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Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???

DigiTrad:
MINGULAY BOAT SONG


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GutBucketeer 15 Mar 99 - 11:50 PM
15 Mar 99 - 11:58 PM
katlaughing 16 Mar 99 - 12:32 AM
Ian Chandler 16 Mar 99 - 03:37 AM
Philippa 16 Mar 99 - 06:57 AM
Philippa 16 Mar 99 - 07:15 AM
Liam's Brother 16 Mar 99 - 10:42 AM
Steve Parkes 16 Mar 99 - 11:02 AM
Penny 16 Mar 99 - 12:01 PM
AlistairUK 16 Mar 99 - 12:50 PM
Pete M 16 Mar 99 - 03:11 PM
Pete M 16 Mar 99 - 04:00 PM
katlaughing 16 Mar 99 - 04:39 PM
Penny 16 Mar 99 - 06:14 PM
Alex 16 Mar 99 - 06:44 PM
Pete M 16 Mar 99 - 06:59 PM
katlaughing 16 Mar 99 - 07:52 PM
GutBucketeer 17 Mar 99 - 12:07 AM
katlaughing 17 Mar 99 - 12:18 AM
Steve Parkes 17 Mar 99 - 03:39 AM
Pete M 17 Mar 99 - 04:21 PM
Bert 17 Mar 99 - 04:39 PM
katlaughing 17 Mar 99 - 06:15 PM
rich r 17 Mar 99 - 07:36 PM
Bev Lawton 18 Mar 99 - 09:02 AM
Philippa 18 Mar 99 - 01:36 PM
Bev Lawton 20 Mar 99 - 01:35 PM
Wotcha 20 Mar 99 - 03:58 PM
Ian 20 Mar 99 - 05:21 PM
Alice 20 Mar 99 - 05:35 PM
Ian C 22 Mar 99 - 03:31 AM
Philippa 22 Mar 99 - 07:42 AM
Ferrara 22 Mar 99 - 08:26 AM
GutBucketeer 23 Mar 99 - 12:23 AM
Wotcha 27 Mar 99 - 12:03 AM
BK 27 Mar 99 - 12:42 AM
Matthew B. 17 Apr 99 - 12:50 PM
Bud Sherman 17 Apr 99 - 06:06 PM
MacRodel@aol.com 17 Apr 99 - 07:44 PM
katlaughing 18 Apr 99 - 03:29 AM
Alice 18 Apr 99 - 09:06 AM
Jerry Friedman 18 Apr 99 - 01:32 PM
John Nolan 18 Apr 99 - 05:35 PM
Pete M 18 Apr 99 - 05:38 PM
Philippa 18 Apr 99 - 05:49 PM
MacRodel@aol.com 18 Apr 99 - 09:33 PM
Steve Parkes 19 Apr 99 - 03:39 AM
Ewan McV (inactive) 19 Apr 99 - 04:40 AM
Sailor boy 19 Apr 99 - 07:47 AM
katlaughing 19 Apr 99 - 02:10 PM
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Subject: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: GutBucketeer
Date: 15 Mar 99 - 11:50 PM

I am trying to learn the Mingulay Boat Song and I am confused about some of the lyrics.

In the second verse the song goes...

What care we though, white the Minch is? What care we for wind or weather?

In some versions I have also seen it as

What care we how wild the Minch is. What care we for windy weather.

Ok does anyone know what a Minch is? Which version makes sense???

Thanks Jim in Silver Spring.


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From:
Date: 15 Mar 99 - 11:58 PM

Jim

I'm not completely certain, but I think a minch is a body of water, like maybe the entrance to a harbour, or a strait.

Possibly someone from Scotland will see this post and set us straight.

Jack Hickman


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Subject: Lyr Add: MINGULAY BOAT SONG (Hugh S. Roberton)
From: katlaughing
Date: 16 Mar 99 - 12:32 AM

Thanks for the interesting question. I love looking for answers to such as this on the 'Net. Found an incredibly interesting 11 page article from the magazine Dalriada at
http://www.dalriada.co.uk/Main1.htm

The author, H. McSkimming, who copyrighted it in 1985, starts out talking about crossing the Minch. If one follows to the last paragraph, one finds a reference to the "Blue Men of the Minch who are responsible for the forever restless stretch of water that lies between the south east of Lewis and Shiant Isles." Apparently the Blue Men spent their time in the water trying to sink ships. Seems the only ones they spared were those who could complete the second half of a verse of poetry which they shouted at the hapless sailors!

