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Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???

DigiTrad:
MINGULAY BOAT SONG


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Who's playing this Mingulay Boat Song? (23)
Origin: Mingulay Boat Song (18)
Licensing Mingulay Boat Song (4)
Review: Roberton's 'Songs of the Isles' (11)
Mingalay variant/Civil war marching song (18)
Lyr Req: The Mingulay Boat Song (33)
Lyr Req: Mingulay - extra verse please (4)
Chord Req: Mingalay? / Mingulay Boat Song (6)
Lyr Req: Civil War Lyrics to Mingulay Boat Song? (4)
Mingulay Boat Song again (39)
Mingulay on the Orchid CD (5)


Georgiansilver 11 Oct 21 - 08:32 AM
GUEST 11 Oct 21 - 08:19 AM
GUEST 11 Oct 21 - 08:15 AM
Georgiansilver 11 Oct 21 - 07:34 AM
Allan Conn 10 Oct 21 - 06:16 AM
GUEST,Rossey 09 Oct 21 - 02:59 PM
GUEST,Don Day 09 Oct 21 - 12:10 PM
Joe Offer 08 Oct 21 - 02:29 PM
GUEST,Roissey 08 Oct 21 - 01:00 PM
Georgiansilver 08 Oct 21 - 11:27 AM
GUEST 22 Oct 20 - 12:09 PM
Mrrzy 21 Oct 20 - 10:34 AM
Felipa 20 Oct 20 - 07:16 PM
Felipa 20 Oct 20 - 07:07 PM
Jim Brown 03 Apr 15 - 02:38 AM
Lighter 02 Apr 15 - 07:27 AM
GUEST 02 Apr 15 - 06:54 AM
Joe Offer 02 Apr 15 - 04:02 AM
Jim Brown 02 Apr 15 - 03:53 AM
GUEST,DTM 01 Apr 15 - 07:42 PM
Lighter 01 Apr 15 - 07:38 PM
Jack Campin 01 Apr 15 - 06:31 PM
Joe Offer 01 Apr 15 - 06:07 PM
Gallus Moll 20 Mar 15 - 07:52 AM
Tattie Bogle 19 Mar 15 - 05:04 AM
FreddyHeadey 19 Mar 15 - 04:32 AM
Tattie Bogle 18 Mar 15 - 09:58 PM
GUEST,Jim I 18 Mar 15 - 09:19 PM
Tattie Bogle 18 Mar 15 - 09:16 PM
Gallus Moll 18 Mar 15 - 06:25 PM
Gallus Moll 18 Mar 15 - 05:49 PM
GUEST,# 18 Mar 15 - 03:35 PM
GUEST 18 Mar 15 - 03:34 PM
Lighter 18 Mar 15 - 03:16 PM
Lighter 18 Mar 15 - 03:03 PM
FreddyHeadey 18 Mar 15 - 07:33 AM
Joe Offer 18 Mar 15 - 04:43 AM
GUEST,guest 15 Sep 12 - 03:25 PM
Darowyn 13 May 10 - 02:14 PM
Dave MacKenzie 13 May 10 - 01:37 PM
Rob Naylor 13 May 10 - 01:09 PM
Mr Fox 13 May 10 - 06:37 AM
Rob Naylor 13 May 10 - 02:55 AM
Mr Fox 12 May 10 - 09:15 PM
GUEST,Allan 12 May 10 - 02:35 PM
Dave MacKenzie 11 May 10 - 07:28 PM
Rob Naylor 11 May 10 - 07:11 PM
Gutcher 11 May 10 - 04:50 PM
Dave MacKenzie 11 May 10 - 08:22 AM
IanC 11 May 10 - 07:05 AM
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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 11 Oct 21 - 08:32 AM

Yes I believe te white id the head of the foam... It wouldn't matter how 'wide' the 'Minches'... or 'Minch is' as some suggest.


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Oct 21 - 08:19 AM

... so 'white' fits the sea state and 'wide' is not relevant.


