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DTStudy: The Dark Island

DigiTrad:
DARK ISLAND 2
THE DARK ISLAND


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Dark Island (Alan Bell) (18)
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) Origin: The Dark Island (41)
(origins) Lyr/Tune Add: The Dark Isle (16)
Lyr Req: Eilean Dorcha (3)


Joe Offer 24 Jun 02 - 12:52 PM
Joe Offer 24 Jun 02 - 12:55 PM
GUEST,Phil Myers 24 Jun 02 - 12:58 PM
Malcolm Douglas 24 Jun 02 - 01:16 PM
Malcolm Douglas 24 Jun 02 - 04:02 PM
Joe Offer 24 Jun 02 - 08:59 PM
Joe Offer 24 Jun 02 - 09:15 PM
Malcolm Douglas 24 Jun 02 - 09:45 PM
GUEST,ALAN ROSS 26 Oct 02 - 06:30 AM
Susanne (skw) 27 Oct 02 - 06:33 PM
GUEST,Alan Ross 11 Nov 02 - 09:48 AM
Jim McLean 11 Nov 02 - 10:52 AM
GUEST,craig herbertson 24 Nov 03 - 05:14 AM
VIN 24 Nov 03 - 10:17 AM
Folkiedave 24 Nov 03 - 03:41 PM
Willie-O 25 Nov 03 - 01:22 PM
Jeri 25 Nov 03 - 02:12 PM
Malcolm Douglas 25 Nov 03 - 02:19 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 25 Nov 03 - 02:20 PM
GUEST,Alan Ross 17 Dec 08 - 09:05 AM
GUEST 13 Feb 11 - 02:00 PM
Peter the Squeezer 13 Feb 11 - 02:07 PM
JHW 14 Feb 11 - 06:00 AM
GUEST,Georgina Boyes 14 Feb 11 - 08:11 AM
GUEST,Georgina Boyes 14 Feb 11 - 08:23 AM
GUEST,StrachanGirl 16 Jan 16 - 12:09 PM
GUEST,Alan Ross 17 Jan 16 - 03:17 AM
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Subject: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Jun 02 - 12:52 PM

This is an edited DTStudy thread, and all messages posted here are subject to editing and deletion.
This thread is intended to serve as a forum for corrections and annotations for the Digital Tradition song named in the title of this thread.

Search for other DTStudy threads


THE DARK ISLAND
Song removed from the Digital Tradition due to copyright concerns

DARK ISLAND 2
(Silver Maclachlan)

Away to the westward I'm longing to be
Where the beauties of heaven unfold by the sea
Where the sweet purple heather blooms fragrant and free
On a hilltop high above the Dark Island

Oh, isle of my childhood
I'm dreaming of thee
As the steamer leaves Oban
And passes Tiree
Soon I'll capture the magic
That lingers for me
When I'm back once more upon
The Dark Island

So gentle the sea breeze that ripples the bay
Where the stream joins the ocean and the young children play
On the strand of pure silver I'll welcome each day
And I'll roam forever more the Dark Island

True gem of the Hebrides bathed in the light
Of the midsummer dawning that follows the night
How I yearn for the cry of the seagulls in flight
As they circle above the Dark Island

@Scots @home
filename[ DARKISL2
DG
apr97




PLEASE NOTE: Because of the volunteer nature of The Digital Tradition, it is difficult to ensure proper attribution and copyright information for every song included. Please assume that any song which lists a composer is copyrighted ©. You MUST aquire proper license before using these songs for ANY commercial purpose. If you have any additional information or corrections to the credit or copyright information included, please e-mail those additions or corrections to us (along with the song title as indexed) so that we can update the database as soon as possible. Thank You.
Traditional Ballad Index: No listing
This page (click) makes things even more muddy. It appears to me that the song we attribute to Silver Maclachlan, could be by David Silver? The page I linked to says the song was recorded by "Silver/Mclachlan." Other sources credit the tune to Ian Maclachlan.
-Joe-

Search for "dark island" threads


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Jun 02 - 12:55 PM

We have a number of threads on this song, and I think if might be worthwhile to summarize what we have. I see that one version of the song is no longer in the Digital Tradition, apparently because the copyright holder has asked that it be removed.
What are the definitive versions of the song? Is it traditional, or a recent composition?
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: GUEST,Phil Myers
Date: 24 Jun 02 - 12:58 PM

Joe,

Just out of curiosity, if it can't be in the DT for copyright reasons, why is it OK to post it on Mudcat?

