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Tune Req: Irish Christmas melody sought

10 Dec 17 - 09:59 PM (#3893264)
Subject: Tune Req: Irish Christmas melody sought
From: leeneia

Two days ago I went to a Christmas concert by the Irish band Danu. The first number was a song in Irish, and the name of it was not given in the program. It seemed to be two words, and the first letter was an A.

A friend of mine said she recognized the melody and that the English name of it is 'Dark December.' I've checked the these places:

Mudcat,
YouTube,
abcnotation.com,
the Irish Trad Music Archive,
The Hymns and Carols of Christmas,
The Session.

No luck. (There are a lot of pieces about dark December, but none of them are this piece.)

I would love to write this melody down and play it with my friends. Is anybody familiar with the band Danu and with this Christmas song they do?


11 Dec 17 - 03:51 AM (#3893281)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Christmas melody sought
From: Jim Carroll

I'm sure you know, but the Irish translation of 'Dark December is 'Nollaig oscailte', if that helps
Jim Carroll


11 Dec 17 - 04:10 AM (#3893286)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Christmas melody sought
From: Long Firm Freddie

Here's a link to Danu's website, in particular the page where you can hear a sample of An Staicin Eornan. Might that be the one, Leeneia?

Even if it isn't, it's well worth a listen, it's lovely.

An Staicin Eornan

(Scroll down to the sample)

LFF


11 Dec 17 - 09:53 AM (#3893338)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Christmas melody sought
From: leeneia

Thank you, Freddie, but that's not it. Wrong spirit - An Staicin Fornan sounds chatty and humorous, and the song I want was slower, graceful and probably modal. I think it was in 3/4 time.

Jim, I'm sure the name started with A, but I will look for Nollaig Oscailte just in case.


11 Dec 17 - 10:22 AM (#3893349)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Christmas melody sought
From: FreddyHeadey

Could you ask them, while they might still remember?



https://m.facebook.com/DanuTrad/posts/


11 Dec 17 - 11:31 AM (#3893359)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Christmas melody sought
From: Long Firm Freddie

There's a song called An Cailin Deas Cruite na Mbo on Danu's When All Is Said And Done album. Here's a link to the Amazon page where you can hear a sample:

An Cailin

There's a fine unaccompanied version by Aine Ni Bhriain on YouTube:

Aine

After that I run out of ideas!

LFF


11 Dec 17 - 05:40 PM (#3893422)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Christmas melody sought
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan

FWIW "oscailte" means "open", in Irish - the word for "dark" is "dorcha".

The description of the song is not ringing any bells for me, at the moment - not even Christmas bells....

Regards


11 Dec 17 - 05:44 PM (#3893424)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Christmas melody sought
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan

Now it's annoying me....

The Irish word for "Christmas" is "Nollaig". The month of December is "Mi na Nollag" i.e. the month of Christmas. So the song title is quite likely to be referring to Christmas - rather than to December.

Regards


12 Dec 17 - 12:18 AM (#3893452)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Christmas melody sought
From: leeneia

I auapect that 'An Cailin Deas Cruite na Mbo' is 'The Pretty Girl Milking her Cow', a tune I have noticed in O'Neill's Music of Ireland.
It is unlikely to be about the Virgin Mary. :) Anyhow, the song title wasn't that long.


12 Dec 17 - 02:32 AM (#3893459)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Christmas melody sought
From: GUEST,JTT

The only trouble with a two-word title and the first word starting with A is that 'an' is the Irish for 'the', so a lot of songs are going to fit the bill!

Who was the singer? Nell Ní Chróinín? Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh?

Where was the concert? Would the venue (or indeed Danú themselves) have a playlist? Here's Dan?'s website. They'll probably be nice enough to tell you, especially if you want to buy one of their albums…

Would the song be A Dhia na Nollag? (O God of December)?


12 Dec 17 - 05:49 AM (#3893495)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Christmas melody sought
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan

Lovely singing of A Dhia na Nollag there by Finola ni Siochru, a friend and neighbour ...