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Oct 21 - 08:15 AM

So far as the present names on the chart are concerned a boat heading for Mingulay is not crossing either Minch, it's going through one or both of them them and several hours from home. If it needs a song to cheer the crew it may well be hard work beating (repeatedly bringing the head round) into the prevailing wind and so many hours from home.

Having sung the song doing something similar in a modern plastic boat in the Little Minch that's what the words conjure up.


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 11 Oct 21 - 07:34 AM

Surely Allan Conn... I believe the ship is sailing homeward to Mingulay through 'The Minches' not one Minch. How do you feel about that?


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Allan Conn
Date: 10 Oct 21 - 06:16 AM

Re Georgiansilver's suggestion that the lyric is "the Minches" rather than "the Minch is" I don't think that is right myself.

There is an area of the sea called "The Minches" because there is more than one Minch. The larger wider channel which is between mainland Scotland and Lewis, with Skye to the south, is called "the North Minch" or more generally it is just called "the Minch".

Whereas the smaller strait between Skye and North Uist is called "the Little Minch" or "Lower Minch"

When folk talk about "the Minch" though they are generally talking about the former.


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: GUEST,Rossey
Date: 09 Oct 21 - 02:59 PM

Broadly speaking the Minch may be wide depending on your outlook. Aural word variations abound with the Mingulay Boat Song   Some versions have Keel your haul, others have Heel yo ho, Hill yo ho. Wide the Minch, White the Minch..   Still the same copyright work by Roberton, though on the verge of running out of official copyright at the end of next year. I do wonder though whether the publishers will still collect on it - especially with digital distribution companies using software matches? Roberton died in 1952, so after 70 years it falls out of copyright at the start of 2023.   A number of early 20th century songs should be falling out of copyright due to post 70 years of authorship deaths, but I don't know if this is being acted upon. Harry Lauder died in 1950, so his self-penned Scots songs should be out of copyright. Westering Home with Roberton's words will also be fully out of copyright in a year's time (though everyone has been acting as if that one is out of copyright anyway!)


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: GUEST,Don Day
Date: 09 Oct 21 - 12:10 PM

I always thought it to be 'How WIDE the Minch is', cause it is init. Wide!


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Oct 21 - 02:29 PM

When we wanted to include "Mingulay" in the Rise Again Songbook, I looked long and hard to find out who held the copyright. I did find one printed version that had a copyright from some company - I can't be certain, but I think it was Curwen. Since our publisher, Hal Leonard, controlled rights to Curwen in the US, they let us print the song - but it was a little "iffy."
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: GUEST,Roissey
Date: 08 Oct 21 - 01:00 PM

Yes those words are by Hugh. S. Roberton.. it is a copyright work, but people assume trad. on the whole thing. The words and story of the song are well known on this site and reproduced elsewhere, Hugh S. Roberton died in 1952, so in UK law it will be fully out of copyright anyway, at the end of next year.

My late father recorded it as a single, with seagulls and waves on the intro and outro for Grampian records in 1965. Godawful version really, with an accordion, plinky plonk piano and barely audible snare.


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 08 Oct 21 - 11:27 AM

The 'Minches' is an area off the west of Scotland......see here... https://sac.jncc.gov.uk/site/UK0030393    Si I would suggest that this has at some stage been mis-written as 'Minch is'. When I used to sing this in the 1970/80s...these are the words I used then.

Heel ya ho boys, let her go boys,
Swing her head round now all together.
Heel ya ho, boys let her go, boys;
Sailing homeward to Mingulay.

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

Wives are waiting by the quayside,
Wives are waiting for break o'day o
Swing her round boys! And we'll anchor,
Before the sunrise on Mingulay.

Heel ya ho, boys; let her go, boys;
Swing her head round, now all together.
Heel ya ho, boys and we'll anchor ,
By the sunrise on Mingulay.