Surely the same copyright restrictions would apply?

Phil

    It's a slim distinction in some ways, but Mudcat is a discussion forum, and discussion generally falls under the "fair use" allowance granted by copyright law. The Digital Tradition is a more permanent and more formally indexed archive, and that tends to make copyright holders a little more nervous. In general, we have received very few complaints about information posted either in the Forum or in the Digital Tradition.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 24 Jun 02 - 01:16 PM

That lyric has been posted in the Forum by the son of the man who wrote it. One of his concerns was the issue of correct attribution, which I believe the DT file did not give; the history of the three sets of (modern) lyrics written to this (modern) Scottish tune is complex and fraught with misunderstandings and legal problems. Indeed, a thread was started recently by someone wanting further information about what they imagined to be a traditional Irish song, so it would be a good idea to have the facts spelled out concisely and in one place.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 24 Jun 02 - 04:02 PM

The tune was written in 1963 by Ian MacLachlan, and was to begin with called Dr. Mackay's farewell to Creagorry and Dr. McInnes's Farewell to South Uist at various times. It was not called The Dark Island until it was adopted as signature tune for the television serial of that name; after that, several sets of lyrics were written for it, in some cases by people who were under the misapprehension that it was traditional. This information is available in previous discussions of the song, which I would suggest people read before adding comments here.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Jun 02 - 08:59 PM

The "Dark Island" that was removed from thge Digital Tradition is this one:

THE DARK ISLAND

In the years long ago
When I first left my home
I was young and I wanted
The whole world to roam;
But now I am older
And wiser, you see,
For that lovely dark island
Is calling to me.

cho:
O, I've wandered away
From the land of my birth,
And been roaming around
To the ends of the earth,
Still my heart is at home
In that land far away
That lovely dark island
Where memories stray.

One day I'll return
To that far-distant shore,
And from that dear island
I'll wander no more.
'Til the day that I die
I will no longer roam
For that lovely dark island
Will be my last home.

@home @travel
filename[ DARKISLE

I'm not familiar with this one. I'd guess that it was recently composed, but I don't know who wrote it. No attribution was given in the Digital Tradition.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: ADD Version: The Dark Island (Alan Bell)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Jun 02 - 09:15 PM

Here's another:

THE DARK ISLAND
words by Alan Bell, music by Ian Maclachlan

On my father's own land I was born to be free
I was born to the island, the boats and the sea
To work and to live as we always have done
But I've no son to follow, the young ones have gone

Chorus:
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 learn the new ways
But I hope to return in the future one day

I've known the bad ways of the wild roaring surf
And I've felt the salt rain as I cut the peat turf
And I've mended the nets in the evening's soft glow
Now these are my memories, wherever I go
CHORUS

The homes are all empty, no fires in the hearth
And the nettles grow tall all along the old lanes
Where as children we laughed and played our rough games
Now the children have grown up, the island has changed
CHORUS

The school door is closed, and the blackboard is bare
The old floor is dusty, there's no one to care
But there we have laughed and danced many a night through
Now the old ways have ended, we must learn the new
CHORUS

The fishing is finished, and sheep graze the land
Where my kinsfolk once lived there is only the sound
Of the wind and the waves and the wild sea-birds' cry
Now my heart aches with sadness, I must say goodbye.
CHORUS


Transcribed by ear from the CD, Alan Bell: The Definitive Collection


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 24 Jun 02 - 09:45 PM

David Silver wrote (official) lyrics to the tune made by Ian MacLachlan. The lyric you give above was written by Stewart Ross. As I've said, all the necessary information is available in earlier discussions. If I had started this thread, I'd do a proper digest of all that; I didn't (and don't much care for any of the lyrics anyway) but if somebody has to do it and you don't want to, I suppose I will feel obliged to. Not today, though.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: GUEST,ALAN ROSS
Date: 26 Oct 02 - 06:30 AM

I am catching up on some of the volumes of info on this song. I am indebted to Malcolm Jones and many others for setting the record straight. There are copyright concerns with uniting my late father's lyrics to the tune. Westminster Music and David Silver (writer of the official lyrics) are in a permanent and very weird copyright wrangle - refusing to admit the version exists. So for decades it has been wrongly circulating (mostly via Calum Kennedy/Fiona Kennedy being licensed on compilations).

