Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Green Fields of France

"No Man's Land" (also known as "The Green Fields of France" or "Willie McBride") is a song written in 1976 by Scottish-Australian singer-songwriter Eric Bogle, reflecting on the grave of a young man who died in World War I. Its chorus refers to two famous pieces of military music, "The Last Post" and "The Flowers of the Forest". Its melody, its refrain ("did they beat the drum slowly, did they play the fife lowly"), and elements of its subject matter (a young man cut down in his prime) are similar to those of "Streets of Laredo", a North American cowboy ballad whose origins can be traced back to an 18th century Irish ballad called "The Unfortunate Rake".

It's a song that was written about the military cemeteries in Flanders and Northern France. In 1976, my wife and I went to three or four of these military cemeteries and saw all the young soldiers buried there.

—Eric Bogle

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Gay Gordon

The Gay Gordons is a popular dance at céilidhs and other kinds of informal and social dance. It is an "old-time" dance, of a type popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, in which every couple dances the same steps, usually in a circle around the room.

The name alludes to a Scottish regiment, the Gordon Highlanders.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


In dance, the galop, named after the fastest running gait of a horse (see gallop), a shortened version of the original term galoppade, is a lively country dance, introduced in the late 1820s to Parisian society by the Duchesse de Berry and popular in Vienna, Berlin and London. In the same closed position familiar in the waltz, the step combined a glissade with a chassé on alternate feet, ordinarily in a fast 2/4 time. The galop was a forerunner of the polka, which was introduced in Prague ballrooms in the 1830s and made fashionable in Paris when Raab, a dancing teacher of Prague, danced the polka at the Odéon Theatre, 1840. In Australian bush dance, the dance is often called galopede.

With my group Folky towers, we once did the live music during the theater "Playboy of the Western world". We did use this song as the main theme.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Flowers of Edinburgh

The Flowers of Edinburgh is known to all Scottish traditional musicians, and is played all over the world, with distinctively different American and Irish versions. The tune has a long and muddled history. It dates from near 1740, may have been written by Oswald though he didn't claim it, and has been attached to several different sets of words, all of them unsingably bad except for Duncan Ban Macintyre's strange selection of it as the melody for one of his masterpieces, Cumha Choire a'Cheathaich, the Lament for the Misty Corrie. There is even a song to it in the Greig-Duncan collection about a woman singing The Flowers of Edinburgh, which begins to recall Lewis Carroll's "the name of the song is called..." gag in Through the Looking Glass. The title has no clear explanation; one theory has it that it was about the young women of Edinburgh, another (from a weirdly-engraved title in Nathaniel Gow's Fourth Repository, as if he'd scraped a longer previous title for it off the plate) that it was dedicated to the city's magistrates, and a third (which I have only encountered orally) that it refers to the smell of the city in the 18th century when chamberpots were tipped out of windows each night, and that the steps of the associated country dance evoke people skipping over fallen turds in the street.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Ferry Men

An Irish song about the lost job of ferry man.
Here the version of The Dublin City Ramblers

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Dust And Ashes

A song by Angelo Branduardi with a renaissance origin.
This is the Italian version: "Ballo in fa diesis minore"

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Drunken Sailor

The air was taken from a traditional Irish dance and march tune, "Oró Sé do Bheatha 'Bhaile" (Translated as "Óró, you are welcome home") originally in dorian mode.

The music was first reproduced in printed form in 1824–25 in Cole's Selection of Favourite Cotillions published in Baltimore. However, the lyrics were first published in 1891 under the title "What to do with a Drunken Sailor?". Another version appears in The Shanty Book, Part I, Sailor Shanties, by Richard Runciman Terry, categorised as a "Windlass and Capstan" shanty. He says of it: "Although mostly used for windlass or capstan, Sir Walter Runciman tells me that he frequently sang to it for 'hand-over-hand' hauling. Whall gives it on page 107 under the title 'Early in the morning.' It is one of the few shanties that were sung in quick Time."

Belgian folklegend Ferre Grignard with with drunken sailor

In this sheet music you find a second voice, nice to be played by banjo

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Drowsy Maggie

A Reel, also known as Drowsey Maggie, Drowsey Maggie Donegal Style, Drowsie Maggie, Goul, Maggie Tuirseach, Maggie's Drowsy, Sleepy Maggie, Sleepy Meggie.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Cumberland Square Eight

A Scottish Country Dance

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Two Jigs

Blackberry Quadrille is a French canadian fiddle tune and

Sheet music for Blackberry Quadrille and Shannon Bells

Sunday, June 5, 2011


One of the best songs of Enya.
Enya (born Eithne Patricia Ní Bhraonáin on 17 May 1961), is an Irish singer, instrumentalist and composer. The media sometimes refer to her by the Anglicized name, Enya Brennan; Enya is an approximate transliteration of how Eithne is pronounced in the Donegal dialect of the Irish language, her native tongue.
She began her musical career in 1980, when she briefly joined her family band Clannad, before leaving to perform solo. She gained wider recognition for her music in the 1986 BBC series The Celts. Shortly afterwards, her 1988 album Watermark propelled her to further international fame and she became known for her unique sound, characterised by voice-layering, folk melodies, synthesised backdrops and ethereal reverberations.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Alla Fiera del Est

This is a song by Angelo Branduardi, an Italian folk singer and composer who scored relevant success in Italy and European countries such as France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Branduardi was born in Cuggiono, a small town in the province of Milan, but early moved with the family to Genoa. He was educated as a classical violinist in the local school of music. At the age of 18, he composed the music for the Confessioni di un malandrino (Hooligan's Confession) by Sergei Yesenin.

He is married to Luisa Zappa, who wrote the lyrics for many of his songs. They have two daughters, Sarah and Maddalena, both musicians.
Listen to this version of a beautifull song: