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Si Bheag, Si Mhor

Related threads:
Lyr/Tune Add: Fairy Hills / Si Bheag Si Mhor (34)
Origins of O'Carolan tune (22)
(origins) Lyr Req: Sibheag Sibhor (48)
Lyr Add: Bonny Cuckoo (4)


GUEST,Old Brown's Daughter 12 Nov 01 - 05:25 PM
Murray MacLeod 12 Nov 01 - 05:46 PM
Jeri 12 Nov 01 - 05:57 PM
Noreen 12 Nov 01 - 06:02 PM
Murray MacLeod 12 Nov 01 - 06:02 PM
Jeri 12 Nov 01 - 06:07 PM
Murray MacLeod 12 Nov 01 - 06:14 PM
GUEST,Graham H. 12 Nov 01 - 06:53 PM
GUEST,Old Brown's Daughter 12 Nov 01 - 08:25 PM
Áine 12 Nov 01 - 08:50 PM
GUEST,Old Brown's Daughter 12 Nov 01 - 09:35 PM
GUEST,Old Brown's Daughter 12 Nov 01 - 09:40 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 13 Nov 01 - 12:12 AM
GUEST,Philippa 17 Nov 01 - 04:05 AM
Kaleea 17 Nov 01 - 05:04 AM
pavane 17 Nov 01 - 02:21 PM
Noreen 17 Nov 01 - 05:54 PM
Jeri 17 Nov 01 - 06:05 PM
Noreen 17 Nov 01 - 06:06 PM
Noreen 17 Nov 01 - 06:20 PM
Kaleea 17 Nov 01 - 09:38 PM
GUEST 18 Nov 01 - 01:24 AM
GUEST,john c 18 Nov 01 - 06:56 AM
Brían 18 Nov 01 - 08:07 PM
Felipa 29 Apr 03 - 05:50 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 29 Apr 03 - 07:57 PM
Felipa 29 Apr 03 - 11:37 PM
Felipa 30 Apr 03 - 12:21 AM
Mr Happy 30 Apr 03 - 09:30 PM
Felipa 16 May 03 - 02:00 PM
keberoxu 17 Apr 16 - 07:05 PM
GUEST,Tinker From Chicago 18 Apr 16 - 12:19 AM
GUEST,watcher 18 Apr 16 - 04:50 AM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 18 Apr 16 - 12:21 PM
GUEST 19 Apr 16 - 08:43 AM
MGM·Lion 19 Apr 16 - 09:48 AM
keberoxu 19 Apr 16 - 12:13 PM
MGM·Lion 19 Apr 16 - 01:47 PM
Effsee 19 Apr 16 - 02:20 PM
Daithi 22 Apr 16 - 07:52 AM
leeneia 22 Apr 16 - 11:00 PM
GUEST 23 Apr 16 - 02:34 AM
leeneia 23 Apr 16 - 11:22 AM
Les from Hull 23 Apr 16 - 03:40 PM
MGM·Lion 23 Apr 16 - 03:45 PM
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Subject: Si Bheag, Si Mhor
From: GUEST,Old Brown's Daughter
Date: 12 Nov 01 - 05:25 PM

Anybody know of a recording of this song as a vocal? I've found lyrics and melody, and the 5 credits of Irish Gaelic I took in college are helping me figure out how to pronounce it, but I'm not really sure on how it should scan to the melody.

Thus, I'm looking for a recorded version--and I've found quite a few instrumental recordings, but none with a vocal.

Any ideas?

go raibh math agat, :) Old Brown's Daughter


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Subject: RE: Si Bheag, Si Mhor
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 12 Nov 01 - 05:46 PM

Well, this was composed by O'Carolan as an instrumental melody, and IMHO that is how it is best heard. If some misguided soul HAS put words to this lovely tune, I personally don't want to hear them. Especially after hearing some of the crap written to the tune of "Planxty Irwin".

Murray


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Subject: RE: Si Bheag, Si Mhor
From: Jeri
Date: 12 Nov 01 - 05:57 PM

Murray, Carolan wrote words to it.


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Subject: RE: Si Bheag, Si Mhor
From: Noreen
Date: 12 Nov 01 - 06:02 PM

I've not heard words to it, either- must be a recent addition, i imagine.

sorry, can't help.


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Subject: RE: Si Bheag, Si Mhor
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 12 Nov 01 - 06:02 PM

OH Boy do I ever have a red face ..............

Murray


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Subject: RE: Si Bheag, Si Mhor
From: Jeri
Date: 12 Nov 01 - 06:07 PM

I've had that happen occasionally, Murray.

As to the request for information on a recording of the song, I've never actually heard anyone sing it. Someone HAS to have recorded it, though.


