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Lyr Add: Rares Hill / Reres Hill / Rare's Hill

Susan-Marie 11 Jan 01 - 04:43 PM
Snuffy 11 Jan 01 - 04:51 PM
MartinRyan 11 Jan 01 - 05:41 PM
GUEST,Philippa 11 Jan 01 - 06:08 PM
MartinRyan 12 Jan 01 - 03:33 AM
Susan-Marie 12 Jan 01 - 09:43 AM
Noreen 12 Jan 01 - 11:53 AM
Noreen 12 Jan 01 - 12:04 PM
Susan-Marie 12 Jan 01 - 03:21 PM
Malcolm Douglas 12 Jan 01 - 03:30 PM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 12 Jan 01 - 03:33 PM
Susan-Marie 12 Jan 01 - 04:37 PM
Noreen 12 Jan 01 - 05:14 PM
Malcolm Douglas 12 Jan 01 - 09:02 PM
GUEST,Murray on Saltspring 13 Jan 01 - 02:42 AM
jacko@nz 13 Jan 01 - 03:02 AM
Malcolm Douglas 19 Jan 01 - 02:55 PM
GUEST,S Walker (Dundee, Scotland) 09 Mar 05 - 05:50 PM
Malcolm Douglas 09 Mar 05 - 08:58 PM
Jim Dixon 11 Mar 05 - 12:06 AM
Malcolm Douglas 11 Mar 05 - 12:56 AM
Jim Dixon 12 Mar 05 - 03:28 PM
Mary Humphreys 12 Mar 05 - 05:09 PM
Joe Offer 10 Jul 15 - 12:47 AM
michaelr 10 Jul 15 - 07:55 PM
Joe Offer 10 Jul 15 - 08:18 PM
michaelr 10 Jul 15 - 11:24 PM
Jim Dixon 12 Jul 15 - 11:49 PM
GUEST,Chris Wright 13 Jul 15 - 12:04 AM
michaelr 13 Jul 15 - 01:13 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: THE BACK OF RARE'S HILL
From: Susan-Marie
Date: 11 Jan 01 - 04:43 PM

I have this song sung by Mary Black on a tape of a T&S program. I like the tounge-in-cheek description of the seduction as "my overthrow" at the beginning of the song, but something quite different in the last verse.

I don't see it in the DT or forum, so I thought I'd add it, but I can't quite make out a few of the words (indicated by "?"). Can anyone provide corrections as needed?

THE BACK OF RARE'S HILL

Last Year at Lady Mary's Fair when I was in Dundee
I fell in with an old sweetheart, and he being on a spree
His company I did accept and with him I did go
And to my sad misfortune he proved my overthrow

We wandered east, we wandered west, we wandered through the ?lawn
He said he'd see me home that night, but home I never saw
He kept beside me all the while, resolved to have his will
And by and by we lost our way at the back of Rare's hill

And when we got to Rare's hill the lad he said to me
We can't go home tonight my dear, it's far too late you see
But the night is warm and in my ?pouch I've got another ?jig
So we can lie down here content at the back of Rare's hill

And then he poured a cup apiece to quiet all alarm
But when I woke in the morning we were locked in each other's arms
He handed me the bottle, another glass to fill
And I drank his health and ?turned away? at the back of Rare's hill

And then the lad he said to me "oh lassie do not mourn"
"For while I draw the breath of life it's you I'll never harm"
"If you will come to yonder town, my wedded wife you'll be"
"We'll be the happiest couple t'was ever in Dundee"

And it's may I never prosper and may I never thrive
In anything I take in hand as long as I'm alive
If 'ere I say I rue the day my laddie had his will
Success to Lady Mary's fair and the back of Rare's hill


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Subject: RE: LYRC ADD and ?? - Back of Rare's Hill
From: Snuffy
Date: 11 Jan 01 - 04:51 PM

I don't know the song, but going by the rhymes ?jig in Verse 3 could be "gill" (pronounced jill) - a small measure of liquid, usually alcohol, 1/2 a pint or less.

Wassail! V


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Subject: RE: LYRC ADD and ?? - Back of Rare's Hill
From: MartinRyan
Date: 11 Jan 01 - 05:41 PM

I don't think I've heard this before - but there are lots of versions scattered aroiund the Web. Click Here for one which answers some of Susan-Marie's questions.

Regards


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Subject: RE: LYRC ADD and ?? - Back of Rare's Hill
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 11 Jan 01 - 06:08 PM

Martin, Did you not hear Mary Black sing this one?


