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Origins: Searching for Scottish Navvy Songs

GUEST,Tombombadil 11 Oct 18 - 06:28 AM
BobKnight 11 Oct 18 - 06:32 AM
Jack Campin 11 Oct 18 - 06:50 AM
GUEST,kenny 11 Oct 18 - 07:03 AM
Tattie Bogle 11 Oct 18 - 11:23 AM
Tattie Bogle 11 Oct 18 - 11:28 AM
Steve Gardham 11 Oct 18 - 02:37 PM
GUEST 11 Oct 18 - 02:49 PM
Gallus Moll 11 Oct 18 - 08:02 PM
GUEST 16 Oct 18 - 07:27 AM
GUEST,Jack Campin 16 Oct 18 - 07:53 AM
Gallus Moll 16 Oct 18 - 05:33 PM
Gallus Moll 16 Oct 18 - 05:45 PM
Gallus Moll 16 Oct 18 - 05:55 PM
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Subject: Origins: Searching for Scottish Navvy Songs
From: GUEST,Tombombadil
Date: 11 Oct 18 - 06:28 AM

Hi folks,

I'm doing some research on songs of Irish navvies and migrant labour in Scotland - or even just the Irish in Scotland. Things along the lines of:

Hot Asphalt
Thatchers of Glenrea
Around the Micky Dam
It was in the Queen's County

and so on...

If anybody knows of anything that fits in this category I would appreciate any suggestions! I'm also interested in Irish language stuff and I've also found a couple of songs of Highlander navvies and would be open to more of that.

Cheers


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Subject: RE: Origins: Searching for Scottish Navvy Songs
From: BobKnight
Date: 11 Oct 18 - 06:32 AM

"McAlpine's Fusiliers," mentions the hydro dams, presumably in Scotland. I know a lot of Irish navvies worked there in the 50's.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Searching for Scottish Navvy Songs
From: Jack Campin
Date: 11 Oct 18 - 06:50 AM

There were Irish navvies on Scottish hydro dams long before that - that's what Patrick MacGill's "Children of the Dead End" is about. He included his own songs in his books but I doubt if anybody ever sang them. Too much in the W.H. Davies literary mode.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Searching for Scottish Navvy Songs
From: GUEST,kenny
Date: 11 Oct 18 - 07:03 AM

Billy Ross - of the original "Ossian" line-up - sang and recorded a song called "The Bold Navvy Man". The recording was called "The Braes Of Locheil", with fiddler John Martin. I think it may only ever have been available on cassette tape.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Searching for Scottish Navvy Songs
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 11 Oct 18 - 11:23 AM

"Coshieville" by Stuart McGregor. It's not in the DT, but full lyrics and background to the song on this thread here:
/mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=5343#30694


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Subject: RE: Origins: Searching for Scottish Navvy Songs
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 11 Oct 18 - 11:28 AM

Sorry, link not working, but if you do a search for Coshieville, the relevant thread should show up. Actually very difficult doing blickies on iPad! (As well as getting 500 Internal server error on the way to posting this and last post!)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Searching for Scottish Navvy Songs
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 11 Oct 18 - 02:37 PM

If you get hold of Nick Dow he recorded an Irish traveller navvying song
in Lancashire that appears to be a variant of the song we sang as kids played on a few notes on the piano 'Can you wash your father's shirt?'
I can't post it as it's not my property.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Searching for Scottish Navvy Songs
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Oct 18 - 02:49 PM

'Green the Ganger' is sometimes considered an Irish Traveller song, but its origins are in a 19th Scottish murder case in which a railway foreman was killed by two Irish navvys.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Searching for Scottish Navvy Songs
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 11 Oct 18 - 08:02 PM

Theres a song about the Shira Dam (near Inveraray) -think that is the title? Composed i believe by a woman who was a cook there or ran a food canteen?   If no-one else (Ake?) Posts info I'll have a search for the words over the weekend.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Searching for Scottish Navvy Songs
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Oct 18 - 07:27 AM

hey,

Thanks for all the tips, guys.

Gallus Moll: This must be the song, which has been rendered here 'Shearer Dam': https://www.itma.ie/digital-library/sound/shearer_dam_geordie_mcintyre

I haven't found any other versions than that one on the ITMA website.

GUEST: That song you mention must be related to 'It was in the Queen's County' which concerns the same murder: https://www.itma.ie/digital-library/sound/it_was_in_the_queens_county_eddie_butcher

Again, this version from Eddie Butcher is the only recorded one as far as I can tell.

K


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Subject: RE: Origins: Searching for Scottish Navvy Songs
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 16 Oct 18 - 07:53 AM

Earlier thread, including the Shirra Dam song:

https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=80484


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Subject: RE: Origins: Searching for Scottish Navvy Songs
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 16 Oct 18 - 05:33 PM

The dam was built in Glen Shira, close to Inveraray in Argyll. Still there! Only one 'r' in Shira -- tho' it sounds like sheerah.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Searching for Scottish Navvy Songs
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 16 Oct 18 - 05:45 PM

It is from the Gaelic Gleann Siara (Wikipedia so better check the spelling!!!) and wiki claims it means glen of the eternal river (wiki again so - check!)
There are quite a few articles and pictures and engineering info if you google glen shira dam.
I vaguely recall somewhere else reading about the grave of a dog being somewhere on the the roadside up to the dam- --
Perhaps also Neil Munro wrote about the glen? -- prior to the dam which was completed in 1956. He was a novelist and poet who was born and raised in Inveraray, became the editor (I think) of the Glasgow Herald in the days when it was a well respected newspaper (unlike now sadly)

If you are into dams then check Cruachan hydro scheme - they were building that when I was a student working in Inveraray, it is the most amazing scheme with a dam and lochan high up in a corrie and the hydro power station in a huge carved out hollow within the mountain. when electricity not required the turbines reverse and pump water back up the mountain to replenish the lochan!
I don't remember any songs about it tho there may well have been some - but there were plenty of stories!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Searching for Scottish Navvy Songs
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 16 Oct 18 - 05:55 PM

Shira Dam will get you some you tube versions? I've still not had time to look for words. (Must tell Geordie correct spelling!!)
Is Partick McGill's book about the Blachwater Dam above Kinlochleven? I read it many years ago and I know there is a book about that one, with details of the deaths / navvies graveyard etc- - and how they would walk over the Devils Staircase to go to Kingshouse? Or did I make that up? Maybe Kinlochleven was 'dry' back then?
(These routes are now part of The West Highland Way.)
I just found on google a page called Navvies Roads to Blackwater Dam
www.heritagepaths.co.uk
Blackwater is the longest in the Highlands


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