My father mentions a little of the dispute in a 'Scots Magazine' article in April 1993. I had a double page spread in the 'Highland News' a couple of years ago. All hell broke loose in October/November 1988 when a country music group Colorado recorded and used the Ross version on an award-winning country album. Westminster Music and Silver had stories all over the Scottish press that this version of the song was banned!

I have been simply trying to resolve the confusion over whose version is whose. As circulating the (misquoted) lyrics makes the song sound ancient when it was only written in 1963. New information has arisen and been sent to me on the origin of the tune - which only became Dark Island in 1963.

I don't have the Internet and only use it sporadically. The first version of my father's lyric came out on sheet music - which was withdrawn after a year due to copyright reasons.

The first recording was made in 1966 by a singer called Argo Cameron (terrible badly arranged version). This was credited. However, MCPS withdrew this. Calum and Fiona Kennedy preferred my father's version and would not stop using it. They recorded it on large-selling LP's, tracks of which have been licensed out and re-cycled. The work was wrongly attributed to Maclachlan or Maclachlan/Silver as my father was not at the time an MCPS (British copyright licensing member).

It gets very complicated - but my father did win an out of court settlement with one small record company at the high court Edinburgh in 1977. Anyway, I've become obsessed with the dispute and am trying to distance myself, at the same time correct wonky histories on this and other songs if I can. I had the lyrics taken off - but they have re-appeared elsewhere. It's not quite as bad when credit is given and the misquotes are corrected. The official copyright owners of the tune and Silver lyric will not be happy either way.

If Malcolm Jones or other parties with a long standing interest in the song would like to contact me for some documents - and fresh information on the tune - I'd be happy to oblige. I don't know whether to post my address on the Internet or give my e-mail phone address.

Anyway, my father Stewart Ross (1929-1993) wrote a number of (maybe cheesy - but effective) Scottish and country songs. Mostly he wrote words and music, but he was haunted by record company errors, misprints, mistitles of his own songs and registration errors. Don't always believe a single sleeve credit!

I would like to find somewhere to archive his songs (all are registered copyright works), but though many have been used on numerous albums, they have never been put together in one place - and are too eclectic or cheesy for the 'traditional' purists. Yet some of his songs are on standard Scottish samplers. You will find a bit about my father in the Scots Magazine of April 1993. This article does not mention the country music aspect. My father was a nominee for top British songwriter by the CMA Britain in 1979.

He never made much money though! Only lucky break was having Daniel O'Donnell doing one of his songs (and this song is a Scottish song - not Irish!).

Regards.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE DARK ISLAND (W. Gordon Smith)
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 27 Oct 02 - 06:33 PM

Just to muddy the waters further: I've just searched the forum and DT, and couldn't find a mention of the tune in connection with W. Gordon Smith. However, on the first album by the long-gone Scottish band The Islanders, there is a set of lyrics to the tune written by Smith. It goes:

THE DARK ISLAND
(music, Ian Maclachlan / Words, Gordon Smith)

Chorus:
Come again, come again, sings the sandpiper's song
Come back to the island where you belong
And the isle that is home wherever you stray
Will blossom its flowers in welcome one day

The tide's on the turn and the boat must away
And your sad eyes reveal what the heart cannot say
Every step to the quay is a mile of the way
From the island that can't stop you leaving today

Oh load up the boat and we'll cast her away
See the waves show their teeth on the rocks in the bay
Turn your back on the hills, turn your face to the sea
Turn away from the island you're leaving today

Oh the water is deep, watch the waves turn to grey
And the islands astern, a lifetime away
You can turn to the hills, you can just see the way
Turn and smile to the island you're leaving today



No further info. Just thought I'd throw it in ...


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: GUEST,Alan Ross
Date: 11 Nov 02 - 09:48 AM

Sorry to muddy the waters all over again! I do have fresh information on the origins of the tune. Legally Ian Maclachlan wrote it - and Westminster Music own the copyright of the standard tune.

However, I now have information from a woman who is in her late 80's and comes from a piping family, that she knew the tune as a child (so it's now supposedly dating from around the 1940's or before). Ian Maclachan is credited as having written or re-arranged it c1958 - before it became Dark Island in 1963. All vocal versions using the words Dark Island date from after 1963.