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Subject: RE: LYRC ADD and ?? - Back of Rare's Hill
From: MartinRyan
Date: 12 Jan 01 - 03:33 AM

Philippa

Oddly enough - no, I didn't. Must check it out.

Regards


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE BACK OF RARE'S HILL
From: Susan-Marie
Date: 12 Jan 01 - 09:43 AM

Thanks everyone. I did try a search on the wed but didn't find the site Martin sent me to. Here are the correct lyrics and some explanation for when this gets put into the DT.

THE BACK OF RARE'S HILL

Last year at Lady Mary's fair when I was in Dundee,
I fell in with an old sweetheart and he being on a spree,
His company I did accept and with him I did go,
But to my sad misfortune it proved my poor 'through.

We wandered east. we wandered west. we wandered through the lawn.
He said he'd see me home that night, but home I never saw.
He kept beside me all the while resolved to have his will,
And by and by we lost our way, at the back of Rare's Hill.

For when we got to Rare's Hill, the laddie said to me,
"We can't go home tonight, my dear. it's far too late, you'll see.
But the night is warm and in my bush, I've got another drill,
And we can lie down here, content, at the back of Rare's Hill."

For then he poured a nipper piece to quiet all alarm.
When I awoke in the morning, we were locked in each other's arms.
He handed me the bottle, another glass to fill,
And I drank his heath, in store o' wealth, at the back of Rare's Hill.

So it's may I never prosper, and may I never thrive,
In anything I take in hand as long as I'm alive.
If e'er I say I rule the day, my laddie had his will,
Success to Lady May's fair, and the back of Rare's Hill.

- - -

'through = a poor thought or bad idea
lawn = green fields
drill = flask of alcohol
nipper piece = drink
bush = camp


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Subject: RE: LYRC ADD and ?? - Back of Rare's Hill
From: Noreen
Date: 12 Jan 01 - 11:53 AM

I must say that I have grave doubts about some of the above words, posted as "the correct lyrics". I've never heard any of the meanings given here as explanations

'through = a poor thought or bad idea
lawn = green fields drill = flask of alcohol
nipper piece = drink
bush = camp

since when? Sorry but...

Susan-Marie's words seem nearer the truth to me.

Noreen


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Subject: RE: LYRC ADD and ?? - Back of Rare's Hill
From: Noreen
Date: 12 Jan 01 - 12:04 PM

...I'll listen to it again myself...


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Subject: RE: LYRC ADD and ?? - Back of Rare's Hill
From: Susan-Marie
Date: 12 Jan 01 - 03:21 PM

Noreen - You're right, I shouldn't have just assumed that because it was on a web site somewhere it is correct. I see that the version from the Cantaria web site omits the verse where the lad asks the lassie to marry him. I don't know if Mary Black added that verse herself or if the omission by Cantaria is a mistake. Cantaria's version also has "rule the day" instead of "rue the day" in the last verse, which doesn't sound right to me.

OK, for the DT let's use all the verses Mary Black sings and the Cantaria words where I couldn't make them out. NOreen, what do you think? I'll wait a couple of days to re-post the lyrics in case someone else would like to weigh in.

I will probably keep singing "overthrow" instead of "poor 'through" just because it will make more sense to an American audience.


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Subject: RE: LYRC ADD and ?? - Back of Rare's Hill
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 12 Jan 01 - 03:30 PM

Susan-Marie's first attempt at transcription was very good, with only a few mishearings, if I am to judge by Mary Black's recording, the only one I have available.  The second set of words is full of obvious mistakes, which somebody has attempted to explain by inventing some quite surprising false derivations.  Apparantly that text (on the "Cantaria" site) is as recorded and transcribed by one Liza Kay, who presumably learnt it from a record, quite possibly Mary Black's, and didn't understand it very well.

Referring to 's first posting:

Verse 3, line 3:  pouch and gill
Verse 4, line 1:  a nip apiece
Verse 4, line 4:  and store of wealth

There are some other, minor differences, such as substitutions of but for and, he for it (v.1 line 4), and so on, which are unimportant and would typically vary from one singer to another.  In verse 5 line 2, Mary Black sings from you I'll never turn instead of it's you I'll never harm.  I'd be inclined to read laddie instead of lad he throughout, but it doesn't affect the sense one way or the other.

So far as verse 2 line 1 is concerned, Law Hill is the highest part of Dundee -Law, then, rather than lawn.