Have fun and thanks, again! katlaughing

Also, here are the words of the version which is in the DT database:

MINGULAY BOAT SONG
(Hugh S. Roberton, founder of the Glasgow Orpheus Choir)

Heel yo ho, boys; let her go, boys;
Bring her head round, into the weather,
Hill you ho, boys, let her go, boys
Sailing homeward to Mingulay

What care we though, white the Minch is?
What care we for wind or weather?
Let her go boys; every inch is
Sailing homeward to Mingulay.

Wives are waiting, by the pier head,
Or looking seaward, from the heather;
Pull her round, boys, then you'll anchor
'Ere the sun sets on Mingulay.

Ships return now, heavy laden
Mothers holdin' bairns a-cryin'
They'll return, though, when the sun sets
They'll return to Mingulay.

From Lorrie Wyatt's Folk Legacy Album.
Originally recorded by the McPeake Family.
@sailor
Recorded by Clancy Bros. on Isn't it Grand
filename[ MINGULY
^^


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Ian Chandler
Date: 16 Mar 99 - 03:37 AM

Might help to know that Mingulay should really be pronounced "Minch Gala".


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Philippa
Date: 16 Mar 99 - 06:57 AM

I learned the lines as "how white the spray is"
The Minch is the sea between Skye and the Western Isles (outer Hebrides). I suspect it is a generic word like The Kyles (from Gaelic "caol", a narrowing, a strait), but I can't find it in the available dictionaries.
Mingulay is south of the island of Barra and is no longer inhabited. The name as I've heard it sounds much as you'd expect from the spelling, not at all like "Minch Gala". -ay is a Norse ending meaning island, as in Vatersaigh, Pabbay, Eriskay, Berneray. When Gaelicised, the -ay is usually spelled -aidh or -eidh. Sometimes the y sound is dropped, as in "Bernera" or "Islay" (the y isn't pronounced), a partial explanation for Ian's pronounciation. I found "Miugulaidh" on a Gaelic map, with no "n" sound at all
You'll find a sound sample with the text of the song at: http://web3.foxinternet.net/celtnots/Mingulay.html The article offered by katlaughing is about Lewis, considerably north of Mingulay. You'll find a bit about the song in another article from the same on-line magazine: Barra article


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Philippa
Date: 16 Mar 99 - 07:15 AM

sound samples of "Crossing the Minch" and of the "Mingualy Boat Song" are both available at Taylors traditional tunebook


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 16 Mar 99 - 10:42 AM

Yes, that's right, the Minch is the body of water between the Outer Hebrides and the rest of Scotland including the Inner Hebrides. "How white the Minch is..." refers poetically to rough sea.

Mingulay is the 2nd southernmost of the Outer Hebrides and was uninhabited when I was in that area in the earlier 70s. I was staying on Barra, a few islands to the north, and I rented a car one day to drive Barra's 7 miles of road. From the highest point on Barra, I could see down to Mingulay.

This is a Gaelic speaking area, by the way, so I've always been curious why this song is in English. I assumed it to be a translation. Therefore, the difference in words has never bothered me. There is too some repetition of phrasing in verse and chorus which makes this short song more challenging to remember. This is the first time I've heard The Mingulay Boat song attributed to anyone and I'm happy for that information.

All the best,
Dan Milner


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 16 Mar 99 - 11:02 AM

... And absolutely nothing to do with La Manche; for some reason the french simply will not call it by its correct name, the English Channel! However, I've often wondered: "manche" means "sleeve" - is there any connection with the Gaelic origin of "Minch"?

Steve


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Penny
Date: 16 Mar 99 - 12:01 PM

My excellent French teacher, Miss Fenn, would draw our attention to the shape of the Channel and compare it to one of those lovely folk-dress sleeves to be seen in Normandy and Brittany. People certainly seem to have been able to visualise the shapes of things very early, but MInch/Manche is intriguing.


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: AlistairUK
Date: 16 Mar 99 - 12:50 PM

re steve parkes: Not only the french but a goodly portion of the rest of the world don't call it the english channel in portuguese and spanish it's canal da Mancha (port.) canal la Mancha (span.)

portuguese speaking Alistair


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Pete M
Date: 16 Mar 99 - 03:11 PM

Ah yes Alistair, but what else do you expect from foreigners? I mean, the Portugese are OK, but about the only thing to said in favour of the Spanish is that they aren't French. :-)

The English, the English, the English are best....