Regards


12 Dec 17 - 12:54 PM (#3893560)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Christmas melody sought
From: leeneia

The singer was Nell, the song was not on the program, I know that An is 'the.' As Dhia na Nollag is not the song. As for buying a CD, how many songs would we have in our repertoire if we had to pay $20 for each one?


12 Dec 17 - 02:53 PM (#3893589)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Christmas melody sought
From: David Carter (UK)

An Chóisir?


12 Dec 17 - 03:11 PM (#3893595)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Christmas melody sought
From: David Carter (UK)

There does seem to be some similarity between the melody of An Chóisir by Nell Ní Chróinín, and that of Dark December by Ghidorah. Different style, different genre, but a resemblance.


12 Dec 17 - 04:48 PM (#3893612)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Christmas melody sought
From: GUEST,JTT

The singer was Nell, the song was not on the program, I know that An is 'the.' As Dhia na Nollag is not the song. As for buying a CD, how many songs would we have in our repertoire if we had to pay $20 for each one?

Ah, you'd have to ask people who make their money from music to get the answer to that ;)

I thought of An Chóisir, but the description of the song sounded too serious for it?


12 Dec 17 - 06:51 PM (#3893618)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Christmas melody sought
From: leeneia

YOu mean An Choisir, also known as The Party? That's not it. It's much too fast, a dance tune rather than a lyric.


12 Dec 17 - 10:50 PM (#3893635)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Christmas melody sought
From: GUEST,mg

you would pay 50 cents per song on one of my cds. 20 songs for ten dollars us.


13 Dec 17 - 04:36 AM (#3893662)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Christmas melody sought
From: GUEST,JTT

Most sensible thing would be to email the Danú website and ask what was the song, saying it was not on the playlist.


13 Dec 17 - 10:09 PM (#3893865)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Christmas melody sought
From: leeneia

They're busy, and besides I want the sheet music, which they may not have. And besides, I like chatting with friends on the Mudcat.


16 Dec 17 - 07:28 PM (#3894253)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Christmas melody sought
From: Tattie Bogle

This thread got me looking too, but no definite answer, even though I have some of Danu's CDs and also listened to tracks on iTunes and the like.

But a couple of very long shots, very possibly "red herrings", and might just keep the thread refreshed, and/or add to the December repertoire:

1. Long December Night by Orcadian Ivan Drever: sung in English though. The tune starts very much like Pachelbel's Canon!

2. Get me Through December: recorded by The Outside Track, lyrics by a Canadian songwriter. To my chagrin, it uses the tune of Niel Gow's Lament for the Death of his Second Wife. I think the lead singer at the time was Irish and sang it in English, but then just maybe it got translated....... It's a lovely arrangement, but as a very famous Scottish fiddle player said through gritted teeth .."That tune does not need words".


17 Dec 17 - 06:46 PM (#3894432)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Christmas melody sought
From: leeneia

Those sound like good songs to track down. Thanks.

I think I agree about that tune not needing words. But if the words are good, a new tune can be found somehow.


19 Dec 17 - 01:48 AM (#3894625)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Christmas melody sought
From: Thompson

Out of left field (a bit bored with this now), but could it have been Sl?n le Maigh?


19 Dec 17 - 10:23 AM (#3894705)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Christmas melody sought
From: leeneia

Nice song, but no. Thanks.

As Tattie Bogle points out, this thread hasn't produced the answer I wanted but has brought some fine songs to light.


27 Dec 17 - 12:57 PM (#3896014)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Christmas melody sought
From: CupOfTea

Wonder if it could be a translation into Irish of Graeme Miles' "Dark December," one of my most cherished winter songs. Definitely minor key, chorus repeats the same phrase 3 times.

It's on the Folk Legacy album "T'was On A Night Like This"

Joanne in Cleveland


28 Dec 17 - 11:22 AM (#3896129)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Christmas melody sought
From: leeneia

I'm pretty sure you are right, CupofTea. A friend has lent me a CD with "Dark December" on it, and although I can't recall the melody exactly after all these weeks, it seems very similar.

Since it's not old, not Irish, and not PD, I will go no further with it.