I thought that I had some more information about this song somewhere, but can't seem to find any; perhaps I read it in a newsgroup.  It certainly seems that everybody who sings this one got it from the same original source.  Mary Black got it from Cilla Fisher, but I don't know her source.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: LYRC ADD and ?? - Back of Rare's Hill
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 12 Jan 01 - 03:33 PM

Sorry, Susan-marie - that site seems to be down alright.

Regards


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Subject: RE: LYRC ADD and ?? - Back of Rare's Hill
From: Susan-Marie
Date: 12 Jan 01 - 04:37 PM

That's OK Martin, it was a good lesson for me in reining in my tendency to assume everyone knows more about Irish music than I do. The Cantaria site does look interesting, I just need to remember that the info's only as good as the source.

Malcom, thanks very much for your information. It's great to know specific details like Law Hill.


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Subject: RE: LYRC ADD and ?? - Back of Rare's Hill
From: Noreen
Date: 12 Jan 01 - 05:14 PM

Thanks, Malcolm, you put into words what I was thinking.

Susan-Marie, yes, let's see if anyone comes up with anything else and then re-write a good set of lyrics for possible harvesting. Thank you.

Noreen


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Subject: RE: LYRC ADD and ?? - Back of Rare's Hill
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 12 Jan 01 - 09:02 PM

I should perhaps just mention, for anyone who may have inadvertently got the wrong impression, that this is a Scottish song.  Not Irish.  Mary Black and her brothers seem to have learnt a large part of their repertoire from the Fishers (Archie, Ray and Cilla, mainly) who are from Glasgow.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: LYRC ADD and ?? - Back of Rare's Hill
From: GUEST,Murray on Saltspring
Date: 13 Jan 01 - 02:42 AM

There's a pretty good version [tho slightly bowdlerised I think] in Ord's great collection of Bothy Songs and Ballads (1930; and reprinted 30 years or so ago, maybe still in print)--page 156, "The Back o' Rarey's Hill". His note says "Rarey's or Rarie's hill, the locus of the incidents in this song, is situated near to Broughty Ferry." That "never prosper" stanza, btw, is really a bit of the *English* [that's supposed to be italics] song of "The White Cockade".


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Subject: RE: LYRC ADD and ?? - Back of Rare's Hill
From: jacko@nz
Date: 13 Jan 01 - 03:02 AM

Gidday folks

The words to 'The Back o' Reres Hill' are largely as the first posting here, with Malcolm's corrections.

Maureen Jelks, a local lass,does a grand version on "Coorse and Fine--Songs and Ballads of Dundee"

Shes credits her version of Reres Hill to Eck Harley of Cupar in Fife


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE BACK O' RAREY'S HILL
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 19 Jan 01 - 02:55 PM

The version in Ord is rather different, so here it is:

THE BACK O' RAREY'S HILL

It was on a Saturday's evening,
As I went to Dundee,
I met in wi' an old sweetheart,
And he being on the spree,
His company I did incline,
So with him I did go;
But to my sad misfortune
He's proved my overthrow.

I travelled east, I travelled west,
His company to shun,
Until the train, it was away,
Nae mair for to return;
My love he followed after me
Wi' heart and hand guidwill,
That very nicht, and I lost my way
At the back o' Rarey's hill.

When we awoke in the morning
We were lying in each other's arms,
When we awoke in the morning
From enjoying each other's charms;
My love brought forth a bottle,
Likewise a glass to fill,
And we drank, shook hands, and parted
At the back o' Rarey's hill.

My love wrote me a letter
Which made me weep and mourn;
My love wrote me another
That he would never return;
But if I'd come to sweet Dundee
His wedded wife to be,
Wi' heart and hand in wedlock band,
So happy we would be.

Oft in my lover's arms
My love to him I've told,
And in my lover's arms
He oft did me enfold;
But girls, keep your secrets,
Let no one know your mind
That talks of love and marrying you
When it's far from his design.

Oh, may you never prosper,
And may you never thrive,
Nor anything you take in hand
As long as you're alive;
And the very grass you travel on,
May it refuse to grow,
If ever I loved anyone
So dear as I love you.

So all ye Aberdeen lassies,
A warning tak' by me,
And be sure to choose your company
When ye gang to Dundee;
And beware o' young bachelor laddies
Down by yon Baxter's Mill,
For they're sure to gar ye lose your way
At the back o' Rarey's hill.


