Si Bheag Si Mhor waltz

Also known as An TSidh Bheag Agus An TSidh Mhor, She Begs For More, She Begs She Moans…, Shee Beg & Shee Mor, Sheebag Sheemore, Sheebeg & Shemore, Sheebeg And Sheemore, Sheebeg Sheemore, Si Beag Is Si Mhor, Si Beag Si Mhor, Si Beag Si Mor, Si Beag, Si Mor, Si Beag,Si Mor, Si Begh Si Mohr, Si Bheag’s Si Mhor, Si Bheag, Si Mhor, Sídh Beag Agus Sídh Mór, Sidhe Beag Agus Sidhe Mor, Sidhe Beag, Sidhe Mor, Sighe Beag Sighe Mor, The Small Fairy Fort And The Big Fairy Fort.

There are 63 recordings of a tune by this name.

A tune by this name has been recorded together with Sonny’s (a few times), Planxty Irwin (a few times).

Si Bheag Si Mhor has been added to 1,355 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Six settings

X: 1
T: Si Bheag Si Mhor
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
de |: f3e d2 | d2 de d2 |B4 A2 | F4 A2 | BA Bc d2 | e4 de| f2 f2 e2 |
d4 f2 | B4 e2 | A4 d2 | F4 E2 | D4 e2 | B4 e2 | A4 dc | d6 | d4 de :|
|: f2 fe d2 | ed ef a2 | b4 a2 | f4 ed | e4 a2 | f4 e2 | d4 B2 | A4 BA |
F4 E2 | D4 f2|B4 e2 | A4 a2| ba gf ed | e4 dc | d6 |1 d4 de:|2 d6 ||
# Added by dirk .
ABC
X: 2
T: Si Bheag Si Mhor
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
FG|A4G2|F3G AF|G4GF|D2A,2D2|G4B2|A2B2c2|d2A3G|F2D2F2|
G2E4|F2D4|A,4^A,2|B,4F2|G2F2E2|A2A,4|D6-|-D4:|:
A2|d2A4|A2d2c2|d2 GA Bc|d2A4|ABc2AB|c2F2A2|B2D2GF|G2F2E2|
A,4^A,2|B,4F2|G2E4|F2D4|GAB2G2|A2A,4|D6-|-D4:||
ABC
X: 3
T: Si Bheag Si Mhor
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
f3 e d2 | d2 e2 d2 |B4 A2 | F4 A2 | BA Bc d2 | e4 de | f2 f2 e2 | d4 f2 |
B4 e2 | A4 d2 | F2 F2 E2 | D4 f2 | B4 e2 | A4 dc | d6- | d4 :|
f3 e d2 | ed ef a2 | b4 a2 | f4 ed | e2 e2 a2 | f4 e2 | d4 B2 | B4 A2 |
F4 E2 | D4 f2|B4 e2 | A4 a2| ba gf ed | e3 fe | d10 | de :|\
A) || D D Bm D G A D D G F#m Bm D G A D D ||
B) || D A G D A D D Bm D D G F#m G A D D ||
ABC
X: 4
T: Si Bheag Si Mhor
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
