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Origin: The Dark Island

DigiTrad:
DARK ISLAND 2
THE DARK ISLAND


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Dark Island (Alan Bell) (18)
(DTStudy) DTStudy: The Dark Island (27)
Nationality of songs (104)
Dark Island: Too late to have DigiTrad alteration? (7)
Lyr Req: The Dark Island (Alan Bell) (10)
(origins) Origins/Author: Dark Island (43)
Information on The Dark Island (5)
(origins) Tune Req: The Dark Isle (14)
Dark Island (47)
(origins) Lyr/Tune Add: The Dark Isle (16)
Lyr Req: Eilean Dorcha (3)


The Shambles 25 Feb 01 - 08:37 AM
Jon Freeman 25 Feb 01 - 08:40 AM
The Shambles 25 Feb 01 - 08:57 AM
kendall 25 Feb 01 - 09:00 AM
The Shambles 25 Feb 01 - 09:01 AM
alison 25 Feb 01 - 09:20 AM
Jeri 25 Feb 01 - 09:25 AM
Roger in Sheffield 25 Feb 01 - 09:38 AM
Roger in Sheffield 25 Feb 01 - 09:48 AM
Jeri 25 Feb 01 - 09:53 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 25 Feb 01 - 10:26 AM
Jeri 25 Feb 01 - 10:48 AM
Cobble 25 Feb 01 - 04:25 PM
Barry T 25 Feb 01 - 05:24 PM
GUEST,Moleskin Joe 26 Feb 01 - 03:51 AM
wes.w 26 Feb 01 - 08:51 AM
nutty 26 Feb 01 - 09:24 AM
nutty 26 Feb 01 - 09:36 AM
Joan from Wigan 26 Feb 01 - 02:35 PM
Jeri 26 Feb 01 - 05:45 PM
kendall 26 Feb 01 - 09:55 PM
GUEST,Moleskin Joe 27 Feb 01 - 04:13 AM
GUEST,celtic4raven 27 Feb 01 - 06:24 AM
wes.w 27 Feb 01 - 07:35 AM
Night Owl 27 Feb 01 - 11:09 AM
Musicman 27 Feb 01 - 11:32 AM
The Shambles 27 Feb 01 - 01:30 PM
Jeri 27 Feb 01 - 05:32 PM
GUEST,Michael Batory 28 Feb 01 - 09:48 AM
MarkSwingler 02 Mar 01 - 10:07 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 03 Jul 01 - 02:15 AM
GUEST 23 Feb 12 - 11:39 AM
GUEST,kenny 23 Feb 12 - 02:49 PM
GUEST,Lachlan Mac Lachlan 25 Feb 12 - 08:59 AM
Lighter 25 Feb 12 - 09:16 AM
meself 25 Feb 12 - 10:52 AM
Lighter 25 Feb 12 - 12:48 PM
GUEST,John Foxen 25 Feb 12 - 01:35 PM
Lighter 25 Feb 12 - 02:55 PM
GUEST,Ebor_Fiddler (Well-known pedant) 25 Feb 12 - 03:57 PM
MAG 25 Feb 12 - 04:46 PM
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Subject: The Dark Island?
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 Feb 01 - 08:37 AM

Can anyone supply some info on this lovely tune?

Search for "dark island" threads


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Subject: RE: The Dark Island?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 25 Feb 01 - 08:40 AM

click here.

Jon


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Subject: RE: The Dark Island?
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 Feb 01 - 08:57 AM

Thank you Jon. I did try a search but I must have typed it wrong.


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Subject: RE: The Dark Island?
From: kendall
Date: 25 Feb 01 - 09:00 AM

There is another Dark Island, sung by Caroline Paton on a Folk Legacy CD. It has different words, may not be the same tune.


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Subject: RE: The Dark Island?
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 Feb 01 - 09:01 AM

There seems to be some doubt as to if it was the theme to BBC Radio or TV series?