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Oct 20 - 12:09 PM

Clancys had probably heard of the Minch- white and wild describes it well on most days!


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Mrrzy
Date: 21 Oct 20 - 10:34 AM

The Clancies sing What care we though white the spray, no minch. I only heard og the Minch of Moor from The Witch's Boy.

And the talk of accents reminded me of my mom, when asked by a cab driver where her accent was from, answered in her heavy Hungarian [overlaid with German, Serbian and French] accent, Eet comes frrom trrying to speek Eenglish!


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Subject: Creag Ghuanach, tune source for Mingulay
From: Felipa
Date: 20 Oct 20 - 07:16 PM

it was my own mistake, mixing up the Roberton songs. I should have posted the Creag Ghuanach lyrics, links and info on a Mingulay thread - not at https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=1278
(it's around midnight here; I shouldn't do web research when tired!!)


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Subject: RE: Creag Ghuanach
From: Felipa
Date: 20 Oct 20 - 07:07 PM

I'm just after posting lyrics of Creag Ghuanach and information on it's author on a discussion thread re Westering Home, because I read that Hugh Roberton based the tune of Westering Home on Creag Ghuanach. Well, there seems to be a lot more votes for Creag Ghuanach as being the source for the tunes of Lochaber and Mingulay. Roberton wrote the lyrics of both Westering Home and Mingulay.

re Jim Brown's message just above, "Creag Ghuanach" is a section of "Òran na Comhachaig" and presumably has it's own tune. Also, the poetry is so old that there is likely to be more than one tune associated with it by now.


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Jim Brown
Date: 03 Apr 15 - 02:38 AM

First of all, apologies for making a mess of the Gaelic title of the owl song in my previous message, It should be "Òran na Comhachaig".

Second, I've just found a recording of some verses of the song being sung at Tobar an Dualchais (http://www.tobarandualchais.co.uk/en/fullrecord/104342/1), but not to a tune with any similarity to the Mingulay Boat Song melody as far as I can detect.


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Lighter
Date: 02 Apr 15 - 07:27 AM

Almost exactly a dozen years ago on another thread, Jim McLean observed that

"The Hawk that Swoops on High (by Pipe Major J MacKay) also goes by the Gaelic title 'Creag Ghuanach', the 'Nodding Stone' and is, as lighter says, the same melody as the Mingulay Boat Song. I've played it many times."

On the same thread, George Seto gives the words to the sixteenth- century poem "Creag Guanach" by Donald McDonald:

http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=10414

It seems to me that the pipe tune would have to be adjusted (just a little) to fit the Gaelic words. So it would seem that the Mingulay *tune* was not called "Creag Guanach" except by the very few who were aware that the Gaelic words had been set to it and unaware that it was composed (as "The Hawk that Swoops on High") by Pipe Major MacKay.
(Sometimes it's given as "Creag Ghuanach" - don't know which is correct.)

Does anyone know when MacKay wrote "The Hawk That Swoops on High"? Or know anything about him? "The Hawk" was in print in 1936 as part of the pipe repertoire of the Seaforth Highlanders, shortly before Roberton wrote "Mingulay."

"The Hawk that Swoops on High" is not quite identical to "Mingulay" – and, IMO, not quite so good. The tunes are, however, essentially the same.

(PS: Have just heard a commercial recording of Mingulay that contains the lines, "What care we/ Though fighting inches?")


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Apr 15 - 06:54 AM

From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 19 Mar 15 - 04:32 AM

That octave leap is a great test to sort the singers from the rest of us!
Though I don't enjoy the 1960s BBC style I do like the speed and singing of Kenneth McKellar here Kenneth McKellar and the two melodies.


This style of singing Scottish traditional music was the sole reason I hated it in my youth.


