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Old Gordon Bok song sought-Cuillins of Rhum

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GUEST,Tim 05 Nov 02 - 12:23 PM
Murray MacLeod 05 Nov 02 - 12:36 PM
kendall 05 Nov 02 - 12:37 PM
GUEST 05 Nov 02 - 01:05 PM
Barbara 05 Nov 02 - 02:29 PM
GUEST 05 Nov 02 - 02:59 PM
Murray MacLeod 05 Nov 02 - 06:31 PM
Sandy McLean 21 Nov 02 - 05:17 PM
Julia 21 Nov 02 - 11:17 PM
Sandy McLean 22 Nov 02 - 10:59 AM
TIA 22 Nov 02 - 11:12 AM
Malcolm Douglas 22 Nov 02 - 12:44 PM
GUEST 26 Apr 17 - 11:35 PM
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Subject: Old Gordon Bok song sought
From: GUEST,Tim
Date: 05 Nov 02 - 12:23 PM

From the deepest recesses of my childhood (late 50's or early 60's?), I remember a song on a Gordon Bok album (Folk Legacy?) that I can't find. Title something like "The Coolins of Rhum". Anyone know the actual name of the song and the album? Directions to chords, lyrics and/or ABC also appreciated. Thanks.

Tim


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE CUILLINS OF RHUM (Gordon Bok)
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 05 Nov 02 - 12:36 PM

TANNAHILL WEAVERS LYRICS glossary index
the mermaid's song choice cuts
tannahill weavers

THE CUILLINS OF RHUM


Lyrics by G. Bok, melody traditional arranged by the Tannahill Weavers
We learned this song in a very roundabout way from the singing of Archie Fisher. We first heard it "after hours" in San Francisco by someone whose name has disappeared into the mists of Glenfiddich. Subsequent "trackery downery" led us to Archie's excellent album Sunsets I Have Galloped Into where it is called The Cuillins of Home. The melody is traditional; Gordon Bok is credited with the lyrics, which seem to be based on the English translation of a Gaelic poem to be found in The Road to the Isles by Kenneth MacLeod. We have used his title The Cuillins of Rhum. Rhum is an island lying off the west coast of Scotland, famous for its beauty and known locally as "the island where no one worries for very long". There is a lovely example of this in a story concerning an old married couple living on the island. One night, as they lay in bed, the wife notices that her husband is having difficulty sleeping.

"Archie", she asks, "Why are you not sleeping? Is something worrying you?" "Och, aye", says he, "It's our next door neighbor, Angus Macfadzean. I owe him £500 and I can't pay him." As calmly as you like, his wife gets out of bed, walks to the bedroom window, opens it, and calls out into the evening air, "Angus Macfadzean! My husband does not have £500! He cannot pay you!"

Calmly she walks back to the bed, kisses her husband lovingly on the cheek, and says, "There you are dear, off you go to sleep and let him worry now."



LYRICS:

Soon shall I see your bright shores in the morning
The heather of hills and the rising of morn
The rolling grey sea mist rolls east in the morning
To run the wild hills of the cuillins of Rhum

Far away seaward thy green hills are lovelit
Where runs the hill water afoam to the sea
Like tangle at noontime, like snow wreath in moonlight
As thou who art yearning will yearn it to be

Far away seaward my queenland, my youthland
Far away seaward the cuillins of home
And here in my dream time I'm hearing hill water
The laughter of streams by the cuillins of Rhum


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Subject: RE: Old Gordon Bok song sought
From: kendall
Date: 05 Nov 02 - 12:37 PM

That was on his first album, titled GORDON BOK. It was a Verve Folkways production. I'll see if I can come up with the lyrics.


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Subject: RE: Old Gordon Bok song sought
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Nov 02 - 01:05 PM

Thanks folks, you've given me great leads to follow!

Tim


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Subject: RE: Old Gordon Bok song sought
From: Barbara
Date: 05 Nov 02 - 02:29 PM

The trouble with these old albums is they never had liner notes. It was one of the first records I bought in stereo, and is graced with a picture of Gordon, with a pipe, scowling as he gazes earnestly out to sea, looking all of 17.
I remember the song on the first Bok album as going:

"Far away seaward my green land, my youth land
Far away seaward the cuillins of Rhum
Though far in your dreams I am here in your waters
And laughing o'er streams by the cuillins of Rhum.

When shall I see thy bold shores in the sunlight?
The heather of hills in the rising of morn
The cold and grey seawind blows east in the morning
And runs the wild hills o'er the cuillins of Rhum."

And I once ran into some additional verses in a Marion Zimmer Bradley book, one of the Darkover series. (There, all my sins out of the closet!) So I assume there is another translation out there. Don't like my chances of finding them now.

If you care, the tune is mixolydian, and he accompanies it with a whistle. I probably can generate a tune/MIDI if anyone needs it.

Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Old Gordon Bok song sought
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Nov 02 - 02:59 PM

Barbara:

You're a heroine. As I read your description of the cover, and your recollection of the lyrics, it flooded back. Mentioning the whistle was the final coup -- the tune came back to me.

Thanks, thanks, thanks.

Tim


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Subject: RE: Old Gordon Bok song sought
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 05 Nov 02 - 06:31 PM

As far as the Tannahill Weavers' version is concerned, it looks like the folk process ran riot, if Barbara's lyrics are accurate.