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Subject: RE: The Dark Island?
From: alison
Date: 25 Feb 01 - 09:20 AM

apparently it was written (possibly by the Chieftains, but certainly played by them) for a BBC TV series.......

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: The Dark Island?
From: Jeri
Date: 25 Feb 01 - 09:25 AM

There is another thread here.

There are a couple of sets of words to the same tune. It was composed in 1958 and originally titled "Dr. Mackay's Farewell to Creagorry."


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Subject: RE: The Dark Island?
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 25 Feb 01 - 09:38 AM

When I played this in pub session hell recently someone said they had the tune on a Mike Oldfield CD. I forgot about that until I was just searching goggle and came up with this DI
make any sense to you guitar people?

Roger


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Subject: RE: The Dark Island?
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 25 Feb 01 - 09:48 AM

Voyager
anyone heard the CD??

Roger


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Subject: RE: The Dark Island?
From: Jeri
Date: 25 Feb 01 - 09:53 AM

I should have said somewhere that the composer's name is Iain MacLachlan.

Roger, it's sort of funny - I believe Mike Oldfield originally recorded the tune as "trad" and later found out it was a recent, copyrighted composition. (His website has the author listed.) I think a lot of artists have called it "trad." I suspect that no matter how many people post this history of the tune/song, it has dug itself into tradition.


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Subject: RE: The Dark Island?
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 25 Feb 01 - 10:26 AM

Here are the Database sets:

Dark Island

Dark Island 2

I would like to hear who this Carl Petersen is and where he's from and did he have a recording, etc...


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Subject: RE: The Dark Island?
From: Jeri
Date: 25 Feb 01 - 10:48 AM

The lyrics George linked to - Dark Island 2 - are by David Silver. The database has them as "Silver MacLachlan." Silver wrote those words, MacLachlan wrote the tune. Maybe that's what was meant, but it looks confusing to me.

Roger, I used to own the CD. Notice the "used to." I gave it to someone who liked the sort of music on it, but for my taste, it was too laid-back-background-music. Just a personal preference - the music was very pretty. Good for listening to while relaxing or taking a nap. If you enjoy lighting about 100 candles, burning some incence and meditating in the bath, it would be perfect.


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Subject: RE: The Dark Island?
From: Cobble
Date: 25 Feb 01 - 04:25 PM

Song number two is the only one I know, George, and in all the years I have travelled up to Skye, I have never seen the first set of words. I have always sung the second set and people up there know those words. Nobody has ever mentioned The other words. I did hear on Travelling Folk on the radio up there the writer of the song play it , they said he was a crofter from Harris or Lewis. It's not an Irish tune.

Cobble.


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Subject: RE: The Dark Island?
From: Barry T
Date: 25 Feb 01 - 05:24 PM

Allan Ferguson has sequenced a beautiful midi of this tune here. You can almost feel the mist!

This is one of my favourites on the pipes, and Allan's arrangement follows one of the guaranteed formats... slow air to 3/4 time up tempo. A lot of performers then take the tune back to slow air for a haunting, contrasting finish.


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Subject: RE: The Dark Island?
From: GUEST,Moleskin Joe
Date: 26 Feb 01 - 03:51 AM

It should be Ian McLaughlin not McLachlan.


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Subject: RE: The Dark Island?
From: wes.w
Date: 26 Feb 01 - 08:51 AM

As a fairly 'aged' one, yes 'Dark Island', played on concertina, was used for a BBC series (forget which) in the late 50s/early 60s. It was also being played as a waltz in the North/Scotland in the late 60s - early 70s. I might have a recording somewhere, I'll hunt. ..wes


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Subject: RE: The Dark Island?
From: nutty
Date: 26 Feb 01 - 09:24 AM

Alan Bell wrote a set of words to the tune in the 1960's.