The woman who wrote and published her memoirs gave me a very similar title to the one I knew without any prompting. She knew it as 'Doctor Macarthur's Farewell to South Uist'. As Ian Maclachlan got to the tune first and recorded, "composed", or collected the melody, this has no legal bearing on the current confusion.

I do have documentary material on the matter available for the long-term folk music experts who have been writing for years on the subject.

For my postal address I can currently be contacted at: Scotsongs@talk21.com (if I remember my e-mail correctly) I only have an e-mail phone. I would like to share some of the legal paperwork or any other information/queries on my father's full songs with the long-term correspondents. (My mother and family get sick of me talking about it!)

scotsongs@talk21.com

Incidentally, my father wrote another song called 'Here's to Scottish Whisky'. This was written in 1974 and is a pure heather and haggis effort. In this case Stewart Ross wrote both the words and music - and it is a full copyright work. However, there have been misspellings of the title such as "Here's to Scottish Whiskey", and at least one botch up on medley versions with a spurious 'trad' credit. The consequences are now filtering down the Internet. It's extremely upsetting. In case the subject ever crops up, it was written in Inverness by my father and originally recorded by the Tartan Lads on EMI.

I took legal action against a record company called 'Scotdisc' and they are supposed to have agreed not to produce any more copies of the song with the wrong credit information. However, copies have already been retailed, so much damage has been done - even though we have many correctly credited Scottish samplers which use the track.

Finally, many thanks to those responsible for correcting the lyric credit for 'Dark Island' (even though it's still a legal mess!).

Alan Ross


Thread #36086   Message #496220
Posted By: GUEST,rossey
01-Jul-01 - 09:46 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Dark Island
Subject: Lyr Add: DARK ISLAND (Stewart Ross)

This is not the one you're looking for but - my late father Stewart Ross (1929-1993) of Inverness, Scotland - wrote a very well known version of the song in 1963, after being assured that the tune was traditional. It was published on sheet music and record, where he was formally registered as the author of the lyric alone.

There is a very long story involved. The tune had two earlier titles before becoming known as Dark Island for the TV series. Disputes arose over the origin of the tune and the two larger selling vocal versions. This situation has never been fully resolved and there are rights and wrongs on both sides, as the publishers exploited both versions of the song at the time, without payment and credited to the wrong author. Catch-22: to be credited today, artists and record companies have to know whose version they are using in the first place - and not put it down as the other version. Back in the 60's and 70's, the record company, artists, and publishers knew whose version they were using (and I have legal papers which prove it).

My father did win one court case in Scotland against a small record company for the use of the lyric, but the whole thing became a mess when the larger record company PYE became defunct.

The Ross version has appeared on over 40 albums, singles, TV advertised samplers etc. The Silver version is now the most widely used and recorded - but the ghost versions always come back. Both of these lyrics were written within one month each other. The Ross version was the first set to be published. The Mudcat site, however, has planted a bit of a time-bomb for my family by including it on their Digi site without credit or permission - and with misheard lyrics which do not scan, and don't do it any justice.

There were at least 4 English lyrics that I know of written in the 60's to versions of the tune. Each have different properties and suit singers in various ways. The Ross words were written to a very different version of the tune and are not a straight fit to the accordion tune.

THE DARK ISLAND
Words PRS copyrighted, Stewart Ross (c) 1963

In the years long gone by when I first left my home,
I was young and I wanted the wide world to roam,
But now I am older and wiser you see,
That lovely Dark Island is calling to me.

CHORUS: Though I've wandered away from the land of my birth,
And been roaming around to the ends of the earth.
Still my heart is at home in a land far away,
That lovely Dark Island where memories stray.

[This verse is usually axed for length's sake:]

With a sorrowful heart I look back through the years.
When I think of that Island, my eyes fill with tears.
Once again then I long for the land I adore,
That lovely Dark Island I long for once more.

CHORUS: Though...

LAST VERSE: One day I'll return to that far distant shore,
And from that Dark Island I'll wander no more.
Till the day that I die, I will no longer roam,
For that lovely Dark Island will be my last home.

CHORUS: Though...
That lovely dark island where memories stray.