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Subject: RE: Si Bheag, Si Mhor
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 12 Nov 01 - 06:14 PM

Should have checked here before opening my big mouth .......

Murray


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Subject: RE: Si Bheag, Si Mhor
From: GUEST,Graham H.
Date: 12 Nov 01 - 06:53 PM

A version of this can be heard on David Kilpatrick's page of mp3.com -- Click here

however, in his words:

Seonaid Wolf sent me a single verse written to fit O'Carolan's harp air Sheebeg and Sheemor (which can be spelled in many ways). She asked me to 'look after' the words for her and let others hear them. Seonaid also sent a JPEG of transcribed melody and words, which you can find in my PHOTOS section and download..

Therefore, I suspect that this is not the version requested, pleasant though it maybe.

Graham

link fixed by mudelf ;-)


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Subject: RE: Si Bheag, Si Mhor
From: GUEST,Old Brown's Daughter
Date: 12 Nov 01 - 08:25 PM

indeed, Kilpatrick's version is not what I'm looking for--though it is quite pleasant indeed.

But I need it in the Gaelic! It's got to be out there, I just wish I could find out where...

:) Monica


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Subject: RE: Si Bheag, Si Mhor
From: Áine
Date: 12 Nov 01 - 08:50 PM

Dear OBD,

Is this the song you're looking for?

Le meas, Áine


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Subject: RE: Si Bheag, Si Mhor
From: GUEST,Old Brown's Daughter
Date: 12 Nov 01 - 09:35 PM

Well, yes it is the song--that's where I got the lyrics. But what I need, unfortunately, is something with both lyrics & music recorded. So I can hear it. The MIDI link on that page doesn't seem to be there anymore (I got sent to a page saying the person's homepage couldn't be found), so... growl. I dunno. Maybe I'm just a ding-bat and couldn't make the link work. Were you able to get there?

I'm beginning to think nobody's ever recorded this song with a vocal... :) Monica


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Subject: RE: Si Bheag, Si Mhor
From: GUEST,Old Brown's Daughter
Date: 12 Nov 01 - 09:40 PM

Okay, I am a ding-bat. I went back to that site, and clicked on a different link, and whaddyaknow I got the midi file. However it was only an instrumental (if a synthesizer with too much reverb and a couple of strange effects can be called instrumental). Thanks for trying Aine (can't remember how to get the fada on the big A), :) Monica


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Subject: RE: Si Bheag, Si Mhor
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 13 Nov 01 - 12:12 AM

Murray, I'm totally in tune with the spirit of your first post, so I'm not going to let a trivial fact get in the way. And just to really rattle you, I'm also with you 100 per cent on TonyMcManus. (And your big mouth *G*) Thanks for the link - repeated later by Áine, who can't have been reading the thread for once.

Is this tune/song the one recorded by Planxty on The Well Below The Valley, under the name of "Hewlett," where it is only vaguely accredited to Carolan? (Can't check right now, as the album is not to hand.) If so, there can be no finer rendition in terms of playing, arrangement, recording quality - everything. (You'd appreciate the fingerpicking, Murray!)


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Subject: RE: Si Bheag, Si Mhor
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 17 Nov 01 - 04:05 AM

worth doing an archive search (I chose 'bheag' as my key word)
new lyrics to old tune
grammar


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Subject: RE: Si Bheag, Si Mhor
From: Kaleea
Date: 17 Nov 01 - 05:04 AM

I have a recording of this, and it's at the office! It is a 2 disk recording of a harp festival, and a lady plays & sings it. I'll drop in Saturday (only for a mudcatter would I go in on the weekend, especially after staying 5 hours late tonight to do my monthly @#$%^&*# profit & loss reports !!) and get it & post it Sat eve. so you might be able to find it. Kaleea


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Subject: RE: Si Bheag, Si Mhor
From: pavane
Date: 17 Nov 01 - 02:21 PM

NO, and if anyone can find 'Hewletts', I would be interested. We used to play it (in Dubai 20 years ago), but I cannot remember it, nor track it down. We also used to play Si Bheag, Si Mhor, so I know it is different. Of course, it may not be the tune recorded by Planxty.


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Subject: RE: Si Bheag, Si Mhor
From: Noreen
Date: 17 Nov 01 - 05:54 PM

Pavane, Hewlett from JC's ABC tune finder


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Subject: RE: Si Bheag, Si Mhor
From: Jeri
Date: 17 Nov 01 - 06:05 PM

Just to jump in and be annoying, Old Brown's Daughter is looking for a recording, and already has the lyrics and tune...in case anyone didn't read her post. ;-)


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Subject: RE: Si Bheag, Si Mhor
From: Noreen
Date: 17 Nov 01 - 06:06 PM

And Si Beag and Si Mor from the same source, for comparison.