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Apr 15 - 04:02 AM

Thanks, Jack - I forget to check folkinfo, and there's wonderful information there:


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Jim Brown
Date: 02 Apr 15 - 03:53 AM

If the tune is called "Creag Guanach", that might make sense of the connection to a song about an owl that someone asked about way back on this thread and never got an answer. There is an old Gaelic song from Lochaber called "Oran a' Chòmhachag" ("The Song of the Owl", often called "The Owl of Strone" in English), in which, among other things, an ancient owl tells somebody about the heroes of the past and the great hunting expeditions that she has seen, particularly around Creag Guanach (sometimes written Creag Uanach). This author of the poem, Donald son of Finlay of the Lays, is said to have been a famous hunter in Lochaber in the sixteenth century.

There is a Gaelic text of the song with an English translation in "Duanaire na Sracaire / Songbook of the Pillagers: Anthology of Medieval Gaelic Poetry" ed. by Wilson McLeod and Meg Bateman (Edinburgh: Birlinn, 2007). Unfortunately I can't find a translation online. There are recordings of part of the song at http://www.bbc.co.uk/alba/oran/orain/creag_uanach/ but it looks as if they can only be listened to in the UK, so I can't check if it is the same tune. Does anyone know?


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: GUEST,DTM
Date: 01 Apr 15 - 07:42 PM

I recall finding an old vynil 33rpm of John Alan Cameron's.
On the sleeve notes he described the Minch as being"a river in Scotland".
Deary me, you'd think a Cape Bretoner would have known better.


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Lighter
Date: 01 Apr 15 - 07:38 PM

As the late, ever knowledgeable Malcolm Douglas noted in 2006, "The original tune was a pipe tune, 'Creag Guanach'; from, not called, Lochaber. Roberton had it from memory and had forgotten its name."


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Jack Campin
Date: 01 Apr 15 - 06:31 PM

You already have the MIDI. There is an ABC file from your own site. Just paste it into an ABC-to-MIDI converter if you want to waste a minute or two on an entirely useless activity.

http://abcnotation.com/tunePage?a=www.joe-offer.com/folkinfo/songs/abc/749/0000&m=p


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Subject: ADD: Mingulay Boat Song (original) Hugh S Roberton
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Apr 15 - 06:07 PM

Hi, Gallus Moll. I thought I had posted this, but I can't find it. My copy of the book arrived last weekend, and I typed the lyrics up for the Rise Again Songbook. Lighter also bought a copy of the book, and posted the index here (click).

Roberton's version from Songs of the Isles:

MINGULAY BOAT SONG
(Hugh S. 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 though white the Minch is,
What care we for wind or weather?
Let her go boys! every inch is
Wearing 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.


Words by Hugh S. Roberton
Traditional Gaelic tune (probably Lochaber) arranged by Hugh S. Roberton

Copyright USA 1938, by Hugh S. Roberton

from Roberton's Songs of the Isles, J.Curwen & Songs, London, 1950
pp. 22-23


I'm short of time now, but somebody please remind me to post a MIDI after 15 April 2014. Better yet, transcribe a MIDI from the book and send it to me for posting.
joe@mudcat.org


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 20 Mar 15 - 07:52 AM

I have Hugh S Roberton's 'Songs of the Isles' book and was wondering if there is some way I can copy / paste The Mingulay Boat Song (plus index, front cover etc) into this dialogue box?

If there is please explain it to me in very simple terms -- -- -


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 19 Mar 15 - 05:04 AM

Yes, that's the second tune for the verses. I don't do the octave leap version(though I could!) simply because I learned it the other way.

(Incidentally, another song that is rarely sung with its 2 parts of tune is Burns' song "Green Grow the Rashes" - Rod Paterson does both parts, but not many others do. Again it's a more challenging range to do both parts!)


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 19 Mar 15 - 04:32 AM

That octave leap is a great test to sort the singers from the rest of us!
Though I don't enjoy the 1960s BBC style I do like the speed and singing of Kenneth McKellar here Kenneth McKellar and the two melodies.