fg|:a3 g f2|f3 gf2|d3 e dc|A4 c2|
dcde f2|g4 fg|a bag|f3 g a2|
d4 g2|c4 f2|A3 BAG|F4 a2|
d4 g2|c4 fe|f4 e2|f4 fg:|
|:a2 ag f2|gfga c'2|d'4 (3c'd'c'|a4 gf|
g4 c'2|a4 g2|g4 d2|d4 c2|
A3 B AG|F4 a2| d4 g2|c4 c'2|
d'c'bagf| g4 fe| f6|f4 :|
ABC
X: 5
T: Si Bheag Si Mhor
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:B E2 G4 B|E2 G4 B E-|E G4 c3|B4 G4|\
E4 G A3|e2 G2 B4|1 F8:|2 c4 G A3|\
G4 B E2 G-|G3 A G2 A2-|A d2 c2 B3|\
F2 E2 F2 G2-|G2 A6|B E2 G4 A|\
G2 A4 d2|c2 B4 A2-|A2 G3 E3-|\
E D3 E F3| E2 F2 G4|A4 G A3|G8|]
ABC
X: 6
T: Si Bheag Si Mhor
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
de |: ef fe d2 | d3e ed |B2 AF GA| F4 AF |
BA Bc d2 | e4 de| f2 f2 e2 |d4 f2 |
B4 e2 | A4 d2 | F4 E2 | D4 f2 |
B4 e2 | A4 dc | d2 de ed | d4 de ||
|:ef fe d2 | d3e ed |B2 AF GA| F4 AF |
BD F/G/A BG | e4 de| f2 f2 e2 |d4 f2 |
B4 e2 | A4 d2 | F2 FG FE | FE D2 fe |
fd BA ed | ec A2 AF | FG GA (3Acd | d4 de ||
|: f2 fe de | (3fed ef a2 | b2 z2 a2 | f4 ed |
e2 e2 a2 | f4 e2 | d4 B2 | B2 BA BA |
F2 FG FE | FE D2 fe | fd BA ed | ec ab fa |
ba gf ed | e2 e2 dc | d2 dA FA | d4 de ||
|: f2 fe de | (3fed ef a2 | b2 b2 a2 | f4 ed |
e2 e2 a2 | f4 e2 | d4 B2 | B2 BA BA |
F2 FG FE | FE D2 fe | fd BA ed | ec ab fa |
ba gf ed | e2 e2 dc | d2 dA FA | d4 de ||
|:ef fe d2 | d3e ed |B2 AF GA| F4 FA |
BA Bc d2 | e4 de| f2 f2 e2 |d4 f2 |
B4 e2 | A4 d2 | F2 FG FE | FE D2 fe |
fd BA ed | ec A2 AF | FG GA (3Acd | d4 de |
|:ef fe d2 | d3e ed |B2 AF GA| F4 FA |
BG GA BG | ec a4 |de fa gf |gf d2 fe |
B4 e2 | A4 d2 | F2 FG FE | FE D2 f2 |
fd BA ed | ec A2 AF | FG GA (3Acd | d4 de ||
|:f2 fe d2 | (3fed ef a2 | b2 z2 a2 | f4 ed |
e2 e2 a2 | f4 e2 | d4 B2 | B2 BA BA |
F2 FG FE | FE D2 fe | fd BA ed | ec ab fa |
ba gf ed | e2 e2 dc | d2 dA FA | dA FA de ||
|:f2 fe d2 | (3fed ef a2 | b2 d'2 a2 | f4 ed |
e2 e2 a2 | f4 e2 | d4 B2 | B2 BA BA |
F2 FG FE | FE D2 fe | fd BA ed | ec ab fa |
ba gf ed | e2 e2 dc | d2 dA FA | d4 d2||
# Added by JACKB .
ABC