My father went on to write other less problematic copyright works where he wrote both words and music. Mostly he wrote in the country music vein - and Scottish/Irish emigration songs. 'My Bonnie Maureen' is one really nice song recorded by Daniel O'Donnell on platinum selling 'From the Heart'. Another, 'Here's to Scottish Whisky' has become very big on Scottish samplers, - but nothing eclipses the sales of his version of 'dark island' at its peak in the 60's and 70's.


Posted By: GUEST,Alan Ross
17-Dec-08 - 09:05 AM
Thread Name: DTStudy: The Dark Island
Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island

I have to correct my own innacuracy, repeated in many places. The TV series 'dark island' was first broadcast in July 1962.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: Jim McLean
Date: 11 Nov 02 - 10:52 AM

Hi Alan,
I had the same trouble with Scotdisc. They featured my song on the front of a CD but on the CD itself, they put an entirely different title and claimed it as Trad! MCPS have told me they have to keep an eye on Scotdisc. As you say, the damage is done and the error multiplies as uninformed people believe the CD credits.
Good luck,
Jim McLean


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: GUEST,craig herbertson
Date: 24 Nov 03 - 05:14 AM

Sorry, I emailed some uniformed opinion on this before I realised that it was something of a minefield.

I have a tape recording made in a private club of my Grandfather playing this tune on the fiddle. As far as I knew this was made in the late 1950's and I am currently trying to check with relatives to see if they can establish the correct date of the recording.

I have a feeling this neither helps nor hinders anything but I felt I had to add it.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: VIN
Date: 24 Nov 03 - 10:17 AM

Quite like Alan Bell's 'The Dark Island' (often brilliantly sung by the legendary Mike Canavan!).


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: Folkiedave
Date: 24 Nov 03 - 03:41 PM

The "come gain" version is the one my friend knew - I will have to ask her where she got it. Circa 1972.


Regards

Dave
www.collectorsfolk.co.uk


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: Willie-O
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 01:22 PM

Oh man, this has totally given me a headache, more so every time someone tries to explain that "my father" wrote the "correct" or "official" version, without clarifying which version they mean. Sorry mates, I still don't get what you're after legally--royalties or just corrected credit, or suppressing certain versions which you consider inferior or a copyright infringement?   

But what I've really just been trying to figure out: is South Uist the Dark Island? Or is it a real place at all? Or....?

W-O


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: Jeri
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 02:12 PM

Willie-O, Alan Ross was talking about the version posted right before HE posted, and if he said anything about his father writing 'the "correct" or "official" version', that part's invisible on my browser.

His father wrote that version and should receive credit as well as royalties. More of the story's in other threads - see links at top of page. Other that that, I'll admit it gets a bit confusing when there are so many sets of modern lyrics to a tune that is (as far as we can prove) modern.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 02:19 PM

I think that everything relevant (and a great deal that is not) has already been said several times over in the course of the discussions indicated above, to which I would refer anyone considering posting to this thread. There is really only one useful question which remains: is there any hard evidence that the tune pre-dates MacLachlan? We have so far been offered a number of anecdotes, but no proof. It would be nice to have that matter settled.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 02:20 PM

Willie, there never really WAS a Dark Island. That's what all the information to date is about. Alan's been informing us of the status of the song "Dark Island"'s origins. His father Stewart, wrote the first version, before the version Mr. Silver made popular via the TV show, Dark Island.

From a paper table-mat a friend brought back for me from the Dark Island Hotel in Benbecula, you can read a bit about the Gaelic versions of the song. The first paragraph is taken from the introduction to the song.

Eilean Dorcha

Hope that helps, Willie.


Eilean Dorcha - Dark Island
Faclan le David Silver

The island of Benbecula was the inspiration for the emotive song The Dark Island. Written by David Silver of Inverness, the musician - journalist, who wrote the words, and was asked to write a song for a BBC Thriller called "The Dark Island", filmed here in Benbecula. He reveals how the quiet, lonely place was in mind for the number, and the words were set to music by the accomplished accordionist Ian Maclachlan from Creagorry. The tune has become a classic since it was first sung in 1963. There are more than 50 different recordings by Scot's, among them; Ann-Lorne Gillis, Peter Morrison and Kenneth Mackellar although fittingly the recording which gets most airing on radio is by Silver/Maclachlan on accordion.

The Dark Island Hotel opened on June 30th, 1981 originally for many years a small restaurant. This transformation developed through the years to its present 4 crown, Taste of Scotland, Les Routier status.