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 18 Mar 15 - 09:58 PM

Me too! I was soundly berated by someone at an English folk festival for singing the other tune to the verses: "never 'eard of it" was his scathing remark, really rubbishing me!
Also some versions have that octave leap in it (as per McCalmans' version) whereas most people only go up a fifth on the word "let". Both versions are shown on Google images


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: GUEST,Jim I
Date: 18 Mar 15 - 09:19 PM

I have always understood that the chorus and the verse were sung to different tunes. Looking at '100 Scottish Songs' does seem to confirm this but almost everyone I have ever heard sing this sings both parts to the same tune.

Just as a matter if interest I have just nipped through a half dozen versions on You Tube and so far the only people I could find singing the right tune (as I understand it) was a clip of the Corries.


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 18 Mar 15 - 09:16 PM

Masses of individual scores and arrangements on this site here: 304 items on 26 pages.
http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/sm/composer|10034-b/9
(Sorry, iPad refusing to do blickies!)

According to Wikipedia, Roberton did found the Glasgow Orpheus Choir and disbanded in 1951 when he retired. It also says that the choir was banned from broadcasting by the BBC during WW 2 as he was an affirmed pacifist.


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 18 Mar 15 - 06:25 PM

OK I did a little checking- St Andrews Halls burned down in 1962 so I was taken to Ne'erday Messiah Concerts there- but it must have been with The Phoenix Choir as The Orpheus was disbanded in 1951 ---- but my father certainly had old fashioned records (75s?) of Orpheus that he played, All in an April's Evening, many Scots Psalms, Scots / Hebridean songs (Margery Kennedy Fraser -- OK I know there are issues with her- - !)
the Orpheus was magical, legendary.


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 18 Mar 15 - 05:49 PM

I think Hugh Roberton conducted the legendary Orpheus Choir, and arranged pieces for them to sing- - I believe they were part of the soundtrack of 'Whisky Galore'? - Would it have been Hugh Roberton who formed the Orpheus choir?

I seem to recall being taken to St Andrew's Halls (Glasgow) behind Mitchell Library for the Ne'erday Concert of The Messiah by The Orpheus-(or was it the Phoenix?! I should've checked dates before posting) St Andrew's Halls burned down - when? 1950s? 1960s?

The Phoenix Choir grew from the remnants of the Orpheus - - not sure why the choir ceased? Was it when Hugh Roberton died?


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: GUEST,#
Date: 18 Mar 15 - 03:35 PM

Tha twas me.


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Mar 15 - 03:34 PM

"Image Not Available
Songs of The Isles
Roberton, Hugh S

Published by J Curwen & Sons Ltd., 1950"

http://www.abebooks.co.uk/servlet/SearchResults?isbn=&an=roberton%2C%20hugh%20s&tn=songs%20of%20the%20isles&n=100121503&cm_sp=mb

A bunch available at that site.


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Mar 15 - 03:16 PM

It was Kipling, not Roberton, who fumbled his geography in "Mandalay," not "Mingulay.

in Kipling's day, poetic licenses were issued more freely than they are now. But is there a man or woman with soul so dead that they regret the line where "dawn comes up like thunder out o' China 'crost the bay"?


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Mar 15 - 03:03 PM

For those who believe that Roberton "got his geography wrong" because he was writing in Glasgow (which would must have confused anybody, right?), "Minch" makes perfect sense, even if it is far from Mingulay.

If a fishing boat is returning to Mingulay from the northwestern mainland, it *must go through* the stormy Minch and then the South Minch in order to get home.

In any case, "Mingulay Boat Song" is now a "traditional song" by any definition. Few singers know or care who wrote it, most assume it's ancient, it really is based on a traditional melody, and so many variations have developed since 1938 that not even the Mudcat knows what the original lyrics were.

I haven't seen Roberton's 1950 publication either, but presumably the recording by the professional, copyright-conscious Kenneth McKellar is essentially Roberton's own text.

McKellar's version, from "Kenneth McKellar's Scotland," 1967.