Incidentally, I would love to know when the spelling of "Rhum" became common. I know that when I was a schoolboy in the Highlands, every map of the Western Isles that I ever saw had the island spelt "Rum".

I would guess that "Rum" is still the favored spelling among the islanders.

But I may be wrong. I have been before.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Old Gordon Bok song sought
From: Sandy McLean
Date: 21 Nov 02 - 05:17 PM

Hi Murray,
    I just noticed this old thread.
My ancestors came from Rum to Cape Breton in the early 1800's.
My people always spelled it Rum and pronounced it "Ro-om."
Now it seems to be spelled Rhum and often pronounced as "Rum."
I think that the Englishman who built a castle there after the clearance tried to spell the Gaelic sound with an English phonic.
    I have recently recieved a package in the mail from a person   there. The return address says "Isle of Rum."
                      Slainte,
                           Sandy


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Subject: RE: Old Gordon Bok song sought
From: Julia
Date: 21 Nov 02 - 11:17 PM

I believe this actually came from a collection made by Marjory Kennedy Fraser late in the 19th century. Songs of the Hebrides, The Sea Tangle, etc Gordon's aunt used to sing these songs to him. Incredible melody
Gordon wrote the last verse.
I am told by friend on Skye that the traditional pronounciation is Room- it has bee "anglicized to Rum

here is how I learned it from him

Far away seaward my green land, my youth land
Far away seaward the cuillins of Rhum
At night on the dreamtide I'm hearing hill waters
And laughter of streams at the cuillins of Rhum

Far on the dreamtrack thy green hills are lovelit
Where ride the hill waters down to the sea
They tumble at noontide like snow wreath in moonlight
As those who are yearning would yearn it to be

When shall I see your bold shores in the sunlight
The heather of hills at the rising of morn
The blowing grey sea wind goes east in the morning
To run the wild hills of the cuillins of Rhum


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Subject: RE: Old Gordon Bok song sought
From: Sandy McLean
Date: 22 Nov 02 - 10:59 AM

Before the clearance of Rum in 1826, Kilmory was the largest settlement on the island . Neil was my g-g-grandfather. He died on the immigrant ship St.Lawerence. I wrote this song as a tribute to these people.                  
         Sandy               


                      KILMORY FAREWELL

               
       FAREWELL TO OLD KILMORY AS MY SHIP SAILS OUT TO SEA
                                          
       PAST MY NATIVE ISLE OF RUM THAT I NEVER MORE SHALL SEE                                                                                     THE SAINT LAWRENCE IS A SAILING SHIP, HER CARGO REFUGEES
                                       
      EXILES FROM A MISTY HOME IN SCOTLAND'S HEBRIDES


      BY NAME I'M KNOWN AS NEIL Mc LEAN , A MAN WITH FAMILY                CAST UPON THIS ROAD IN LIFE TO SATISFY MAN'S GREED
      THE SAINT LAWRENCE SAILS A STORMY SEA, MY BODY IT GROWS WEAK
      AND DEATH CAN NOT BE FAR AWAY, I CAN HEAR MY MASTER SPEAK


      AND NOW TO YOU MY MARY DEAR, I BID A LAST ADIEU
      I GO TO LIVE IN HEAVEN NOW BUT MY HEART REMAINS WITH YOU
      FOR SOON ON FAR CAPE BRETON ISLE, OUR CHILDREN THEY WILL GROW
      FEAR NOT FOR I'LL WATCH OVER YOU NO MATTER WHERE YOU GO

                ( REPEAT FIRST TWO LINES OF FIRST VERSE )

(c)1996
A.McLEAN
4Oak Crescent
Port Hawkesbury
Nova Scotia
    B9A3H4
                                                                a.mclean@ns.sympatico.ca


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Subject: RE: Old Gordon Bok song sought
From: TIA
Date: 22 Nov 02 - 11:12 AM

Beautiful. You folks are all the greatest. My kids have been hearing this song every night for two weeks now. Thanks.

Tim


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Subject: RE: Old Gordon Bok song sought
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 22 Nov 02 - 12:44 PM

The Tannahill Weavers don't seem to have read Kenneth MacLeod's book, though they refer to it. Here is the poem as it appeared in The Road to the Isles (1927).

THE COOLIN OF RUM

O Bhrighde! 'tis seaward, the dreamland, the youthland,
O Bhrighde! and seaward the Coolin of Rum,
Afar in the dreamtide I'm hearing hill waters,
Like lilting of streams by the Coolin of Rum.

The Grail of the dreamland, the youthland, is love-lit
Beside the hill waters afoam to the sea,
Like tangle at noontide, like snow-wreath in moonlight,
And thou who art yearning shalt yearn it to be.

O Bhrighde! 'tis seaward, the dreamland, the grail track,
O Bhrighde! and seaward the Coolin of Rum,
Afloat on the dreamtide I'm hearing hill waters
Like laughter of streams by the Coolin of Rum.


"Rum" is printed throughout with an accent mark (not reproducable in html) to indicate a long vowel as described earlier. I don't know why the Tannahills jumped to the conclusion that this is a translation from Gaelic; if they had read MacLeod's notes at the back of the book, they would have known that it is not.


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Subject: RE: Old Gordon Bok song sought-Cuillins of Rhum
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Apr 17 - 11:35 PM

I am trying to find sheet music, or list of chords and lyrics, so I can use this "music about the mountains" in a local program we are doing at our retirement home on May 19.
THANKS!! if you can help me out.
marvin Turner
mat607@epbfi.com


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