Pete M


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Pete M
Date: 16 Mar 99 - 04:00 PM

Back to the subject:

I don't know what " 'The author', H. McSkimming,.." copyrighted in 1985 but it certainly wasn't this song. Not unless we had an incredible amount of deja vu back in the sixties! So far as I remember it was collected / translated by Marjorie Kennedy Fraser, but I'll need to get back to the Library to confirm this.

I've also got a recording somewhere of a Hebridean folk tale about a ship (from Barra I think) being sunk in the Minch by cats (witches familiars) conjured up by the skippers mother. I'd be interested if anyone else has heard this tale and any more background on it.

Pete M


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: katlaughing
Date: 16 Mar 99 - 04:39 PM

Pete M.:

Maybe my foray into html kept the truth hidden?NOI The author I referred to, H. McSkimming, was the author of the article for which I provided the web address. This is a very good and interesting article entitled, "Isles of the Hebrides", published in a magazine called, "Dalriada".

The lyrics I posted were from the DigiTrad database, as noted. katlaughing


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Penny
Date: 16 Mar 99 - 06:14 PM

Place name books not much help - my Scottish one doesn't give Minch (or Mingulay) at all, and a dictionary of British place names says, "it is probably Scandinavian in origin" deriving it from megin - great plus nes - headland. It must have been a bad night for the Vikings to call all that sea a headland.


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Alex
Date: 16 Mar 99 - 06:44 PM

To Pete I submit the old toast: "An English man is the equal of two French men, three Danes or four men from Potsdam. He's worth as much as five of the Dutch, and very nearly half of one Scots man!"


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Pete M
Date: 16 Mar 99 - 06:59 PM

Hi Kat, yes I should have picked that up, sorry pardon. Comes of reading things before brain is properly engaged, and lack of coffee.

Alex, yes I know that one, but as Steve has alluded previously, why would we waste time fighting amongst ourselves when we can gang up on the French?

Pete M


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: katlaughing
Date: 16 Mar 99 - 07:52 PM

HEY! I go to bed with a French Canadian/American every night! And, I let him stay in my house, cloth moi, feed moi, and moi's critters!

And, where would Cajun be without the French/Canadians? And, who can sound as romantic as a Frenchman when he's telling you to get screwed?

Here's hoping you won't hold it against me!

BE NICE!NOI***BG***

katlaughing, stands by her man!


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: GutBucketeer
Date: 17 Mar 99 - 12:07 AM

Wow! Thanks Katlaughling and everyone else for the information! I looked at the DT version and it didn't make sense to me. Now it makes more sense but I am still not sure how I will sing it. This just shows how great mudcatters are. I have 7 or 8 shanty books and I did not find it in any of them.

Jim in Silver Spring


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: katlaughing
Date: 17 Mar 99 - 12:18 AM

JimBunch,

I have a great version of it on a tape called "Fair Stood the Wind" by the group at Mystic Seaport.

First time I ever heard it.

The Mudcateers Come Through, again! Yea!

katlaughing


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 17 Mar 99 - 03:39 AM

Hey katlaughling, I was talking about the French French, not the Canadian French! The kind that wear berets, striped jerseys and strings of onions, and ride bikes - Johnny Foreigner personified (NOI, all you froggies!). You'll be pleased to know, I'm sure, that (and this is based on actual events): Canadians are often mistaken for Americans over here, and treated accordingly, although with due allowance for their unexpected politeness; but when they explain they're Canadian, they are welcomed most cordially, and everyone has a good laugh. (NOI, all you Yanks!)

Steve


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Pete M
Date: 17 Mar 99 - 04:21 PM

Talking of accents, on one project I worked on a vendor brought in an "expert" from California who "endeared" hinself to us by saying something to the effect that he thought all us Australians sounded alike, but when we replied that we had the same trouble with "you Canadians" he seemed to get the hump and go away. (Apologies to all Canadians)

Pete M

PS Kat - Hold it against you? what can I say? (blush) - your other half may be listening.


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Bert
Date: 17 Mar 99 - 04:39 PM

One time this Texan girl said to me "YEW SHAW DOO HA-AVE A PERRRDY AAAKSENT"

And I've got to tell my French-Canadian tale.
I was working as a customer support analyst and had ongoing dealings with a French-Canadian company. I was having great difficulty in making myself understood in English. After several frustrating phone calls I tried talking to them in my very poor "Schoolboy French". They immediately replied in perfect English.

