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Origins: Isle of Islay

Sidney 05 Jan 03 - 02:56 AM
nutty 05 Jan 03 - 05:26 AM
Jim McLean 05 Jan 03 - 10:22 AM
GUEST,Sidney 05 Jan 03 - 12:02 PM
Strupag 05 Jan 03 - 06:12 PM
Mark Cohen 05 Jan 03 - 08:27 PM
Dita 06 Jan 03 - 08:53 AM
GUEST,Mark E. 29 Nov 10 - 03:52 AM
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Subject: Origins: Isle of Islay
From: Sidney
Date: 05 Jan 03 - 02:56 AM

I know Donovan recorded this song way back when, and I sing it thus:

How high the gulls fly o'er Isle Islay
How sad a farm lad deep in play
I felt like a seed in your land

How well the sheep's bell music makes
Roam o'er the cliffs where fancy takes
I felt like a grain of your sand

How blessed the forest with bird song
How neat the cut peat laid so long
I felt like a seed in your land

Is this traditional? If not, does anyone know who wrote it? It is soooo beautiful!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Isle of Islay
From: nutty
Date: 05 Jan 03 - 05:26 AM

A search on Google shows that words and music are by Donovan Leitch


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Subject: RE: Origins: Isle of Islay
From: Jim McLean
Date: 05 Jan 03 - 10:22 AM

Islay is pronounced eyelah and should not rhyme with 'play' as in the song which tells me the song is not trad.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Isle of Islay
From: GUEST,Sidney
Date: 05 Jan 03 - 12:02 PM

Thanks for the info! I guess for now this song will remain in the livingroom..


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Subject: RE: Origins: Isle of Islay
From: Strupag
Date: 05 Jan 03 - 06:12 PM

I know it's not relevant but try listening to Ian MacDonald's "Maid of Islay".
It's a song about of the boat of the same name which used to come into Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis.
It's Ian's own song and on his first album on the Greentrax label:
It's a great song.
Incidently, Donovan used to live here on the Island of Skye in the late 60's. Perhaps life was such then that he wasn't sure which island he was on!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Isle of Islay
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 05 Jan 03 - 08:27 PM

For the record (so to speak), here are the words from the back cover of Donovan's "For Little Ones" album:

How high the gulls fly oer ISLAY
How sad the farm lad deep in play
Felt like a grain on your sand

How well the sheeps bell music makes
Rovin' the cliff when fancy takes
Felt like a tide left me here

How blest the forest with birds song
How neat the cut peat laid so long
Felt like a seed on your land


As I recall, he ends it with a repeat of the first verse, like this (I don't have a turntable, and my memory is rapidly aging, so I may have the last three lines out of order):

How high the gulls fly o'er Islay
How sad the farm lad deep in play
Felt like a seed on your land
Felt like a tide left me here
Felt like a grain on your sand


Thanks for reminding me of this song. I think Donovan's writing in this period (between his Dylan-wannabe phase and his psychedelic phase) was influenced by traditional music, but is clearly his own.

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Origins: Isle of Islay
From: Dita
Date: 06 Jan 03 - 08:53 AM

Yes this song was written by Donovan.

As Mark says it was on "For the Little Ones" wich formed part of a double box set "Gift From a Flower to a Garden".

There was a cover version recorded by Bob Fox and Stu Luckley.

It was on one of their two albums that have been "Bulmerised", but they rerecorded it on Fellside recently.

love, john


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Subject: RE: Origins: Isle of Islay
From: GUEST,Mark E.
Date: 29 Nov 10 - 03:52 AM

I was fortunate enough to see Donovan perform this song as part of what will always be one of my 10 favorite concerts, in southern California in ?1968? I still have the original box set also, with printed lyrics on paper with the author's illustrations. This was Donovan at his finest, for sure, though I disagree about copying Dylan. D. L. was an original, a fellow traveller, to Bob Dylan, and many or D.L.'s early songs are real musical treasures of my generation, much as are Dylan's that I love as well.


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