The Dark Island waltz

Also known as An Oileán Dorcha, Dark Island, The Dark Island Lament, Dark Isle, Dr Mackays Farewell To Creagorry, Dr. McInnes’s Farewell To South Uist.

There are 24 recordings of a tune by this name.

The Dark Island has been added to 359 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Three settings

X: 1
T: The Dark Island
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
EG | A4 A2 | G4 G2 | E3 D C2 | D4 GA | [1 B3 A G2 | B d3 G2 | B3 A G2 | A4 E2 :| [2 B3 D dB | A3 D BA | G6 | G4 Bc || d2 B2 d2 | B3 A G2 | E3 C E2 | D4 GA | B3 A G2 | B d3 GA | B3 A G2 | A4 E2 | A4 A2 | G4 G2 | E3 D C2 | D4 GA | B3 D dB | A3 D BA | G6 | G6 ||
ABC
X: 2
T: The Dark Island
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|: E2 | "Dm" A3 E A2 | "Am" G3 A G2 | "F" E3 D C2 | "C" D4 GA |
[1 B3 A G2 | "Am" B d3 G2 | "C" B3 A G2 | "G" A4 :|
[2 "C" B3 D dB | "G7" A3 D BA | "C" G6 | G4 ||
Bc | "C" d3 B d2 | B3 A G2 | "F" E3 C E2 | "C" D4 GA | B3 A G2 |
"Am" B d3 GA | "C" B3 A G2 | "G" A4 EG | "Dm" A4 A2 | "Am" G4 G2 |
"F" E3 D C2 | "C" D4 GA | B3 D dB | "G7" A3 D BA | "C" G6 | G6 ||
ABC
X: 3
T: The Dark Island
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
B|e3 B e2|d3 e d2|B3 A G2|A4 de|f3 e d2|f a3 A2|f3 a f2|e4 AB|
e3 B e2|d3 e d2|B3 A G2|A4 de|f3 Aaf|e3 Afe|d6|d4|]
fg|a3 f A2|f3 e d2|B G3 B2|A4 de|f3 e d2|f a3 A2|f3 a f2|e4 AB|
e3 B e2|d3 e d2|B3 A G2|A4 de|f3 Aaf|e3 Afe|d6|d4|]
ABC

Twenty-two comments

This is pretty in a set before The Southwind. This is just how my dad and I play it, so if people have other ideas for a set I’d love to hear them.

I LOVE this tune and song as well. Oh. So. Beautiful.

Cheers,
Armand

I love this melody as well. Is one of my favourites for playing with harp, but the score I have has some differences.

Posted by .

I believe that this was originally written for a movie, but I do not know the details.

B McKim

Dark Island

Here’s some infor about the song taken from various threads on the Mudcat Cafe forum:

From George Seto: The information I have is that the song, Dark Island, was written by David Silver, and the tune was written by Iain MacLachlan, an accordianist. This was created for a BBC Thriller called the Dark Island, in 1963. The show was filmed in Benbecula, Scotland.

There is further controversy about this song. Alan Bell wrote words to what he believed was a traditional tune. Also, Stewart Ross of Inverness, Scotland wrote a very well known version of the song in 1963, after being assured that the tune was traditional. There were at least 4 English lyrics that were written in the 60’s to versions of the tune. The Ross words were written to a very different version of the tune and are not a straight fit to the accordian tune.

Note: (From Stewart Ross’ son) "There were no other words to the tune before my father’s were written. David Silver wrote a set of lyrics in response to my father’s appearing first - and has been paid and very usually credited for both lyrical versions. The tune had been played on the Scottish music circuit before being formally copyrighted and had earlier titles including Dr. MacKay’s Farewell to Creagorry and Dr. McInnes’s farewell to South Uist.

Dark Island

I will google further, but from memory it was written "in the tradition" as they say, in about 1948, and was named after a particular individual. It was taken by the BBC and used as the theme for their thriller-style television serial , hence its common name.
Love the tune.

The Tannahill Weavers recorded it too,if I’m not mistaken.

Celtic Fiddle Festival version!

Superb

The Dark Island

This lovely tune, is one of my favourites and has been recorded may times. I first heard it played by the Alexander Brothers back in the 60’s and this is still my favourite version, although I also like the version by Ian McLachlan himself. My instrument is the harmonica and the only harmonica version I have heard is by the Geordie Jock, Ernie Gordon

The music (melody and two accompaniment scores with words by David Silver - the only ones I have seen) I have are slightly different to the posted version and come from the songbook “A Song for Scotland”, the score originally being published in 1963 by Westminster Music Ltd.

