Seeking a Tune

Seeking a Tune

On Kathleen Robertson’s album "The Spiral Gate" there’s a tune she calls "Faery’s Lament" (track 9, it’s blended with "Reel a Bouche", a piece of mouth music by Benoit). Does anyone know this tune by any other names? It appears to be Scottish.

Re: Seeking a Tune

I’m not familiar with that album, tried to do a search for an audio clip so I can hear the track you are referring to - my first guess is that it could be Buain Na Rainich also called Tha Mi Sgith. It is a song collected in the Hebrides, a very old Gaelic song. It is about a girl who goes out to pull bracken and falls in love with a fairy man. Her parents find out and lock her up, and he sits and laments about not being able to see her.
Gaelic with English translation are here:
http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Zone/6338/buain.html

Search for "Tha Mi Sgith" and that may be the tune. I’ll see if I can find abc - may even be on this site. I think Will has it in the Helena session book, possibly under the bracken title, "Buain Na Rainich" (reaping bracken). It’s a beautiful melody. I did my own version of lyrics in English so I can sing it.

Alice

Re: Seeking a Tune

JeffK, I found abc for "Tha Mi Sgith" at JC’s tunefinder. You can play the midi there and see if it matches the track of Faery’s Lament.
http://ecf-guest.mit.edu/~jc/music/abc/FindTune.html

There is another song from the Hebrides called "A Fairy Plaint" (Ceol-brutha). "Tha Mi Sgith" seems popular now, though, so it’s more likely to be that one.

Alice

Re: Seeking a Tune

Alice,

"Tha Mi Sgith" seems to be the tune - thanks much!

Re: Seeking a Tune

Jeff, the tunefinder gives it in Am and Em. Which setting is closest to Kathleen Robertson’s?

Posted .

Re: Seeking a Tune

I don’t know for sure, Will, she does it very slowly as the background to something else. I’ve since managed to track down the version I originally heard played by a friend as being based on Silly Wizard’s rendition of the tune. It’s apparently known as "Tha Mi Sgith" or "Buain Na Rainich" ("Pulling the Bracken"). A band I was in a few years back used to use it in the middle of "Raggle Taggle Gypsies" to break up the song, but I never knew what it was called. Thanks to all for the help!

Re: Seeking a Tune

Hey, I wonder if that is the tune that Johnny Cunningham attempted to teach us at a workshop last year? I think he called it "cutting braken" or something like that. The version of Tha Mi Sgith in the tune finder looks like it might be the same one. I’ll see if I can dig up my notes on what he said about it. He plays a version on one of the Celtic Fiddle Festival albums (maybe the first one?) - the first track…

Sosaidh

Re: Seeking a Tune

Cutting Bracken is just another name for Pulling Bracken (same tune, see my post on the 17th, second message in this thread, re the two Gaelic titles as well). - alice