This text from John Ord's Bothy Songs and Ballads (1930, reprinted by John Donald, Edinburgh 1995).  Ord gives no indication as to where he got it, or to what tune it was sung.  It fits the tune Mary Black got from Cilla Fisher, so we may assume for now that that's the one that belongs to it.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: LYRC ADD and ?? - Back of Rare's Hill
From: GUEST,S Walker (Dundee, Scotland)
Date: 09 Mar 05 - 05:50 PM

Just saw the posting and had to chip in. This song is called "The Back o' Reres Hill" (pronounced REAR-ES) and refers to a hill to the east of Dundee, near Broughty Ferry.
Some of the words given here are nonsense. Please find the corrections below:
V1 "All to my sad misfortune for it proved my overthrow"
V2 "We wandered east, we wandered west, we wandered roond the Law"
V2 "He said he'd tak me hame that nicht, but hame I never saw"
V2`" He stuck beside me a' the time, resolved tae hae his will"
V3 "But the nicht is warm and in ma pooch I hae anither gill"
V3 "So let us lay doon here content"
V4 "We hid anither nip apiece tae quieten oor alarms"
V4 " ..drank his health and store o wealth"
V5 "For while I hae the breath o life, fae you I'll never turn"

Obviously there are variations to the song but this is how I have always sung it and heard it sung by other Dundonians!

Happy Singin'


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Subject: RE: LYRC ADD and ?? - Back of Rare's Hill
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 09 Mar 05 - 08:58 PM

Yes; the "Cantaria" transcription cited in this thread was very poor indeed (particularly in conjunction with the extraordinary glosses invented out of thin air to explain away somebody's ludicrous mis-hearings) the first transcription was far more accurate, though there were mistakes; I provided some corrections at the time, though the only source available to me back in 2001 was Mary Black's derivative recording.

As "Jacko" mentioned some 4 years ago, the song was from Eck Harley of Cupar in Fife: Peter Shepheard recorded it from him and it appears in Nigel Gatherer's Ballads and Songs of Dundee, 1985 & 2000, p 69.

The tune turns up in various places; it was used, for example, for Spancil Hill.


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Subject: Lyr Add: RERES HILL (from Old Blind Dogs)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 11 Mar 05 - 12:06 AM

Here are lyrics from a a fan website where they are reportedly the ones sung by Old Blind Dogs on their album "Fit?" I must admit the song, and especially the last verse, make more sense to me when the story is told from the man's point of view.

RERES HILL

Last year at Lady Mary's Fair when I was on the spree,
I fell in wi' an auld sweetheart, a weaver frae Dundee.
Her company I sought and won, and with her I did go,
But I'll hing my heid in shame to say I proved her overthrow.

We wandered east, we wandered west, we wandered roond the law.
I said I'd see her hame that night, but hame we never saw.
I kept beside her all the while, resolved tae hae my will,
And by and by we lost our wye at the back o' Reres Hill.

Noo fan we cam tae Reres Hill, a thocht did come to me:
"We can't go home tonight, my dear. It's far over late, ye see;
But the night is warm, and in my pooch I hae anither gill,
So we can lie doon here content at the back o' Reres Hill."

I poured anither nip apiece, tae quieten her alarm,
And fan we awoke next mornin', we were locked in each other's arms.
She handed me the bottle, anither glass tae fill,
And she drank my health and store o' wealth at the back o' Reres Hill.

Now, may I never prosper, and may I never thrive
In anything I take in hand as lang as I'm alive
If e'er I cause that lass tae rue the day I had my will.
Success tae Lady Mary's Fair and the back o' Reres Hill!


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Subject: RE: LYRC ADD and ?? - Back of Rare's Hill
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 11 Mar 05 - 12:56 AM

I'm inclined to be suspicious of material recorded by the Old Blind Dogs; they rarely credit their sources, so it can be difficult to tell if it's the real thing or not. In this case I suspect a spot of self-indulgent re-writing by someone who didn't feel comfortable singing a song from a woman's point of view.

There is a version of Rere's Hill re-made as for a male narrator (version 3 in Nigel Gatherer's book) but entirely different from the text Jim posts, which seems to be a re-write of the best-known traditional set, probably made by the band. A pity that they felt the need to do that; it quite destroys the poignancy of the original song.


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Subject: RE: LYRC ADD and ?? - Back of Rare's Hill
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 12 Mar 05 - 03:28 PM

Here's how many hits I get on Google:
"Rares Hill" - 719 hits
"Reres Hill" - 226 hits
"Rare's Hill" - 144 hits
"Rarey's Hill" - 6 hits
"Rere's Hill" - 5 hits
"Rarie's Hill" - 2 hits
Every other spelling I can think of – 0 hits

(The above are not necessarily references to a song.)

