Traditional Manx Air
This is the simplest tune as far as I know: maybe, even kids can play it on the whistle. But, you know, it is hard to play such a beautiful tune impressively.
I just transcribed this slow air from the playing of Solas and don’t know anything except it comes from Isle of Mann. Does anyone play any other good Manx tune?
Oh, what a bad pianist we hire!
This tune is a Manx tune called Arrane Ghelby. The translation means Song of Dalby, a place on the West coast of the Island. There is no one credited with composing the tune although it is believed that it was first heard at Dalby. On quiet evenings a person could be heard singing the tune although he was never seen, locals used to believe that it was sung by a fisherman at sea or by the mooinjer veggy (Little People/faeries). Yet another Manx mystery! The original manx tune is slightly different to this version, I will get round to posting one day.
Here is the "Water Kelpie" version played by my friend on harp;
D3 F Ad|c3 de2|f3g f2|e4 dc|!
d2 e2 d2|c2 A2 AG|G2 A2 c2|d4 e2||!
D3 F Ad|c2 d2 e2|f3g f2|e4 dc|!
d2 e2 d2|c2 A2 AG|G2 A2 c2|d4 e2|!
fe de fe|fe de fe|fe de cA|e2 ag fe|]
I will ask where she found it.
It makes a very nice Morris jig I play it in Dm on C/G concertina and it has echoes of an old carol I heard as a kid. And carols were danced in the olden days.
It really is beautiful in its simplicity. As serene as the sea can sometimes be. I prefer to play all c’s natural though. Try it!
(you might want to keep the first c in the variation sharp)
The variation is not a variation but a different song entirely. Arrane Saveenagh is the Manx gaelic ‘hush a bye baby on the tree top’ the first verse translates exactly, the second one is ‘hush a bye baby on the crest of a wave’ the third is ‘hush a bye baby on the windy hill, listening to ‘themselves’ . I often sing this accompanied on the harp. Arrane Ghelby has no words that I know but is a very useful tune for improvising around and leading in and out of other tunes - it’s really addictive once you know it well and I almost always include it somewhere. A really beautiful arrangement of this is by Charles Guard.
Patrick Ball’s Version
Tis a beautiful tune that can be quite mesmerizing both to play and to listen to. I’ve played it for meditations and funerals as something that is reflective yet, because of the upper register, uplifting.
I learned it some years ago off Patrick Ball’s album,
Celtic Harp 3: Secret Isles.
B | e3/2fe/ | d3/2ef/ | gag | f3/2ed/ |
e2e | d3/2cB/ | Bcd | e2 :|
z |: g>g a/b/ | g>g a/b/ | ga>b | bag | f>f g/a/ |
f>f g/a/ | gfe | d3 | e3/2ef/|
g3/2fe/ | d>cB | g>g f/e/ | d>cB |
g>g f/e/ | d>cB | Bcd | e3 :|
As Christa says, the variation posted above is not a variation but a completely different tune. Here’s the link to how it is generally played on the Isle of Man:
Also, a better translation of Arrane Ghelby is Song of Dalby, which is a village on the west coast of the Island.
The Chieftains 10
This tune appears in The Chieftains 10’s track 4. It’s a lovely manx medley.
What is the name of the "variation" in the Solas setting?
Anyone know the name of the "variation" in the Solas setting? I’m sure that when I looked this tune up a few years ago someone had said what it was.
Re: Arrane Ghelby
I see the info on the "variation" has reappeared, thanks.