We got on fine after that.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: katlaughing
Date: 17 Mar 99 - 06:15 PM

Bert: reminds me of my grandma who deliberatly would reach inside her dress and turn down her very old-fashioned (nowadays) hearing aid, just so she could plead ignorance of what someone said!

I have a hard time getting my American of French Canadian descent (being very PC here)hubby to answer in any language. Being an engineer of the ethers, his head is always in the clouds. I swear he lives in other realms of microwaves (not the oven variety), field strength analysers (not for checking one's stamina on tour), and various other esoteric machinations of the world of radio and television waves (not found on a beach)!

Steve: I've a new one to add to the NOI I coined, yes I'm bragging: NOT for No Offense Taken! That's right, I am calling here and now, for all Mudcateers to TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for their own feelings and reactions! That's right you can take charge! Let others know their NOI slings and arrows MISSED the target. Use the NOT! Why NOT?***BG***

So, Steve: NOT! from katlaughing!

As for accents, I've always imagined if I ever got to the other side of the water, I'd do everything I could to not sound American! I guess that comes from growing up in the 60's and hearing so much about the "ugly American". Plus, having inherited my grandfather's gift for accents, I've also really tuned my ear to tell the difference between, oh, say, people from the Land of Oz NOI and Englishpersons (PC, again!) I love accents and I love trying to guess where they are from, almost as much as I love trying to adopt them as my own from time to time.

When I was a kid, I used a Scottish accent (authentic, mind) so much, when a girl scout from another troop called one day she asked me where in Scotland I was from! My family used to joke about what I'd sound like that night at the dinner table. Maybe I was a chameleon in a past life?

Pete M: "my other half" is all French in that respect! Cela vie(sp?), eh?!


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: rich r
Date: 17 Mar 99 - 07:36 PM

Getting back to the original song. A version was published in "A Folksinger's Guide to Grassroots Harmony" by Ethel Raim and Josh Dunson (Oak PUblications 1968). The lyrics are pretty much what is in the DT except that they use "Hill you ho". The editors of the book add a little more to the background including the following:

"Here is a sea shanty made for stormy weather that has become gentle in the hands of the McPeakes. Norman Kennedy states that the song was originally about the supernatural powers of an owl, but when the singers of the Hebrides became embarrassed by such ideas, they ceased to sing those words. The McPeakes sang the Mingulay Boat Song during the performance at the Folklore Society of Greater Washington in 1964. Chuck Perdue provided a set of words which he learned from Bryan Sutton as the verses on the tape of the concert were difficult to pick up clearly"

Obviously a bunch of names are dropped in here. Perhaps someone can vouch for the people mentioned. What is more intriguing to me is what are the lyrics of the version about the owl?

rich r


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Bev Lawton
Date: 18 Mar 99 - 09:02 AM

I hate to disillusion you on part of this thread but there is no romantic connection between the "Mingulay Boat Song" and the pipe tune "Crossing The Minch" The tune actually refers to the dangers of crossing the Royal Mile in Edinburgh whilst "under the influence" between two well known pubs - the names escape me for now but one may be THE TRON BAR. It is a well known pipers tune and fairly modern. haven't got the info to hand but will post more later. Regards, Bev lawton


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Philippa
Date: 18 Mar 99 - 01:36 PM

I'm not disillusioned, Bev, I think it's hilarious that musicians equate crossing the mile while inebriated with sailing across the stormy Minch.
It does seem likely from what some sontributors to this thread say, that the name of the Minch is of Spanish or Portugese origin (not to be confused with Mingulay of Norse origin).


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Bev Lawton
Date: 20 Mar 99 - 01:35 PM

The tunes composer was : Pipe Major Donald MacLeod he was in either The Seaforth Highlanders or The Cameron Highlanders, Scottish Military, Highland Division and I guess it was written in 1930'ish can't recall exactly. Problem is the MacLeod's are a famous family of pipers from the Western Isle's streching back many generations from father to son and more than one is called Donald! The bar I mentioned isn't correct, one of the 2 bars involved IS "The Hebridian" and the other has a name connection with the same area (but I still can't recall it) hence the title! I will hazard a guess he wrote it whilst stationed at the barracks in Edinburgh Castle, if you do not know the area the Royal Mile leads directly to the gates of the Castle. The bar I mentioned earlier "The Tron" or "Tron Ceilldh House" (depending on which side of the building you look at!), Davey Square, is the most fantastic place for Celtic folk music four levels with a session on all of them ! Many famous band members hang out there and join in the informal sessions. Another to visit is "The Scotsman's Lounge" for hard-core Highland Pipes etc., all within a short stagger of each other and the Castle. Been a long time since I lived there but go back often and the folk music along "the mile" is amongst the best there is. Regards, Bev Lawton.