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Subject: RE: Si Bheag, Si Mhor
From: Noreen
Date: 17 Nov 01 - 06:20 PM

Oops:

Si Beag and Si Mor

(Yes Jeri I know, and I haven't got one.)


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Subject: RE: Si Bheag, Si Mhor
From: Kaleea
Date: 17 Nov 01 - 09:38 PM

I have a recording called "The Belfast Harp Festival" which is a 2 cd set by Grainne Yeats, of traditional Irish harp music, celebrating harp music from the last Belfast Harp Festival in 1792. One disc is devoted to Carolan (there was no O before the name on the cd!) Ms. Yeats sings a few of the songs as she plays, and one is the song, Si Bheag is Si Mhor. This recording is copyright 1992 Gael-Linn. There is information given on the back of the CD as following:

Gael-Linn, 26 Cearnog Mhuirfean, Baile Athat Cliath 2 26 Merrion Square, Dublin 2 Fon: +353-1-6767283 Fax: +353-1-676-7030 e-mail: eolas@gaellinn.iol.ie

I believe that I picked up this CD at a festival. The 42 tracks from 13 different Irish composers is certainly worth finding this recording! Kaleea


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Subject: RE: Si Bheag, Si Mhor
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Nov 01 - 01:24 AM

"...she's beggin for more, she's beggin for more, she's beggin', she's beggin', she's beggin' for more..." leastways that's how I heard it...


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Subject: RE: Si Bheag, Si Mhor
From: GUEST,john c
Date: 18 Nov 01 - 06:56 AM

A long time ago I saw The Boys of the Lough, before they´de decided to form a permanent group, in a tiny folk club in Edinburgh and they introduced this as The Big House because they didnt know its real name - it just sounded like the kind of music that would have been played at evening soirees in the mansions of Ireland in the eighteenth century.
As regards to words, Shirley Collins sings a related tune to The Bonny Cuckoo on her Anthems in Eden cd. And a great cd it is too!!


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Subject: RE: Si Bheag, Si Mhor
From: Brían
Date: 18 Nov 01 - 08:07 PM

I am told Carolan took the melody from THE BONNY CUCKOO and composed the words himself.

Brían


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Subject: RE: Sí Beag, Sí Mór
From: Felipa
Date: 29 Apr 03 - 05:50 PM

I'm interested in the cuckoo connection because of May Day. I found a translation of Carolan's lyrics for the tune under the title "Beltane Night". for details, see the first thread listed in the links at the top of this page.


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Subject: RE: Si Bheag, Si Mhor
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 29 Apr 03 - 07:57 PM

The original source for this tune credited by Donal O'Sullivan (who wrote THE definitive book on Carolan) is Edward Bunting's "A General Collection Of The Ancient Irish Music" published in 1796, containing tunes which were taken down from harpers (Bunting noted its place of origin as Sligo). O'Sullivan's opinion is that Carolan did compose this work, which subsequently found its way into the popular repertory under a variety of titles (one of which, as has been mentioned, is The Bonny Cuckoo, also The Irish Cuckoo). This happened with a number of his airs, which were then taken up and kept alive by other musicians and singers, and they can be found in Gow and Playford and Mittell among many more collections. In any case, the originator of this one appears to have been Carolan. He died in 1738, so there was plenty of time in the ensuing 50-odd years for the music to get into popular culture.

As separate evidence, this tune also appears in the (fairly) recently discovered MacLean-Clephane Manuscript, collected from a harper in about 1789, who had studied the instrument with Cornelius Lyons. Lyons was a good friend of Carolan's and it's unlikely that he would have got the attribution wrong.

This tune is considered to be the first thing Carolan ever composed, when he was just 21, at the suggestion of his harp-playing host who seems not to have been too impressed with Carolan's performing prowess!


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Subject: RE: Si Bheag, Si Mhor
From: Felipa
Date: 29 Apr 03 - 11:37 PM

yes, Bonny, and thanks - just after I wrote my message I saw the Bonny Cuckoo words and tune & some information in the edtion of Bunting edited from the original mss. by Donal O'Sullivan and Mícheál Ó Súilleabhain. I think the Bonny Cuckoo will need its own thread ,,,,


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Subject: RE: Sí Beag, Sí Mór
From: Felipa
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 12:21 AM

See also origins of Carolan tune (Mudcat thread)


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Subject: RE: Si Bheag, Si Mhor
From: Mr Happy
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 09:30 PM

aye, she begs fer more!

a crackin tune!


