Craigie Hills

Craigie Hills

I heard this great song on the Caladh Nua album, ‘Happy Days’. Does anyone know where the eponymous hills actually are? I gather it’s a northern song. There’s also a reference towards the end to ‘the Doorin shore’. I’m from the north and know of no such hills or shore. And here’s a link to Dolores Keen and Reel Union’s masterful rendition.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qdL31uqwBM

Re: Craigie Hills

Craigie Hill. What a bitch of a golf course. (Perth, Scotland)


Doubt if it’s what you’re after!!

Re: Craigie Hills

Nope! Already found that on Google, Spion Kop fifth hole etc. Next!

Re: Craigie Hills

Sorry, can’t help with the location of Craigie, but Doorin Point is a headland on Inver Bay, not far from Mountcharles, in Co. Donegal.

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Re: Craigie Hills

Dick Gaughan recorded this song on his 1981 release Handful of Earth. He says he learnt it from the singing of Paddy Tunney.
Craigie Hill must be a really common name in Ireland as well as here in Scotland. It is also probably an anglicised Gaelic original and may not appear on maps in English.

Re: Craigie Hills

This song seems to be variously referred to as either Craigie Hills or Craigie Hill. One sounds to me like a region and the other possibly a townland.
There seems to be also one particular verse which is in some versions and not in others.
It could be that the song is a composite for the history of Ulster. There is a referential movement from east to west in the song, with the places referred to at either side of Ulster i.e. the Bann and Doorin. The western movement corresponds to the western movement of emigration from Ulster to America ultimately, I think.

Paddy Tunney’s parents’ family on both sides had long traditions in song, his father was from Fermanagh, and his mother’s family, Gallaghers, were from Rusheen, Donegal.
Accordingly to Comhaltas anyway, the songs they had were likely collected from travellers. The song doesn’t seem to be localised in any more detail than Ulster, apart from the unfindable Craigie Hill (or Hills).
Maybe Craigie Hill is simply an unretrievable place best left to the imagination.
Then again, someone might find it on Google Earth these days!
I think the song is a composite though, for want of a better term, of a wider story.
Anyway, that’s my take on it over my first cup of tea for the day. Amazing the insights you can find in and around the tea leaves at the bottom of the cup. Much better than coffee!

Re: Craigie Hills

The definitive version of Craigie Hill is sung by Paddy Tunney who learned it from his Mother, Brigid. The song, sung as an overheard conversation, could, in my opinion, be dated to around 1880. I think the title may have come from the imagination of the composer.

Re: Craigie Hills

Craigie Hill is near Larne in county Antrim also spelled Craigy Hill - Larne being a port would lead me to believe this is where the song originated (although you wont find much trad singing around the area these days sadly!)

Re: Craigie Hills

Depends which tradition!

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There’s your answer though - Larne.
BTW there are various Craigie names around Dundee as well as Perth.

Re: Craigie Hills

reference to the bonny Bann banks more or less makes it def an Ulster song

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The Gaughan version is brilliant too.
Susan McKeown does an absolutely cracker of a version on the album Bushes and Briars…starts off in a sean nos style, and just a subtle but intricate guitar backing for the balance. Can find a you tube version anywhere though unfortunately. Stunning voice, stunning version - and it goes perfectly with any number of beverages you can think of, some of them downright dangerous in combination with the track! Nice though, but extremely addictive. Fun, eh!

Re: Craigie Hills

"can’t" find a you tube version, of course. See!

Re: Craigie Hills

The version on the Live At Mona’s CD is excellent, one of my favourite’s