Forty-three comments

Internet recordings of “Si Bheag Si Mhor.”

I first encountered this tune in Heather Clarke’s uilleann pipe tutor, and though this tune is supposedly a common one, I had to seek it out on the internet to find any recordings. I have lots of Irish CD’s but no recordings of this tune so far.
I think the best way to learn this tune is to hear some recordings. Here are two internet links:
http://www.whistleworkshop.co.uk/sheebeg.htm
http://www.hatii.arts.gla.ac.uk/MultimediaStudentProjects/97-98/9402212m/project/html/shebeg.htm
Also, mp3.com has a couple.

Posted by .

Si Bheag Si Mhor

Great tune - I think! Stumled across the "recordings" section of this site and disappointed - a lot! I was hoping it would include posts of members’ recordings / interpretations, and instead it’s just links to commercial sites.

Be great if people could put their own recordings on this site, wouldn’t it!

Mark

"She Begs For More"—I know this tune well, but I’ve never heard of this title! I’m sorry, but it makes me laugh a little. Si Bheag Si Mhor means something about a little hill and a bog hill, I think. It’s often attributed to Carolan.

Wrong Note in measure 12

I believe measure 12 of the "a" part should go from the half note
D to the F on the top line of the staff (instead of the E). It makes
sense musically with the same phrase in the "B" part. I also
checked a few other sources and they all go the to high "E".

Here’s a little harmony part. I’m no Chopin, but I think it works.

FG|A4G2|F3G AF|G4GF|D2A,2D2|G4B2|A2B2c2|d2A3G|F2D2F2|
G2E4|F2D4|A,4^A,2|B,4F2|G2F2E2|A2A,4|D6-|-D4:|:
A2|d2A4|A2d2c2|d2 GA Bc|d2A4|ABc2AB|c2F2A2|B2D2GF|G2F2E2|
A,4^A,2|B,4F2|G2E4|F2D4|GAB2G2|A2A,4|D6-|-D4:||

Mark,
Just seen your plea for members’ recordings to be on the site rather than links to commercial stuff. Great idea, but I suspect Jeremy would agree that there are severe practical difficulties in implementing this idea. I don’t know how much server space and bandwidth Jeremy has available but it is not limitless. If a music file is submitted in in the standard 128kbps mp3 format (a reasonable approximation to the original) it will take up server space at the rate of about 940kbpm (nearly a megabyte). A single tune can be anything from 1 to 2 minutes in length (1 - 2 MB), and the space requirements for a large number of mp3s will eventually become overwhelming. On top of that, uploading or downloading a single mp3 file will take an appreciable time, nearly 3 minutes for a 1 minute tune at a theoretical connection speed of 44kbps - and theoretical speeds are almost never attained, or anything like it. Broadband will be up to 9 times quicker, but not everybody has broadband. All this would eat dramatically into Jeremy’s available bandwidth and uploading and downloading the mp3 files may become impossible.
trevor

Here is a slightly different version of the tune together with a counterpoint tune to it which we played some months ago at a workshop. The counterpoint tune is a little more than straightforward harmony, it is almost a tune in its own right.

Si bheag si mhor

i have known this tune for many years. The title means the big fairy hill and the little fairy hill. there is an uilleann recording on Planxty’s first album.

Yep Liam O’Flynn, that’s where I first heard it.
Call me Mr Pedantic, but that should read -
‘The little fairy hill and the big fairy hill’. If my schoolboy Irish is up to scratch. I think the Chieftains went into some detail about a mythical battle between the fairy inhabitants of two neighbouring hills. It is generaly attributed to O’Carolan I believe and someone has put words to it.

correct. Little and then big

-P

The sheet music and an audio version of this tune can be found in L.E. Mc Cullough’s ‘Irish Tinwhistle Tutor’.

According to McCullough, ‘This piece was inspired by the folklore that surrounds two hills in Co. Leitrim said to be inhabited by the spirits of ancient warriors whose mortal bodies lie entombed within the hills. From time to time these spirits revive their quarrel…’

I love the tunes that involve the supernatural!

Si beag si mor

does anyone know some words for it?

Well, Carolan’s tune was adapted from The Bonny Cuckoo, but I don’t know the words. If you listen to the tune, you can hear the cuckoo’s call in it.

Set

This makes a really nice set for cello if it’s followed by Sour Grass and Granite, but it sounds great on any instrument

“Sheebeg Sheemore” ~ waltz/air

# Posted on June 26th 2006 by nipdigler
http://www.thesession.org/tunes/5899 ~ Alas, no more…

For posterity, here is ‘nipdigler’s contributions, the ‘repeats’ have been put there by me, but ‘nipdigler’ comments "We play without repeats and as arranged by John Peekstok:

K: D Major
|: de |
f3 e d2 | d2 e2 d2 |B4 A2 | F4 A2 | BA Bc d2 | e4 de | f2 f2 e2 | d4 f2 |
B4 e2 | A4 d2 | F2 F2 E2 | D4 f2 | B4 e2 | A4 dc | d6- | d4 :|
|: de |
f3 e d2 | ed ef a2 | b4 a2 | f4 ed | e2 e2 a2 | f4 e2 | d4 B2 | B4 A2 |
F4 E2 | D4 f2|B4 e2 | A4 a2| ba gf ed | e3 fe | d10 | de :|\

nipdigler:
Rythym as follows:
A) || D D Bm D G A D D G F#m Bm D G A D D ||
B) || D A G D A D D Bm D D G F#m G A D D ||

http://www.thesession.org/members/22412

John & Anna Peekstok (arranger mentioned above) ~ TELYNOR, Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.:

http://www.telynor.com/

PUB session playlist

See above for PVB session info.