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Wotcha
Date: 20 Mar 99 - 03:58 PM

Jim:

Well Jim, guess you now know the history behind the name of Wheaton,Maryland's own Royal Mile Pub ... not to mention the song that is sung by the same lady every time they hold a shanty night there. See you at May's sing (won't be there in April). cheers, Brian


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Subject: Lyr Add: MINGULAY BOAT SONG (Sir Hugh Roberton)
From: Ian
Date: 20 Mar 99 - 05:21 PM

Oops!

Just looked in Paterson & Gray "Songs of Scotland,” 1996 and found the following:

MINGULAY BOAT SONG
(Sir Hugh Roberton)

Hill you ho, boys, let her go, boys,
Bring her head round, now all together.
Hill you ho, boys: let her go, boys;
Sailing home, home to Mingulay.

What care we tho' white the Minch is?
What care we for wind or weather?
Let her go, boys! Ev’ry inch is
Wearing home, home to Mingulay.

Hill you ho, boys; let her go, boys;
Bring her head round, now all together.
Hill you ho, boys: let her go, boys,
Sailing home, home to Mingulay.

Wives are waiting on the bank, or
Looking seaward from the heather;
Pull her round boys! And we'll anchor,
Ere the sun sets at Mingulay.

Hill you ho, boys; let her go, boys;
Bring her head round, now all together.
Hill you ho, boys: let her go, boys,
Sailing home, home to Mingulay.

Sir Hugh Roberton (1874-1952) was conductor of the famous Orpheus Choir of Glasgow for which he made many choral arrangements of Scots songs. He also published songs of the Isles (1950), a collection of traditional tunes for which he invented English words. 'Mairi's Wedding’ (the Lewis Bridal Song), 'Westering Home' and the 'Mingulay Boat Song' were all popularized by Roberton and they remain perennial favourites. The remote, barren island of Mingulay lies to the south of Barra in the Western Isles. Sometimes referred to as 'the nearer St Kilda', it was a crofting and fishing community of about 160 people until 1912. Isolation, infertile land, lack of a proper landing place and the absentee landlord problems familiar to the Western Isles and Highlands, resulted in a gradual disintegration of Mingulay's culture. The process of voluntary evacuation began in 1907 with land raids by the impoverished crofters to the neighbouring island of Vatersay, and Mingulay is now completely deserted. But summer visitors to Barra regularly brave the two-hour journey in exposed seas from Castlebay to Mingulay, inspired by Roberton's evocative but sentimental song, which has no connection with either the island or its people.

Looks like the Mingulay Boat Song is nothing to do with Mingulay either!


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Alice
Date: 20 Mar 99 - 05:35 PM

Thanks for all the background on this song. It's a fun one to sing. Was there a definitive answer regarding the pronunciation of Mingulay? Ian Chandler said Minch Gala. What is correct?

alice in montana


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Ian C
Date: 22 Mar 99 - 03:31 AM

My information comes from Dr. Kay Muhr, who researched amongst Gaelic speakers on Barra. She is now in charge of the Irish Placenames project (which has a site on the internet). There is no-one left on Mingulay to ask, but It seems likely that the people of Barra (some of whom came from Mingulay) would know.

Cheers! Ian


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Philippa
Date: 22 Mar 99 - 07:42 AM

Give Kay my regards, Ian; I met her years ago at Corrymeela, Co Antrim. Does she speak Scottish Gaelic? I think the stress would be on the first syllable - the way you wrote it people might think it is on the 'GA' of 'gala'


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Ferrara
Date: 22 Mar 99 - 08:26 AM

Hi. Jim, sounds like it would be a local phone call, if you still need the tune I could get it to you easily enough. E-mail for phone number.

In about 1979 I was doing a computer project at the Pentagon and saw a lovely small oil painting hanging over someone's desk. It reminded me of my one visit to Skye, so I asked the man about it. He said it had been hanging over his bed at a bed & breakfast in Scotland, I forget the town, and it had reminded him of the scenery all around him. He stayed for a while and got to know his hosts, and they gave him the painting. He pointed to the largest island and said, "That's Mingulay, over there." The family had stayed in touch and one of the sons had visited him.

