The Mill, Mill O barndance

Also known as The Soldier’s Return.

There are 3 recordings of this tune.

The Mill, Mill O has been added to 3 tune sets.

The Mill, Mill O has been added to 8 tunebooks.

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One setting

1
X: 1
T: The Mill, Mill O
R: barndance
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
de|f2 A>B A3 d| B>A (3Bcd e2 de|f2 A2 gfed |B3c d2 :|
A2| d>efg a3 a|ba gf e3 A|d>efg a3 (3b/2a/2g/2 | f3 g a2
A2| d>efg a3 d'|ba gf e2 de | f2 A>B A2 (3fed | B3c d2 ||

Five comments

The Mill, Mill O

From the playing of Conal O Grada. Found on track 6 of the raw bar collective. My transcription.

Obviously, it is a march, not a Barndance…

The Mill, Mill O

"Closely related to this tune…"

It’s the same tune, found in a few of the early 18th century Scots collections (e.g. McGibbon, Oswald), and in Mrs Crockat’s 1709 manuscript, although G Farquhar Graham thought it "probably much older". Robert Burns wrote a song in 1793 called "The Soldier’s Return" to the same tune, replacing these older lyrics:

The mill, mill-O, the kill, kill-O,
The coggin O Peggy’s wheel, O;
The sack and the sieve, a’ she did leave
An danced the miller’s reel, O.

Re: The Mill, Mill O

According to The Glen Collection of Printed Music, p.177, the first part of the ballad Rob Roy (Child 225) was sung to a ‘rude set’ of this tune. The second part was sung to Jenny Dang the Weaver. According to the same source, the first part of the ballad was also sung to The Bonnie House of Airlie and the second to Haud awa frae me, Donald.

Re: The Mill, Mill O

Jerry O’Sullivan on "Youtube" :
https://youtu.be/YbiMWjjPMSo


We used to play a version of the song with "Ceolbeg" in the early 1980s. I may still have a live recording of it.
The "Mill, Mill O" is the song but the air is "The Soldier’s Return". Tom Spiers recorded a superb version with Aberdeen trio "The Gaugers", under the title "The Deadly Wars".
I’ll see if I can get these posted on "Youtube" sometime.

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