Here’s another take on a melody line that goes up into second position for fiddles:

X:1
T:Si Bheag Si Mhor (harmony)
N:Harmony arrangement by Stacey Phillips
S: Mel Bay’s "Twin Fiddling" by Stacey Phillips
L:1/8
M:3/4
K:D
fg|:a3 g f2|f3 gf2|d3 e dc|A4 c2|
dcde f2|g4 fg|a bag|f3 g a2|
d4 g2|c4 f2|A3 BAG|F4 a2|
d4 g2|c4 fe|f4 e2|f4 fg:|
|:a2 ag f2|gfga c’2|d’4 (3c’d’c’|a4 gf|
g4 c’2|a4 g2|g4 d2|d4 c2|
A3 B AG|F4 a2| d4 g2|c4 c’2|
d’c’bagf| g4 fe| f6|f4 :|

"…another take on a HARMONY line"

Speed

Planxty do what seems a fairly upbeat version, as do the Pascal Bournet Consort on their ‘Spirit of Ireland’ O’Carolan recording, so…
Maybe I have just got used to playing this too slowly, but this brings out a plaintive quality you don’t get in the jauntier versions (plaintive versions of tunes are my speciality :)
What are your views on how fast it should go? Do we know what O’Carolan intended?

A Somewhat Modern Arrangement of O’Carolans “Si Bheag, Si Mhor”

I wrote this as one of my five penance pieces. I then read the FAQs, found out the five penance rule is actually written, and that submitting versions of existing tunes would result in, well, non-submission. The FAQs say to tack it on at the end of the comments, so here goes. I wrote this in 4/4 time, not 3/4, per a waltz, so I hope my posting the ABC here doesn’t upset anyone.

T:Si Bheag, Si Mhor (modern)
M:4/4
L:1/8
C:Turlough O’Carolan
S:Arthur Nordstrom
K:G
|:B E2 G4 B|E2 G4 B E-|E G4 c3|B4 G4|\
E4 G A3|e2 G2 B4|1 F8:|2 c4 G A3|\
G4 B E2 G-|G3 A G2 A2-|A d2 c2 B3|\
A4 G3 E-|E3 D3 E F-|\
F2 E2 F2 G2-|G2 A6|B E2 G4 A|\
G2 A4 d2|c2 B4 A2-|A2 G3 E3-|\
E D3 E F3| E2 F2 G4|A4 G A3|G8|]

Um…. it doesn’t sound anything like Si Bheag Si Mhor. At all. I don’t really get what you’re doing, or trying to do…

