberton's 'Songs of the Isles'
From: Lighter
Date: 01 Apr 15 - 06:24 PM

Looks like J. Curwen in the UK and G.Schirmer in the US.


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Subject: RE: Review: Roberton's 'Songs of the Isles'
From: Jack Campin
Date: 01 Apr 15 - 06:39 PM

Mingulay Boat Song - "Traditional Gaelic tune (probably 'Lochaber')" (crt. 1938).

The tune may from Lochaber, but "Lochaber" (aka "Lochaber No more" it is not, though a sufficiently enthusiastic lumper might put them both in the same family.


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Subject: RE: Review: Roberton's 'Songs of the Isles'
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Apr 15 - 08:15 PM

Yeah, Jack, I was surprised Roberton didn't know more about the sources of his tunes. I thought this book was going to answer many questions - but it just brought up more.

Lighter, we checked Schirmer and found no listing, so maybe they let the copyright expire. Whatever the case, we have pursued a print license with "due diligence," and we're going to include the song without getting permission.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Review: Roberton's 'Songs of the Isles'
From: Lighter
Date: 02 Apr 15 - 03:46 PM

Joe, the Library of Congress "Catalog of Copyright Entries" shows a U.S. copyright for "MBS" granted to "Hugh S. Roberton, Glasgow" on March 18, 1938. It was renewed by his son, Kenneth Bantock Roberton, on May 6, 1965.

So Roberton's heirs would be the people to consult.


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Subject: RE: Review: Roberton's 'Songs of the Isles'
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Apr 15 - 04:21 PM

It appears that Kenneth Bantow Roberton is deceased, and his papers are held by the University of Glasgow.

http://special.lib.gla.ac.uk/manuSCRIPTs/search/results_n.cfm?NID=5079&RID=&Y1=&Y2=&M=001.

Anybody got an idea where to go from here?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Review: Roberton's 'Songs of the Isles'
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Apr 15 - 05:03 PM

I am sure somewhere (maybe on Footstompin') I read that Mari's wedding was a mod song writing winner and the prize was presented by Princess Margaret.Possibly in the 50's and the Mari it was written for or sung it was only a wee lassie at the time.
I remember learning it at school but there again I also learned The Wee magic Stane and Pitenweem Jo at as well as Hugh Roberton songs


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Subject: RE: Review: Roberton's 'Songs of the Isles'
From: GUEST,#
Date: 02 Apr 15 - 06:11 PM

"Anybody got an idea where to go from here?"

Joe, is the copyright American?


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Subject: RE: Review: Roberton's 'Songs of the Isles'
From: Lighter
Date: 02 Apr 15 - 06:28 PM

Joe, the U. of Glasgow Library staff might be able to give you the whereabouts of Roberton's heirs, or at least of the law firm that handled his estate.


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Subject: RE: Review: Roberton's 'Songs of the Isles'
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Jan 23 - 07:44 PM

Songs of the Isles is now available online:

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Subject: RE: Roberton's 'Songs of the Isles'
From: Felipa
Date: 23 Jan 23 - 09:01 PM

responses to some of the preceding messages

Mingulay Boat Song - quoting from Singing Together, Summer 1976, BBC Publications: Lyrics by Sir Hugh S. Roberton (1874-1952). The melody is described in Songs of the Isles as "Traditional Gaelic tune (probably Lochaber) arranged by Hugh S Roberton". The original tune was a pipe tune, 'Creag Guanach'; from, not called, Lochaber."

" I read that Mari's wedding was a mod song writing winner": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mairi%27s_Wedding accessed 24 Jan 2023
"Mairi's Wedding" (also known as Marie's Wedding, the Lewis Bridal Song, or Scottish Gaelic: Màiri Bhàn "Blond Mary") is a Scottish folk song originally written in Gaelic by John Roderick Bannerman (1865–1938) for Mary C. MacNiven (1905–1997) on the occasion of her winning the gold medal at the National Mòd in 1934. ....

Winning the Mòd gold medal was (and is) regarded as the highest singing award in Scottish Gaeldom, and "Mairi's Wedding" was composed to recognise this achievement. A track of Mary C. MacNiven singing her winning song at the 1934 Mòd is still available[3] and the Mod has founded a memorial salver competition to honour her name.[4] Her wedding did not in fact take place until some six years later when she married Captain John Campbell of Glendale, Skye. She continued to sing at Gaelic concerts and céilidhs for most of her life, and died aged 91 at her native Portnahaven, Islay in 1997.[5] ...

Roberton wrote the English words for "Mairi's Wedding", which, as can be seen by the lyrics below in both languages, bore little resemblance to Bannerman's original and make no reference to the original inspiration for the song, the winning of a Mòd gold medal. He published this in 1936, giving the song the alternative title of "The Lewis Bridal Song". Roberton presented an original signed copy of his score to Mary C. MacNiven and it became one of her most prized possessions.[9] When the song was published in Roberton's "Songs of the Isles" by J Curwen & Sons Ltd (1951), the Gaelic words did not appear. J.R. Bannerman was acknowledged as the composer of the original lyrics and tune.[10]

footnotes
3 "Gaelic Golds (Mod Medallists) – Vol IV" Scottish Music Centre. 1991. Retrieved 7 January 2019.

4 "An Comunn Gàidhealach - Royal National Mod : Royal National Mod - Competition Results". www.acgmod.org. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
5 Smith, Hugh. The Herald. 3 April 1997. http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/spl/aberdeen/mary-c-macniven-1.405082.

9 Smith, Hugh The Herald. 3 April 1997. http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/spl/aberdeen/mary-c-macniven-1.405082.

10 "Lewis Bridal Song (Bannerman, John R.) - IMSLP/Petrucci Music Library: Free Public Domain Sheet Music". imslp.org. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
-------
- I was confused by the attribution of Marie's Wedding "lyrics by J. S. McConochie "in Lighter's message which begins this discussion thread until I realised that the song I know as Màirí's Wedding is listed as the Lewis Bridal Song


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Subject: RE: Review: Roberton's 'Songs of the Isles'
From: Felipa
Date: 23 Jan 23 - 10:22 PM

Creag Ghuanach isn't only a TUNE to which The Mingulay Boat Song by Hugh Robertson, and later An Cailín Álainn by Tomás MacEoin, were set. It is also the title of an older song (words dating back to the 16th century). The lyrics were already on Mudcat, and I've added more verses and a translation of three of the verses to the discussion at
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=10414   "Mingulay Boat Song again"

And lyrics Màirí Bhan, the inspiration for the Lewis Bridal Song aka Màirí's wedding, referred to in the Wikipedia article (previous post) are also already on Mudcat. I've added the translation by Anne Lorne Gillies to the thread where those lyrics are posted Origins: Mairi's Wedding


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Subject: RE: Review: Roberton's 'Songs of the Isles'
From: GUEST,Rossey
Date: 24 Jan 23 - 11:06 PM

As Roberton died in 1952, Surely in UK terms (copyright lasting 70 years after death) his works are now fully public domain - as of January 2023?


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