Why not read through the Dark Island words and reflect on the writers lyrics as follows:


1 Away to the west ward I'm longing to be,
Where the beauties of heaven unfold by the sea
Where the sweet purple heather blooms fragrant and free
On a hilltop high above - The Dark Island

Chorus Oh, isle of my childhood, I'm dreaming of thee,
As the steamer leaves Oban and passes Tiree
Soon I'll capture the magic that lingers for me
When I'm back once more upon - The Dark Island

2 So Gentle the sea breeze that ripples the bay
Where the stream joins the ocean and young children play
On the strand of pure silver I'll welcome each day
And I'll roam forever more - The Dark Island

3 True Gems of the Hebrides bathed in the light
Of the mid-summer dawning that follows the night
How I yearn for the cries of the seagull in flight
As they circle high above - The Dark Island

In Gaelic:

1 Air mo thùrus do'n iar 's ann bu mhiannach a bhi
Far bheil àilleachd nan Néimh dol fo sgéith 'sa chuan sios
Fraoch dearg 's e fo bhlàth fàile cùbhraidh cho saor
Air a' bheinn ud is àird 'san Eilean Dorcha

1-alt An mo thùras don iar 's leam bu mhiannach a bhi
Far bheil àilleachd nan eathar dol fo sgéith sa chuan sios,
Creag Dhearg 's e fo bhlàth faileadh cùbhraidh cho saor
Air a' bheinn ud as àird 'san Eilean Dorcha.


Séist Eilean òige mo ghràidh 's tu tha tàladh mo chridh'
Is mi seòladh bhon Obain 's a dol seachad Tiridh,
Bi mi glacadh a dh'aithghearr gach mais a tha 'gam dhith
'S bi mi fhìn air ais a-rithist 'san Eilean Dorcha.

Alt Eilean òige mo ghràidh 's tu tha tàladh mo chridh'
'S mi seòladh bhon Obain gu eilean bòidheach Thiridh,
Bi mi glacadh air oidhche gach mais a tha 'gam dhith
'S bi mi fhìn air ais a-rithist 'san Eilean Dorcha.

2 Gaoth na mara cho séimh séideach reidh staigh don bhaigh
Far bheil sruth dol don chuan clann suaimhneach le'n gàir',
Air an traigh gheal mar airgead bi mi falbh oirr' gach là

'S bi mi fhìn air ais a-rithist 'san Eilean Dorcha.

3 Fior àilleagan e measg gach cearn 'san taobh siar
Anns a mhoch mhaduinn thràth 's e ri dearrsadh 'sa ghrian:
Eòin na mara ri seinn 'sa toirt sòlas dom' chridh'
'S iad ag itealachd gu h-àrd 'san Eilean Dorcha.

Date: Sat, 9 Mar 91 12:30:15 EST
From: Craig Cockburn
Subject: An t-Eilean Dorcha / The Dark Island

Here are the Gaelic words to 'The Dark Island', this translation done by Iain Aonghas MacLeòid (John Angus Macleod). John Angus won the bardic crown at the Mod in Stirling in 1971 and this is taken from his book: Na Freumhan Thug Dhomh Cothrom Fàs. The book also contains Gaelic versions of Flower of Scotland, The first time I ever saw your face, A red red rose, Bridge over Troubled water, Mull of Kintyre, Isle of Arran as well as many others he has written himself. He's said it's OK for me to post this here.

An t-Eilean Dorcha

Air taobh thall a' chuain seo bu mhiann leam bhith 'n dràsd',
far eil smuaintean an àit' ud gham tharraing gach là,
far eil fraoch cùbhraidh àlainn air beanntan a' fàs
tha dìreadh àrd, àrd os cionn an Eilean Dhorcha.

Sèisd (chorus)

O Eilein bhig m'òige, 's ann riut tha mo mhiann,
sinn a' fàgail tìr-mòr 's a' cur cùrs' chun an Iar;
gheibh mi sòlas an anam nach d'fhairich mi riamh
on a' chiad latha dh'fhàg mi 'n t-Eilean Dorcha.

On chuan thig an oiteag cho socair don òb,
a' cur fàilt' air an allt ruith gu tràigh bhuidhe òir,
far an cluinn mi gach là aighear 's gàir' aig clann òg -
's e mo bhòid a chaoidh nach fhag mi 'n t-Eilean Dorcha.