Cormac Breatnach’s Version

X: 1
T: Si Bheag Si Mhor
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
R: waltz
K: Dmaj
de |: ef fe d2 | d3e ed |B2 AF GA| F4 AF |
BA Bc d2 | e4 de| f2 f2 e2 |d4 f2 |
B4 e2 | A4 d2 | F4 E2 | D4 f2 |
B4 e2 | A4 dc | d2 de ed | d4 de ||
|:ef fe d2 | d3e ed |B2 AF GA| F4 AF |
BD F/G/A BG | e4 de| f2 f2 e2 |d4 f2 |
B4 e2 | A4 d2 | F2 FG FE | FE D2 fe |
fd BA ed | ec A2 AF | FG GA (3Acd | d4 de ||
|: f2 fe de | (3fed ef a2 | b2 z2 a2 | f4 ed |
e2 e2 a2 | f4 e2 | d4 B2 | B2 BA BA |
F2 FG FE | FE D2 fe | fd BA ed | ec ab fa |
ba gf ed | e2 e2 dc | d2 dA FA | d4 de ||
|: f2 fe de | (3fed ef a2 | b2 b2 a2 | f4 ed |
e2 e2 a2 | f4 e2 | d4 B2 | B2 BA BA |
F2 FG FE | FE D2 fe | fd BA ed | ec ab fa |
ba gf ed | e2 e2 dc | d2 dA FA | d4 de ||
|:ef fe d2 | d3e ed |B2 AF GA| F4 FA |
BA Bc d2 | e4 de| f2 f2 e2 |d4 f2 |
B4 e2 | A4 d2 | F2 FG FE | FE D2 fe |
fd BA ed | ec A2 AF | FG GA (3Acd | d4 de |
|:ef fe d2 | d3e ed |B2 AF GA| F4 FA |
BG GA BG | ec a4 |de fa gf |gf d2 fe |
B4 e2 | A4 d2 | F2 FG FE | FE D2 f2 |
fd BA ed | ec A2 AF | FG GA (3Acd | d4 de ||
|:f2 fe d2 | (3fed ef a2 | b2 z2 a2 | f4 ed |
e2 e2 a2 | f4 e2 | d4 B2 | B2 BA BA |
F2 FG FE | FE D2 fe | fd BA ed | ec ab fa |
ba gf ed | e2 e2 dc | d2 dA FA | dA FA de ||
|:f2 fe d2 | (3fed ef a2 | b2 d’2 a2 | f4 ed |
e2 e2 a2 | f4 e2 | d4 B2 | B2 BA BA |
F2 FG FE | FE D2 fe | fd BA ed | ec ab fa |
ba gf ed | e2 e2 dc | d2 dA FA | d4 d2||

Posted by .

Harmony for Si Beag si Mor

Hi Everyone

I’m playing Si beag si Mor at a wedding in a few weeks time on tin whistle a flute player will be accompanying me also. I’m listening to a version i have on CD from The Kells with Flute playing the melody and whistle doing harmony.

Could any of you help me out with Harmony for it I’m a bit slow picking it up by ear.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Re: Harmony for Si Beag si Mor

Read through some of the *comments* for the tune. You’ll find suggestions for harmony.
" Si Bheag Si Mhor "
Submitted on December 20th 2001 by dirk.
http://www.thesession.org/tunes/449

Posted .

Re: Harmony for Si Beag si Mor

Thanks Random notes i will take a look at them. I’m very slow not long playing the whistle atall!!!

if there’s anyone else out there that has harmony could you post it up for me please. Thanks!

Re: Harmony for Si Beag si Mor

I played this at a wedding a few years ago with fiddle and flute. I will be glad to send you a .pdf of my arrangement. It isn’t perfect and though there’s a manuscript here somewhere with rehearsal corrections on it, I don’t know where it would be. But you are welcome to what I have. Let me know how to get it to you.

Reg

Re: Harmony for Si Beag si Mor

Thanks Reg. Any help would be appreciated. let me know what your email address is and i will email you.

Re: Harmony for Si Beag si Mor

I always loved The Kells’ version of that tune… I’m afraid I couldn’t tell you exactly what McCoy is doing with the harmony, though..

Re: Harmony for Si Beag si Mor

I learned a harmony from a Blarney Pilgrims recording I bought from iTunes - in that version the whistle plays the melody and a low whistle (I think) plays the harmony. You should propose that the flute player learn the harmony - then you’re off the hook…

Re: Harmony for Si Beag si Mor

There’s a pleasant two part arrangement in one of Matt Seattle’s "Airs for Pairs" books.
Keith

Si Bheag Si Mhor

Si Bheag Si Mhor means "So Big, So Little" as I was taught it.

Meaning of title

We know that in this context Si Bheg Si Mhor means Big Hill and Little Hill, because it is the local legend attached to the two hills of that name near Lough Scur Co Leitrim which Carolan retells (very broadly) in the text he wrote for this tune. Each of them has an ancient burial site at their peaks, and it may be these which inspired the tale of warring fairy armies, one of which, Finn McCool’s Fianna suffered great defeat, resulting in his burial on Si Mhor. The tune itself is a variant on one collected by Bunting, and published in his ‘Ancient Music of Ireland’ Carolan used the Bunting song-tune, ‘The Bonny Cuckoo’ as the basis for the first part of his own tune, but himself composed the second part, thus - I personally believe with the full intention of - transforming it into a complete instrumental piece.