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Subject: RE: Si Beag, Si Mor
From: Felipa
Date: 16 May 03 - 02:00 PM

The Bonny Cuckoo now has its own thread and is also posted at fairy hills
(sí beag sí mór - there are three threads all with the wrong spellings)


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Subject: RE: Si Bheag, Si Mhor
From: keberoxu
Date: 17 Apr 16 - 07:05 PM

Gráinne Yeats recorded "Sí Bheag, Sí Mhor" for Gael Linn records, that was the label that released her Belfast Harpers album, originally vinyl. There may be a CD reissue of the whole thing now.

What I do have is a Gael Linn anthology album called "Amhráin Ghrá,"   with eight different artists on it. Gráinne Yeats is represented by songs from two different albums she recorded for Gael Linn. And one of them is "Sí Bheag, Sí Mhor." It is charming -- a cross between Schubert and sunlight.


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Subject: RE: Si Bheag, Si Mhor
From: GUEST,Tinker From Chicago
Date: 18 Apr 16 - 12:19 AM

I learned a sung version from an old Wolfe Tones album, in which the song was called "Fairy Hills."


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Subject: RE: Si Bheag, Si Mhor
From: GUEST,watcher
Date: 18 Apr 16 - 04:50 AM

You can hear the recording by Gráinne Yeats on Spotify


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Subject: RE: Si Bheag, Si Mhor
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 18 Apr 16 - 12:21 PM

Can see these two hills from my front room window, at the far end of Lough Allen....mind you, only just today- quite misty


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Subject: RE: Si Bheag, Si Mhor
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Apr 16 - 08:43 AM

yes but what does Si mean?


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Subject: RE: Si Bheag, Si Mhor
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 19 Apr 16 - 09:48 AM

Doesn't the title mean The Little Hill, The Big Hill? -- Tho most above have put it the other way round, Mhor surely means great or big? —

as in An Gleann Mòr - the Great Glen; The Gillie More -- the big man; Claymore -- big sword; the ballad 'Lang Johnny More' (Child #251) -- 'big tall Johnny' ... &c &c.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Si Bheag, Si Mhor
From: keberoxu
Date: 19 Apr 16 - 12:13 PM

Well, this is outside my expertise, but here's what I'm aware of.

Guest, that word is written with a fada: Sí.

And Gráinne Yeats, when she sings the word with her precise, pointed diction (very much the classically trained singer, diction-wise), pronounces it Shee.

Someone more educated than I, will have to take it from there.


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Subject: RE: Si Bheag, Si Mhor
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 19 Apr 16 - 01:47 PM

I have some recollection of having been once told that it just means, in fact, "The small one and the big one" — the 'ones' being, in this case, hills or mountains. But this is one of those impressionistic sorts of ½-memories, & I should not feel able to swear to it.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Si Bheag, Si Mhor
From: Effsee
Date: 19 Apr 16 - 02:20 PM

Isn't "The Shee/Sidh" a term used for the Little People?


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Subject: RE: Si Bheag, Si Mhor
From: Daithi
Date: 22 Apr 16 - 07:52 AM

Yes Effsee - that is correct and has always been my understanding of the title: "The little Fairy Hill, The Big Fairy Hill"

D :-)


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Subject: RE: Si Bheag, Si Mhor
From: leeneia
Date: 22 Apr 16 - 11:00 PM

Since I play this song, I decided to check some sources. Ha!

I found this page, which explains about Irish language dictionaries online.

http://www.teanglann.ie/en

I searched for SI in the proper dictionary, and they say it is not found. Another site, a 'terminology dictionary', says that SI can be Spark Ignition, Silicon, or Social Intermediary.

As far as the song goes, I know less than ever.


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Subject: RE: Si Bheag, Si Mhor
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Apr 16 - 02:34 AM

OK.

"Sí" (pronounced "shee") is modernised spelling of "síodh"which Dineen's standard Irish dictionary (1927) glosses as "a tumulus or knoll, a fairy hill , an abode of fairies ...".


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Subject: RE: Si Bheag, Si Mhor
From: leeneia
Date: 23 Apr 16 - 11:22 AM

OK


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Subject: RE: Si Bheag, Si Mhor
From: Les from Hull
Date: 23 Apr 16 - 03:40 PM

We aren't taking little dainty things with wings here. The residents are the Tuatha Dé Danann, the sidhe folk. When Ireland got divided up the Tuatha Dé Danann got the below ground part, while the Milesians (the sons of Men) got the above ground part. But I wouldn't recommend the Irish take up fracking.


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Subject: RE: Si Bheag, Si Mhor
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 23 Apr 16 - 03:45 PM

Too fracking right...!


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