O sheud Innse Gall, tha thu sealltainn do luach
ri boillsgeadh grèin samhraidh chuir oidhche gu ruaing;
's truagh nach robh mi mar fhaoileig a' saor-shiubhal cuain -
gura luath bhithinn taobh ri m'Eilean Dorcha.

(c) John Angus Macleod 1989

John Angus also runs the Gàidhlig aig deas group - Scottish Gaelic in the south. For more info on GAD or a copy of any of his books, you can contact him at:
 
5 Berkeley Crescent,
Lydney, Gloucestershire,
GL15 5SH.
 
If you do write to him, it would be useful if you could mention my name - I'm trying to persuade John Angus to get onto the computer network and this might be an interesting exercise in showing him the value of being on the network when it comes to spreading Gaelic news.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: GUEST,Alan Ross
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 09:05 AM

I have to correct my own innacuracy, repeated in many places. The TV series 'dark island' was first broadcast in July 1962.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Feb 11 - 02:00 PM

In 1999 my friend martin sang a song called dark island but it was not the one i knew. I was glad to know the writers of the 2 songs. when martin heard the song on a recording from 1966 by calum kennedy he claimed that the words were written by him. this is the true story of the song, i just heard and part of the song you and i did when we were in a band together. the song martin sang years ago was writen in 1963 by stuart ross and first recorded by argow cammeron the same guy who did the waters of kilesqu and the song is part of the slow waltz was written by ian macloclin in the same year of 1963 . i am so glad i still play this song and the others in the set and it has been a great pleasure for me.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: Peter the Squeezer
Date: 13 Feb 11 - 02:07 PM

I've used the tune many times - often before a Church service (on organ, starting with the tune as a solo, building up, then taking down again). I wasn't aware that there were Sassunach words to it!


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: JHW
Date: 14 Feb 11 - 06:00 AM

Very pleased to come across this thread. I'd heard Dark Island a number of times as a melody (probably fiddle) so was a bit irritated when I heard Alan Bell's song changing the tune to fit his words. One of the versions above must be as I heard in the Southfield at Girvan a few years back, fitting the melody.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: GUEST,Georgina Boyes
Date: 14 Feb 11 - 08:11 AM

At the risk of adding further confusion, I don't think "The Dark Island" - which had a tune of that name without words as its sig tune - was a TV series. I heard it on the radio (Radio 4 or even Home Service at that time) with (I think) Edward Da Souza as the main character in the 1960's.

Georgina


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: GUEST,Georgina Boyes
Date: 14 Feb 11 - 08:23 AM

Apologies, The Dark Island was both a radio and TV serial - which the author, Robert Barr (himself a notable actor) then turned into a novel. The radio series (which post-dated the TV version) featured Edward de (not da) Souza, but I can confirm that the series was indeed "a taut, fun listen". More details here -

THE DARK ISLAND is story of espionage in the remote islands of the Outer Hebrides. It starts out with the discovery of a strange, unidentified torpedo, found washed up on shore of a small, nearly uninhabited island. It leads to a long-standing Soviet esponage ring
and an action-filled effort to find and capture the members of the ring.

It originally aired as a TV serial on BBC TV, starting on 8 July 1962. Later, it was done as a 6-part radio serial, airing on BBC Radio 4, from 19 September, 1969 to 24 October, 1969.

Both the TV and radio scripts were written by Robert Barr, who went on to write it into a
novel, published in March of 1973.

The radio serial is a taut, fun listen, very much based in the times, an interesting return to the late '60's Cold War times.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: GUEST,StrachanGirl
Date: 16 Jan 16 - 12:09 PM

Hello all, hoping someone can help me here!

I'm looking to arrange 'The Dark Island' for my community choir and want to make sure I do this without any boundaries crossed in terms of copyright. The lyrics that I know and would be using are the same as the original post. This could possibly be performed later on to the public, so would like to make sure I'm not standing on any toes before I go ahead and create a nice arrangement.

Any help would be great, thanks everyone


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: The Dark Island
From: GUEST,Alan Ross
Date: 17 Jan 16 - 03:17 AM

David Silver's 'Away to the West...' version is copyright to Westminster Music. You can of course perform it in public as per any song. You only have no legal right to claim a copyright of any arrangement.

My father Stewart Ross's copyright version 'in the year long gone by....' is more personal, and not as suitable for choirs. Both these lyrics date from 1963.


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