The song appeared in the first Alan Nell Song Book but was removed when the book was reprinted because of copyright restrictions on the tune

I do not know who claimed the tune but some of you may recognise the song which began

On my father's own land I was born to be free
I was born to the Islands the boats and the sea

and the chorus went like this

Fare thee well - fare thee well, my island, my home
It's away o'er the ocean now I must roam
To find a new land and to learn a new way
But I hope to return in the future some day


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Subject: RE: The Dark Island?
From: nutty
Date: 26 Feb 01 - 09:36 AM

Ooops ... That should read ......The Alan Bell Song Book


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Subject: RE: The Dark Island?
From: Joan from Wigan
Date: 26 Feb 01 - 02:35 PM

Alan Bell's words also appeared in Spin (the folksong magazine) vol. 7 no. 4 in 1970. The credits are "Words by Alan Bell, Tune based on a traditional Air". The tune printed, though, is the same as that attached to the words in the DT.


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Subject: RE: The Dark Island?
From: Jeri
Date: 26 Feb 01 - 05:45 PM

Moleskin Joe, maybe it should be "Ian McLaughlin," but he spells it "Iain MacLachlan." At least it's spelled that way on his CD. Click here to see


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Subject: RE: The Dark Island?
From: kendall
Date: 26 Feb 01 - 09:55 PM

I was in a restaurant in Fort William, and they had a piper. It was a huge place so it wasn't too loud. I asked him to play Dark Island. He was pleased to do so. I love that melody, especially on the highland pipes.


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Subject: RE: The Dark Island?
From: GUEST,Moleskin Joe
Date: 27 Feb 01 - 04:13 AM

Hi Jeri, I used to have an LP of I McL and on it the name was spelled Iain McLaughlin. I have always wondered why his name should have been spelt the Irish way because in the Highlands it is normally McLa(u)chlan as you point out. I presume the producers of my record got it wrong.

Good Luck

Ian M.


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Subject: RE: The Dark Island?
From: GUEST,celtic4raven
Date: 27 Feb 01 - 06:24 AM

I have heard a version of this song done beautifully by a group that toured NZ two years ago called Kinlochard, since then a favourite accordian player Allisdair does it at our club jam sessions, and everyone that hears it is bewitched by it.


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Subject: RE: The Dark Island?
From: wes.w
Date: 27 Feb 01 - 07:35 AM

Recording on: The High Level Ranters - A Mile to Ride, 1973.


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Subject: RE: The Dark Island?
From: Night Owl
Date: 27 Feb 01 - 11:09 AM

There's a beautiful version of this tune included on Mudcatter Musicman's cd..."Farewell". Anyone got a "blue clicky"??


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Subject: RE: The Dark Island?
From: Musicman
Date: 27 Feb 01 - 11:32 AM

blue clicky


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Subject: RE: The Dark Island?
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 Feb 01 - 01:30 PM

Thank you Paul. I was thinking of you.........


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Subject: RE: The Dark Island?
From: Jeri
Date: 27 Feb 01 - 05:32 PM

Strange, Ian (Moleskin Joe). I wonder if one of the record companies got it wrong, or whether he might have changed the spelling of it at some point.

I sort of got the feeling it was the Ashoken Farewell of the UK - beautiful tune, but everyone and their second cousins play it. No one's ever done it in our session. Maybe I ought to spring it on them...


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Subject: RE: The Dark Island?
From: GUEST,Michael Batory
Date: 28 Feb 01 - 09:48 AM

I don't know the song but I can thoroughly recommend the Ale of the same name.


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Subject: RE: The Dark Island?
From: MarkSwingler
Date: 02 Mar 01 - 10:07 AM

I remember the TV show. I have the score in front of me Words by David Silver Music by Iain Maclachlan copyright 1963 & 1975 by Essex Music International Ltd

The words are crap but the tune is great. I suspect the tune came first and someone just had to make it into a song.


