Orkney Spring Nights waltz

Also known as Star In Palestine.

Orkney Spring Nights has been added to 1 tune set.

Orkney Spring Nights has been added to 3 tunebooks.

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Two settings

X: 1
T: Orkney Spring Nights
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmin
F4 F2 | D2 G2 F2 | D6 | EF G2 G2 | A4 Hd2 |
dc AG (3FGA | d3 c HA2 | A3 A G2 HA2 |
D3 D BG | FD FD C2 | C2 D4 |]
X: 2
T: Orkney Spring Nights
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmin
B4 B2 | G2 c2 B2 | G6 | AB c2 c2 | d4 Hg2 |
gf dc (3Bde | b3 a Hd2 | d3 d c2 | d6 |
G3 G ec | BG BG F2 | F2 G4 |]

Twelve comments

Orkney Spring Nights

This is a song written in Kirkwall, Orkney. I’ll add the words when we’ve finished eating our mackerel fillets…

Re: Orkney Spring Nights


Soft the air in spring,
and the moonlight beams forth.
Sky is sprinkled with a shoal of stars,
Coal black all round.

Hail, the lovely springtime, wait on warmer days.

Storms die down, days grow long
and the night sky quivers.
Sea reflects the shaking moon from the sky,
Harbour lights glow.

Hail, the lovely springtime …

Late spring breezes grow cool,
as the night-time draws on.
Roadside daffs wave, but they’re unseen by us.
Orkney night falls.

Hail the lovely springtime, wait on warmer days.

I wrote the song, originally in my favourite key of G minor. Am not too pleased with the several pause marks (rather clumsy) but these notes needed to be lengthened somehow. Anyhow I like the look of pause marks, pleasant things to write by hand… I loved the daffs lining many roads in Orkney, in some places to be followed by tulips - and pheasant’s eye narcissi - gorgeously scented.

Re: Orkney Spring Nights

Lovely lyrics, Susan, and I can understand that you might sing it in pretty free time, hence the pauses: sometimes quite hard to put a definite time sig to such a tune. And it is a nice tune too.

Re: Orkney Spring Nights

Trish : glad you like the song. I took some care with the words, and spring is specially welcome in Orkney after the long, dark days of winter.

Re: Orkney Spring Nights

I think this tune is perhaps "away wi the fairies", in that it’s quite odd. Orcadian Jenny Wrigley has written tunes about supernatural beings - important in Orkney - e.g.

The Dingieshowe Dancers
The Teran

The Dingieshowe Dancers can whip up quite a speed and I couldn’t really cope with it in Jenny’s fiddle class. Tunes are on The Session. Watch out for those trows.

Re: Orkney Spring Nights

I came across your tune while looking for waltzes I can play on mandolin. It’s an evocative tune which I will learn. I am in Kolkata, Bengal where I spend every Winter. But the Bengali Winter, hardly with you before it is gone, is not quite the thing, nor the Spring which follows it. I look forward to my daffs and cold winds when I return to my home Lymington, southern England in about 6 weeks. I appreciate your tune and the lyrics. Thank you.

Re: Orkney Spring Nights

John Ellis : thanks for your comment.

Re: Orkney Spring Nights

Jon Ellis : misspelt your name as I knew a John Ellis from Saffron Walden. He was a keen bell-ringer and liked hand-bells too. He had more success with Grade 8 piano than I did, I believe. I recall he went to Scotland one time and brought back some venison for my parents. Enjoy your spring, and all your musical activities. The daffs (cf my song) are well out in Queens Park, Glasgow and beds of different coloured crocuses are very lovely. Cheers!

Re: Orkney Spring Nights

Wanted to update my tune which I decided would sound better on fiddle in F# minor… But I don’t know what mode acc. to the options this would come under. F# min is the same as G minor and that was the original key I wrote it in some years ago, but I’m not skilled enough to play anything on fiddle in G minor, believe it is hard for guitars too.

Re: Orkney Spring Nights

Have altered "Ork. Spring Nights" to show it in D minor (x:1). Easier for guitar etc. I am very proud of this song (and like an old fool I gave it to a young waiter).

Decided to make it a christmas song for church where I sing in the choir. Alt. title "STAR IN PALESTINE".

Words :-

It shone, the star that night
Though the moonlight beamed forth.
Brightly glowing there in the sky so dark -
Coal black all round.


Christ our Saviour is born,
For to bear our sin,
Humankind waits for the coming Dawn!
Lo, he comes down to earth.


Re: Orkney Spring Nights

Pesky non-sexist "Humankind" does not flow well.

The night sky above Rousay (Northern Isles - Orkney) is clear and unpolluted. It must have been like this in Palestine on the winter night that Jesus was born. A tiny town Bethlehem then but now a big town with the Aida Refugee Camp (many Muslim souls).