By the way, I took three trips to Europe in the late 70's and people were absolutely wonderful to us in spite of our obvious American-ness. We even found a helpful taxi driver in Paris during the Paris Air Show!

One more question, for JimBunch and Wotcha, you seem to be going to the shanty sings at the Royal Mile in Wheaton. It's about two fairly plebeian (not Royal) miles from my home. I've been wanting to go for months, but have allergies and I've heard it's pretty full of cigarette smoke. How bad is it? (Remember I'm a delicate flower, it might be fine for someone who isn't allergic to the stuff.)


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: GutBucketeer
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 12:23 AM

Hi Ferrara:

Thanks for the offer of the tune. I have found several Midi's of the tune on the Web, and have a printed version in the "Songs and Dances of Scotland".

The Pub Sing has grown in the last year. I took about 9 months off and it went from about 15 people in the back of the pub, to basically taking over the whole bar. It's great, and there are several professional singers that often come, but your turn only comes up maybe once or twice an evening. The smoke isn't as bad as I remember the blues bars in Chicago to be, but you still wake up with the smell in your hair.

It's funny, last month I sang for two hours. I had one beer not because I didn't want to order another but because it was so crowded that the waitress only came around once. Well, I started driving home and filled with the music I was singing at the top of my lungs and my arms were a flailing. Before you know it there I was on University Blvd. with flashing lights behind me. It turns out the parking lot was well lit, and I had forgotten to turn on my lights. Plus, I was driving slow because I don't see that well at night. Well, when the officer heard that I had been to the Shanty Sing he put me through every test he could think of (I don't think he really believed me when I said I had only had one beer). I can't say the alphabet from d to w fast without singing the ABC song even when I'm sober. Anyway, He finally let me off with a warning. I think he followed me for about a mile after he let me go.

To make a long story short, the smoke is noticeable but not too bad.

Do you go to the Folk Society sing alongs on the first Friday of every month, and do they sing Shanties there? I always have my son's Cubscouts, but someday...

Jim Bunch


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Wotcha
Date: 27 Mar 99 - 12:03 AM

Jim and Ferrara:

The old pub can get pretty smoked up but that's cos Maryland has not yet passed any legislation on smoking tobacco in bars. To be fair though, the advent of more shanty singers has reduced the number of smokers who are relegated to the public bar. Come on down!

Some of the regular singers are trying out a new venue in Old Town Alexandria -- the third Tuesday of each month at The Hard Times Cafe on King Street: since that is Virginia, the smoking regime may be somewhat different (despite being home of RJ Reynolds et al).

Jim, some free legal advice: try not to sing the Sailor's Alphabet when the officers stop you next time ... they get all confused when you get to "S is for stunstail ..."

Cheers, Brian


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: BK
Date: 27 Mar 99 - 12:42 AM

Re some of the earlier postings: Many English still believe that "The wogs begin at Calais."

Otherwise: fascinating info abt an interesting song; so just how is Mingulay supposed to be pronounced, in case I get crazy enough to try to learn it (been tempted, as I don't know enough Scottish songs).

Cheers, BK


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Matthew B.
Date: 17 Apr 99 - 12:50 PM

Ask Dan Milner to tell you the story about leaving a man on Mingulay!


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Bud Sherman
Date: 17 Apr 99 - 06:06 PM

Earlier in this thread there was a discussion about the similarity of Minch and Manche. Would the Celtic presence in Brittany be the connection? Breton is considered to be one of the still living Celtic languages. Brittany means "little Britian" as I recall. Many Celts fled there when fleeing the Saxons, etal.


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: MacRodel@aol.com
Date: 17 Apr 99 - 07:44 PM

just tae add tae th' confusion, th' sang "Mingulay Boat Sang" is th' pipe chune "Creag Guanach", an' in th' notes on ma sheet music, it says that the chune was "originally a Lochaber tune and derives its name from a crag in Glenroy. It is a very old hunting song that comes from ancient times in the Highlands...also entitled "The Aged Bard's Wish." In it he tells that his last resting place should be near his favourite hunting grounds near Loch Treig, and speaks of pastoral scenes of great beauty and tenderness. The popular modern 'Mingulay Boat Song' uses the air but not the sentiments." Hey, don't blame th' piper, I'm just quotin'! -cheers, Sumac, Apprentice Piper


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: katlaughing
Date: 18 Apr 99 - 03:29 AM

So....SuMac! Are ye goin' ta post 'em for us ta read? Bein' of partial Highland heritage, I'd luv ta knoo wha' they are.

Thanks,

katlaughing, whose Grandmas & greatgrandma were a Crawford, a Ewing, and a Fountain, two originally from Nova Scotia, farther back all from Bonnie Scotland!


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Alice
Date: 18 Apr 99 - 09:06 AM

so, Ian, is it MINCH Gala, Minch GAla, or Minch GaLA??

alice


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Jerry Friedman
Date: 18 Apr 99 - 01:32 PM

I hope I'm not being a curmudgeon to point out that no one has presented a single scrap of evidence that "Minch" comes from French, Spanish, or Portuguese. All those languages have a word that means a similar body of water and has a similar sound. That's it. Stop before you land on a conclusion!


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: John Nolan
Date: 18 Apr 99 - 05:35 PM

One source, Johnston's Place names of Scotland, 1892, theorizes Minch is from the Norse megin nös (great ness)or megin nish, shortened to min-nish, and corrupted to Minch. On the other hand,in the Concise Scots Dictionary, minch is equivalent to mince, and therefore "what care we how white the minch is" may mean, "we are so starving that we are going to eat that meat pie, whether it is completely baked or not."


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Pete M
Date: 18 Apr 99 - 05:38 PM

Precisely Jerry, you may as well conclude that it refers to feeding fish because of the similarity to "Munch".

Added to which the theory that the Celts "fled" anywhere to escape Saxons or anyone else has been discredited by genetical research. Data from the Human genome project indicates that there is a common racial / ethnic strain running from Ireland (ALL of it) across Wales, across all of Southern England to Essex and extending into Western France. The prick is mightier than the sword, and assimilation easier than extermination.

Pete M


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Philippa
Date: 18 Apr 99 - 05:49 PM

I don't know that there's any connection between the names Mingulay and Minch; Mingulay is but one of many islands reached by sailing the Minch. The Norse 'megin' theory is intriguing and maybe does after all indicate common origin for the two names for the Gaelic 'Miugulaidh' sounds something like 'Mig-oo-lye' (emphasis on first syllable and no 'n' sound; a Barra native confirmed that 'Miugulaidh' is the Gaelic name used by Barra people; I'm not sure I remember his pronunciation of the third syllable correctly; it may have been closer to 'lay' than to 'lye').
I don't know if we have more concrete evidence, but a Spanish/Portugese derivation for the Minch isn't implausible; they were seafarers.


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: MacRodel@aol.com
Date: 18 Apr 99 - 09:33 PM

katlaughin': if th' wairds tae th' "Aged Bard's Wish" haed been on th' pipe music's liner notes, I'd hae been th' fairst tae send 'em tae ye; as 'tis, I've sent ye aa' thaur was exceptin' th' henscratches an' staves, an' aa' those wee sma' notes that pass fer pipe music. I'm that sorry! -SuMac, Apprentice Piper


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 19 Apr 99 - 03:39 AM

Tut-tut, Pete! Surely you mean "the penis mightier than the sword"?

Steve


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Ewan McV (inactive)
Date: 19 Apr 99 - 04:40 AM

I'm fascinated to learn that someone says that Mingulay is regularly pronounced Min Gala. I've never heard such a pronunciation in the mouths of Scots or Gaelic speakers, but anything is possible in ths wild world of ours. There are two ways I've heard it said is something like the following :

more usually : ming goo lay sometimes : min geeue lay In either case the emphasis is slightly but not heavily on the first and third syllables. Ewan McVicar


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Sailor boy
Date: 19 Apr 99 - 07:47 AM

It may be of interest to note that there is a pipe tune called Crossing The Minch otherwise known as Crossing The Minge in piping circles. This translation places a very different connotation on the words of the song and it should therefore be re-classified as Lewd and Baudy.

I hope this helps.


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: katlaughing
Date: 19 Apr 99 - 02:10 PM

SuMac, never fear, darlin', I shoula guessed thar'd be na words fer a "piper" ta sing, else how'd he pipe?:->

Sailor Boy, will you share those of the lewd and bawdy nature, or did I miss something?

On my tape from the singers at the Mystic Seaport, in CT, they pronounce it Ming(as in ming dynasty) gah lay with the accent on the first two syllables.

Thanks,

katlaughing


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