I too think this is a really beautiful tune. I’m used to playing it in D - in which key it’s playable, incidentally, on the Highland bagpipes: the whole tune falls within the instrument’s range. I first heard it very well done on an album by the Tyneside/Northumbrian band The High Level Ranters (I think the album was "A Mile To Ride", recorded in the 1970’s); Alistair introduced the tune played slowly on concertina, then the rest of the band came in and took it into a waltz.

The Trowie Burn / The Dark Island : Interesting set

Barde, a group very popular in Quebec in the late 70s and early 80s played it after the lovely scottish waltz The Trowie Burn. Beautiful moody set.

Abc with lyrics

My cousin from North Uist (and an acquaintance of Iain MacLaughlin in his youth) was visiting and asked if I knew this song, which I did not. Anyway, thanks to The Session and several other sites I’ve pieced together the lyrics with the abc:

X: 1
T: Dark Island, The
C: Iain MacLaughlan
A: David Silver
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
R: waltz
K: Gmaj
|: E2 | "Dm" A3 E A2 | "Am" G3 A G2 | "F" E3 D C2 | "C" D4 GA |
w:A-way to the west-ward I’m lon-ging to be, Where the
w:Where~the sweet pur-ple hea-ther blooms fra-grant and free On a
[1 B3 A G2 | "Am" B d3 G2 | "C" B3 A G2 | "G" A4 :|
w:beau-ties of hea-ven un-fold by the sea
[2 "C" B3 D dB | "G7" A3 D BA | "C" G6 | G4 ||
w: hill-top high a-bove The Da-rk Is-land
%%text Chorus:
Bc | "C" d3 B d2 | B3 A G2 | "F" E3 C E2 | "C" D4 GA | B3 A G2 |
w:O-h, isle of my child-hood, I’m drea-ming of thee, As the stea-mer leaves
"Am" B d3 GA | "C" B3 A G2 | "G" A4 EG | "Dm" A4 A2 | "Am" G4 G2 |
w:O-ban a-nd pass-es Ti-ree Soon I’ll capture the magic that
"F" E3 D C2 | "C" D4 GA | B3 D dB | "G7" A3 D BA | "C" G6 | G6 ||
w: ling-ers for me When I’m back once more up- on The Da-rk Is-land
W:
W:2:So Gentle the sea breeze that ripples the bay
W:Where the stream joins the ocean and young children play
W:On the strand of pure silver I’ll welcome each day
W:And I’ll roam forever more - The Dark Island
W:
W:Chorus
W:
W:3:True Gems of the Hebrides bathed in the light
W:Of the mid-summer dawning that follows the night
W:How I yearn for the cries of the seagull in flight
W:As they circle high above - The Dark Island
W:
W:Chorus
W:

On his recording (http://www.springthyme.co.uk/album22/22go.html) Iain McLachlan makes 48 bars of it. The extra 16 bars, inserted in the middle, are the first 4 bars of the second half with the two endings of the first half. He plays it straight through as an air then repeats starting as a waltz.

Most people seem to play is as for the song with the two parts repeated. Just my luck that the first time I played it with anyone else they did it the composers way.

On whistle or flute one note up in A (no G#).

The dark island: Score for uillean pipes

Does any one have the sheet music for the dark island for a D set Uillean pipes.

Re: The dark island: Score for uillean pipes

What exactly do you mean? With fully written out ornamentation, or simply transposed to D? This is (more or less) the version I play on the whistle…

X:1
T:Dark Island
C:Ian Maclachlan
Z:Nigel Gatherer - transposed to D
R:Air
M:3/4
L:1/8
K:Dmaj
B|e3 B e2|d3 e d2|B3 A G2|A4 de|f3 e d2|f a3 A2|f3 a f2|e4 AB|
e3 B e2|d3 e d2|B3 A G2|A4 de|f3 Aaf|e3 Afe|d6|d4|]
fg|a3 A A2|f3 e d2|B G3 B2|A4 de|f3 e d2|f a3 A2|f3 a f2|e4 AB|
e3 B e2|d3 e d2|B3 A G2|A4 de|f3 Aaf|e3 Afe|d6|d4|]

Re: The dark island: Score for uillean pipes

Two pipers I know play it in G and fudge round the note that goes off the bottom. By playing an E I think.

Dark Island

Thanks got it now to see if I can do it justice on the uillean pipes.

Dark Island

Blair Douglas has composed this song, also on his first album.

Rubbish…

It was composed by Iain MacLachlan, probably when Blair Douglas was in nappies, if not before. Blair may well have recorded it "on his first album", but he most certainly did not compose it.

Posted by .

Apparently, the tune was composed by Iain in 1958 (Dr. MacKay’s Farewell to Creagorry), and Blair would have probably been in his early twenties when he co-formed what was to become Runrig, in 1973. So, unless he was still wearing nappies around the age of 5, I think that’s probably hyperbole, Kenny!