Chorus:
Hill-yo-ho, boys! Let her go, boys!
Bring her head round, now all together.
Hill yo ho, boys! Let her go boys,
Sailing home, home to Mingulay.

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

Chorus

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.

Chorus (2x)

My *guess* is that if Roberton had written further stanzas, McKellar would have sung them. The track is only about two minutes long. It makes the point and quits. No candles, no bawling kids.

I liked the song so much when I heard KM sing it around 1971 that I refused to listen to it again for many years!

"Hill-yo-ho!" sounds to me like one of those hearty cries made up by a romantic songwriter.

Versions beginning "Keel your haul, boys!" don't have a clue, of course, about what "keelhaul" means. It just sounds like a cool thing sailors do.

PS, now there's a faux American Civil War version as well:

thread.cfm?threadid=77029#1369775


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 18 Mar 15 - 07:33 AM

? There do seem to be a few in the UK
http://www.abebooks.co.uk/Songs-Isles-Curwen-Edition-No-6375/4406302215/bd

http://www.abebooks.co.uk/Songs-Isles-Volume-Curwen-Edition-2985/11049721687/bd

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/offer-listing/B001AQEQNU/ref=tmm_pap_used_olp_sr?ie=UTF8&condition=used&sr=&qid=

& USA
http://www.ebay.com/itm/1950-Songs-of-the-Isles-Hugh-S-ROBERTON-Imperial-Ed-Scottish-Islands-Highlands-/221703846974?pt=LH_Defau
The fidgety bairn
Highland cradle song : O hush thee, my babie
Ho-ree, ho-ro, my little wee girl
In praise of Isla
Island spinning song
Air falalalo
Joy of my heart
Lewis bridal song : Mairi's wedding
Mingulay boat song
Morag's cradle song
Ossianic processional
Iona boat song
Shuttle and loom
Sing at the wheel
The top of the morning
Uist tramping song
Westering home
Marie's wedding
The Glenlyon lament
The dashing white sergeant
6" x 9", stapled wraps, 48 pp.
    Thanks, Freddy. I bought the one on eBay. -Joe-


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Mar 15 - 04:43 AM

We've had lots of versions of this song posted, but I'm not convinced that we've ever found the original lyrics by Sir Hugh Roberton. Ian (click) came up with lyrics that sound quite authentic, but they come from a book published in 1996. Anybody have lyrics that actually come from Roberton?
I'd love to get hold of Roberton's 1950 book, Songs of the Isles (1950),.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 15 Sep 12 - 03:25 PM

2012 09 15

"La Manche" is from Latin "manica" and "muinchille" or "mainchille" in Irish or Scots Gaelic is from its Latin diminutive "manicula". Geographical features often have more than one name. Isn't it possible that these straits were informally called "the sleeve" and that the word "muinchille" underwent a sound change and was shortened owing to its use by English speakers.


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Darowyn
Date: 13 May 10 - 02:14 PM

Assuming that the Scottish vowel shift has consistent rules, (a very big assumption!) then if the word were derived from "La Manche", would it not become "Monch" in Scottish dialect?
A Mon's a Mon for a' that.
Cheers
Dave


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 13 May 10 - 01:37 PM

It was Wikipedia anyway. Nothing to do with Google.


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 13 May 10 - 01:09 PM

I've read the whole article, and it still says nothing about the origins of the name other than *confirming* that it's not gaelic...which we'd *already* established many posts above.

Have *you* read the thread? Or indeed my reply to your post in context? If so I totally fail to understand your aggressive stance.

The article mentions nothing about a French derivation for the name...and we've already discussed that probability at some length.

We'd also discussed the probability that a writer in Glasgow had got his geography out.

So what *exactly* did your "google is your friend" post and link add to the discussion? To say nothing of your subsequent rude reply.


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Mr Fox
Date: 13 May 10 - 06:37 AM

The map also confirms that Mingulay is in the Hebridean Sea and not near either of the Minches.