Si Bheag Si Mhor

Actually, the meaning is more like Little hill of the fairies, big hill of the fairies, as far as Scottish Gaelic is concerned, and I’m pretty sure Irish will be the same.

Si Bheag Si Mhor

Sìthean being fairies, gaelic translations aren’t usually literal.

Sí = sídhe

The sídhe or sí are the "fairy" mounds, the underground world into which the Tuatha Dé Danann retreated by treaty with the invading Milesians—at least according to some sources. The peoples of the mounds are called the Aos Sí (Aes Sídhe). Knowing this makes the title (and, thereby, concept) of the tune much more interesting than the standard "Little Hill, Big Hill" translation would imply.

It’s also intriguing for me to link the use of "The Bonny Cuckoo" with the idea of changelings (fairy children who’ve been substituted for human ones) since many cuckoo species lay their eggs in other birds nests.

Posted by .

Title

There’s a need not to confuse the translation of titles with their interpretation, Linguistically, the translation ‘Little Hill and Big Hill’ is likely to be literally correct. However, in the cultural context, the interpretation: ‘Little Fairy Hill and Big Fairy Hill’ with its implication that the hills in question are homes to the People of the Sidh, is equally correct. That’s poetry.

Re ‘Bonny Cuckoo’

Oh, yes, and by the way, it’s also important not to stretch theories too far; the concept of Occam’s razor is a useful one here. The song of the cuckoo is widely associated with the arrival of spring, and by association, burgeoning love; and indeed, the text Bunting provides to the tune which inspired Carolan is a well-made but fairly standard love lyric, no more, no less.

Title

Richard, ‘Little Hill and Big Hill’ would not be even literally correct. That would be (if the Irish is same as Scots) Cnoc Bheag, cnoc mhor. The literal translation of Si Bheag, Si Mhor would be "Little Fairie, Big Fairie. Which is quite funny actually

Title

Bogman: I take your point, which does not in essence contradict mine, which is that the title has poetic as well as literal resonance; all these interpretations ultimately add up to the same thing, which is the theme Carolan explored in his poem and which gives the tune - which is after the only really important thing here - its significance.

I visited the beautiful botanic gardens dedicated to O’Carolan in Keadue, Co. Roscommon. There a few interesting things I noted about the tune.
There is a transcription of the tune set in stone in a rotunda in the park. The spelling of the tune is Sídh Beag - Sídh Mór. I’m not an Irish speaker but that’s what’s on the stone transcription. Secondly the transcription’s time signature is 6/4 rather than 3/4 which I’ve always used, as does every transcription of the tune I’ve ever seen. I’m just wondering whether the carving was taken from O’Carolan’s original transcriptions, maybe written out for him as he was blind,did he have a way of writing music himself, or was this transcription a later one.

Sídh is an earlier spelling of sí.
Carolan didn’t write music or have his tunes transcribed, according to various sources. His tunes passed on orally. The tune appears in 6/4 in Bunting’s MS and other manuscripts. It would probably be better in 6/8 in this database, as there is no 6/4 category. 3/4 doesn’t really hack it for me.

The first eight lines of the song from O’Sullivan’s book ( from Bunting - other variations, including spellings exist) - "sídh" becomes "tsídh" owing to what is known as "initial mutation" - a feature of Irish language.

Imreas mór tháinic eidir na ríoghna,
Mar fhíoch a d’fhás ón dá chnoc sídhe;
Mar adubhairt an tsídh Mór go mb’fhearr í féin,
Faoi dhó go mór ná ‘n tsídh Bheag.
An tráth chruinnigh na sluaighte bhí an buala teann,
Ar feadh na machaireacha anonn ‘s anall;
‘S níl aon ariamh dár ghluais ón mbinn
Nár chaill a chionn san ár sin.

Posted by .