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Subject: RE: The Dark Island?
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 03 Jul 01 - 02:15 AM

Some new details on the song:

Dark Island New Information


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Dark Island
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Feb 12 - 11:39 AM

This was written in 1963 by Ian Maclachlan, and it is still sung in schools and colleges. I love performing it in gigs but this Scots song was not actually written before 1960 :)


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Dark Island
From: GUEST,kenny
Date: 23 Feb 12 - 02:49 PM

I remember Matt Molloy of "The Chieftains" playing it as part of his flute solo at an "Aberdeen Alternative Festival" in the late 1980s, I think. There was an interview with the "Chieftains" in "The Scotsman" newspaper when that tour - which included concerts in the Highlands - was on. The interviewer mentioned that "The Dark Island" was generally not highly regarded by traditional musicians in Scotland, and Molloy was surprised by this as he thought it a beautiful air. He certainly changed quite a few minds by showing what could be done with it when played by a great traditional musician.


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Dark Island
From: GUEST,Lachlan Mac Lachlan
Date: 25 Feb 12 - 08:59 AM

I am one of Iain Mac Lachlan's sons, so I can put you all right and stop you guessing about the origins of the song, and the spelling of Iain's surname. My father originally composed the tune in 1958 as a pipe lament for a local doctor who lost his son at sea, under the title Dr. Mackay's Farewell to Creagorry. The tune achieved widespread popularity after it was later used by the BBC as the theme music for the TV series 'The Dark Island' filmed on Uist in 1963. Words were added by the writer and producer David Silver and since then the tune has been recorded by more than a 100 different artists and bands worldwide. No-one played the tune better than my father himself, first as a pipe lament and then in waltz time, and I still have to hear it played as it should be...
My father was the greatest three-row button-box player in the Highlands and Islands and with him died a part of traditional Island music.


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Dark Island
From: Lighter
Date: 25 Feb 12 - 09:16 AM

Thank you, Lachlan, for that importnat information. Did your father ever record the tune?

Another thread asserts that the name of the tune is "really"
"Dr. MacArthur's Farewell to South Uist." Apparently that's simply a misrecollection of the actual title. (I.e., another example of the "folk process.")

The only reason I can imagine for anyone not regarding the tune highly is that they associated it with a >sniff!< TV series.

As composed by Iain Mac Lachlan, there's nothing "unfolk" about it.
The name of the composer has no bearing on the style.


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Dark Island
From: meself
Date: 25 Feb 12 - 10:52 AM

I would imagine that, because it is such a beautiful air and because it would have become so well-known as a result of the TV series, it became "over-played" as far as some musicians were concerned - they probably grew tired of having to play it every time someone new walked into the room. It is not unlikely that the above-mentioned interviewer heard some musician sigh or grumble when the tune was requested, and drew the conclusion that '"The Dark Island" was generally not highly regarded by traditional musicians in Scotland'. I would be surprised if Matt Molloy didn't already have some sense of how the tune was regarded or not regarded by trad. musicians in Scotland, whatever his apparent reaction to the interviewer's [ungracious] comment.


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Dark Island
From: Lighter
Date: 25 Feb 12 - 12:48 PM

"Ashokan Farewell" is another victim of the same syndrome.


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Dark Island
From: GUEST,John Foxen
Date: 25 Feb 12 - 01:35 PM

I have to agree with Lachlan that his dad plays the piece well.
It's on the CD Island Heritage (available from www.musicinscotland.com) but there his name has been spelled as McLachlan.
The music is also available as a legal download on emusic.com where I bought it.
Mr Mac Lachlan is also a pretty fine fiddle player.


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Dark Island
From: Lighter
Date: 25 Feb 12 - 02:55 PM

Thanks, JF.

It's one of my favorute tunes.


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Dark Island
From: GUEST,Ebor_Fiddler (Well-known pedant)
Date: 25 Feb 12 - 03:57 PM

When I first heard Ashokan, I thought it was a misremembered "Dark Island", which I vaguely remembered from having a tape of the"classic" Ranter's line-up from 1970 in Middlesbrough. I was delighted to find I was wrong, 'cos I now have two beautiful 3/4 airs in my rep!


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Dark Island
From: MAG
Date: 25 Feb 12 - 04:46 PM

Didn't Golden Ring record something by this name? doesn't sound like the same song


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