It doesn't have to be right next door - it's the area they fish in. (and its quite possible that the writer of the song got his geography slightly out).

It says nothing about the origins of the names.

It doesn't? Whoops, I should have read the whole article! Not Gaelic? Um, I know it sounds silly (for western Scotland) but how about French? Their name for the English channel is Le Manche (the sleeve). Could some Gallic explorer have used it in the Hebrides as well?


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 13 May 10 - 02:55 AM

Yes and no, Mr Fox: the link doesn't actually clarify anything much regarding the discussion above, other than confirming that the Gaelic name for the Minch bears no resemblance to "Minch". The map also confirms that Mingulay is in the Hebridean Sea and not near either of the Minches. It says nothing about the origins of the names.


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Mr Fox
Date: 12 May 10 - 09:15 PM

Google is your friend


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: GUEST,Allan
Date: 12 May 10 - 02:35 PM

"As for non-Scandinavian roots, you wouldn't find many Anglo-Saxons in the Highlands and Islands till fairly recently, and their place-names are usually recognisably English rather than Anglo-Saxon."

Quite so common sense suggest it is Scandinavian rather than Anglo-Saxon. The Hebrides were owned by the King of Norway and didn't come back within the Scottish kingdom until about the 13thC or so and of course the Northern Isles were Norse for another couple of hundred years. The Scottish isles are littered with names of Norse origin.


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 11 May 10 - 07:28 PM

I shouldn't worry too much about what does or doesn't feature in the song - Hugh Robertson was writing in Glasgow where the niceties of Highland geography probably didn't matter too much.

Fowler doesn't give linguistic history, or cite sources.


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 11 May 10 - 07:11 PM

Fowler reckon's that Minch is probably from th Old Scandinavian "megin nes" = great headland.

I don't see it myself: the Minch is a *channel*. Both the Minch and the Little Minch are surrounded by headlands, but from a boat no one of them stands out as being particularly "great" compared to the others. And in any event sailors are not prone to naming water features after nearby land features, or vice-versa. It just sounds like someone who hasn't been able to find a plausible etymology clutching at straws.

It also seems odd that the Minch features at all in the song, seeing as Mingulay is actually in the Hebridean Sea, with a hell of a pull even to the south end of the Little Minch...probably much further than local boatmen would have normally gone back when the island was inhabited...just one more indication that the song was written by someone outside the community.


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Gutcher
Date: 11 May 10 - 04:50 PM

Anent a previous post on this thread which states that Norman Kennedy
thought that this song had something to do with an Owl. Do any of
you gaelic scholars have any knowledge of an ancient song called
"The Owl"?
In a traditional tale of Malcolm 11, King of Scotland, it is given
that this was his favourite song & that his youngest daughter would
sing it to him to help him to relax. Gaelic was at that time the
language used in Scotland.
Malcolm 11 was grandfather to Duncan & McBeth if my memory is
correct,they being sisters sons.
The daughter accompanied herself on the harp when singing.


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 11 May 10 - 08:22 AM

Fowler reckon's that Minch is probably from th Old Scandinavian "megin nes" = great headland.

They give "mickill ey" (muckle island) for Mingulay (Miughalaigh) so the 'n' looks as if it intruded on Anglicisation.

Of the song they say "A famous but inauthentic 'folk song', based on a tune from the Western Highlands and with words by Hugh S. Robertson, written in 1938 for his Glasgow Orpheus Choir."

As for non-Scandinavian roots, you wouldn't find many Anglo-Saxons in the Highlands and Islands till fairly recently, and their place-names are usually recognisably English rather than Anglo-Saxon.


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Subject: RE: Mingulay Boat Song's Minch ???
From: IanC
Date: 11 May 10 - 07:05 AM

Not necessarily Scandinavian. Most islands in the Cambridgeshire fens have names ending in -ey (e.g. Whittlesey, Ely) and in the Somerset marshes (e.g. Athelney) which is a standard Anglo-Saxon suffix for an island.

:-)


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