Here are the recordings I can find at allmusic:

RARE'S HILL, sung by Mary Black on "Mary Black," Gifthorse CD #10004, 1982.
RARE'S HILL, sung by Greenhouse on "I Lie Awake," Jackalope CD #1247, 2000.
RERES HILL, sung by Old Blind Dogs on "Fit?", Green Linnet, CD #1214, 2001.

Other references found with Google:
RERES HILL, sung by Susie Allan on "Tipsy Courting," Ardo, 1998.
THE BACK O' RERES HILL, 3 versions from various sources published in the book "Songs and Ballads of Dundee," by Nigel Gatherer.


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Subject: RE: LYRC ADD and ?? - Back of Rare's Hill
From: Mary Humphreys
Date: 12 Mar 05 - 05:09 PM

I first heard the song on 'The Heart is True' by Peta Webb, recorded on vinyl in 1986 - not re-issued as far as I know. She sings the version that Malcolm has posted earlier, rather than the one to be found in Ord.
It is a superb version - if you can get it. One of my all-time favourite singers.
Mary


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rares Hill / Reres Hill / Rare's Hill
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Jul 15 - 12:47 AM

Here's a recording of this song by Old Blind Dogs:

And another by Emily SmithI had never heard of Emily Smith, but Jim Malcolm had her perform for us during our Scotland tour last month. She was wonderful.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rares Hill / Reres Hill / Rare's Hill
From: michaelr
Date: 10 Jul 15 - 07:55 PM

How nice that Allmusic lists my band's (Greenhouse) recording of the song!

Here's a link to it. (Purists be cautioned: it features keyboards, didgeridoo and electric guitar.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rares Hill / Reres Hill / Rare's Hill
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Jul 15 - 08:18 PM

I like it, Michael. Thanks for the link.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rares Hill / Reres Hill / Rare's Hill
From: michaelr
Date: 10 Jul 15 - 11:24 PM

Glad you like it, Joe. Check out more of our music! Greenhouse will celebrate our 25th anniversary next year, hopefully with a new album.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE BACK O REARA'S HILL
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 12 Jul 15 - 11:49 PM

From Tocher: Tales, Songs, Tradition, Issues 36-38 (School of Scottish Studies, Edinburgh University, 1982), page 394:

THE BACK O REARA'S HILL

Last year at Lady Mary's Fair when I wis in Dundee,
I fell in wi an auld sweethaert, an he bein on the spree,
His company I did accept, and with him I did go,
All to my sad misfortune, for it proved my overthrow.

We wander 'd east, we wander 'd west, we wander'd roond the Law:
He said he'd see me hame that nicht, but hame I never saw!
He kept beside me a' the time, resolved tae hae his will,
Aye, an by an by we lost our way at the back o Reara's Hill.

Oh when we got tae Reara's Hill that laddie said tae me,
"My dear, we can't go home tonight; it's far owre late, ye see.
But the night is warm, and in my pooch I've got another gill,
So let us lie doon here content at the back o Reara's Hill!"

So syne we had a nip the piece to quieten oor alarm,
But when we woke in the mornin we're lock'd in each other's arms.
He handed me the bottle, another glass tae fill,
And I drank his health an store o wealth at the back o Reara's Hill.

So syne that laddie says tae me, "Dear lassie, dinnae mourn,
For as lang's I draw the breath o life frae you I'll never turn,
An if you'll come to yonder toon my wedded wife to be,
We'll be the happiest couple yet there is in a' Dundee."

Oh may I never prosper an may I never thrive
O anything I tak in hand as lang as I'm alive,
If e'er I say I rue the day that laddie had his will —
Success to Lady Mary's Fair and the back o Reara's Hill!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rares Hill / Reres Hill / Rare's Hill
From: GUEST,Chris Wright
Date: 13 Jul 15 - 12:04 AM

Another original broadside song from the Poets' Box, Dundee. Eck Harley (b. 1908) got the song from the shop itself, and as far as I know applied the Irish tune to it. Aileen Carr learned the song direct from him. Pete Shepheard also recorded him, and there are some additional recordings in the School of Scottish Studies.

As it happens, I grew up on Reres Road, right beside... Reres Hill. The name 'Reres' allegedly means 'where the rye grows', though I haven't been able to confirm that.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rares Hill / Reres Hill / Rare's Hill
From: michaelr
Date: 13 Jul 15 - 01:13 AM

Thanks for that info, Chris.


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