One of my favorite tunes… This is from cranfordpub.com:
"Natalie’s multi part version (6 parts plus octave variations) of The Highlander’s Farewell to Ireland appeared in the late 1770s in both Robert Ross and Alexander McGlashan’s Collections. A similar setting was recorded on 78 disc by Cape Breton fiddler Bill Lamey. The basic two part setting is also popular and is found in the Skye Collection. The four part setting in the Athole Collection was the inspiration for the popular Irish reel Farewell To Ireland."
A Virginia connection
A favorite of mine as well. Actually, I first came by it on an old field recording of an elderly fiddler from Galax, Virginia by the name of Emmett Lundy. Lundy refered to it simply as
"Highlander’s Farewell" and it was actually sometime before I realized its relationship to "H.’s Farewell to Ireland" (I know—a big leap ain’t it?). Regardless, Lundy’s variant is really more closely related to the version presented in the Gow Collection. Still, his is very distinct. He actually plays it as a reel, is heavy on the double stops, and incorporates some fairly complicated syncopation on the A part. In fact, I believe he plays it in the key of F—which makes for some Very interesting harmonies! Today, however, most "old-time" musicians play it in A. (I’m suspicious, however, that, while this may be truer to the melody’s Scottish origins, it may simply be a product of the fact that most "old-time" musicians are uncomfortable in keys other than A D G.) Also on the recording, Lundy tells a little story traditionally associated with the tune—at least in Virginia. He relates, "This piece was composed in the old country, where they had war in Scotland. And when the Highlanders took their departure from the Lowlands. A Highlander had a sweetheart in the Lowlands, and they just give him so long for to bid her farewell; and the low part of this represents the man and the high part, the lady."
A favourite of mine too
While I don’t know that many… this is my favourite strathspey. I came across it recently in a Green Linnet compilation double CD called "Ceilidh", tonnes of great stuff on there. The version here is by John Cunningham and his playing seems to give me a sense of the Highlander’s sorrow(?) at leaving Ireland - Anyway, that’s what I take from the tune, amonghst other emotions.
It’s a bit of a race to keep up with JC on the blues harp 😉.
Farewell to Ireland for whistle?
Does anyone have a whistle/flute score/ABC for Farewell to Ireland strathspey as played by Natalie MacMaster?
Re: Farewell to Ireland for whistle?
Do you have a recording? (Sorry, Michael, couldn’t resist) 😉
Re: Farewell to Ireland for whistle?
Don’t know if this will help, but have you seen:
http://www.ibiblio.org/fiddlers/HIGH.htm (scroll down about 3/4 of the page)
Is this the same tune?
this is fine tune! and it seems very sim to the sheet music posted here…though the parts are not put together the same
same tune only parts put together dif?…am I right?
thanks in advance for your help
There is a version for the Highland pipes as well
It’s in Scots Guards’ collection 1, but there it is called "Highland Harry" which is also a song attributed to Burns.
It’s in James Hoggs’ collection.
"Highland Harry Back Again first appeared in The Scots Magazine in August 1807, and thereafter Hogg included it in his 1810 collection of songs, The Forest Minstrel. It was created to celebrate the birthday of the Earl of Dalkeith, soon to be the 4th Duke of Buccleuch, to whose wife Hogg dedicated this new publication. The tune is known as ‘Highlander’s Lament’ and is often associated with Burns’s ‘My Harry was a gallant gay’ first published in James Johnson’s The Scots Musical Museum of 1790 (no.209). Hogg was known to sing this song himself."
Hi everyone just letting you know that this is the better sound file for version 2 of this tune https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CiNroM6BiFI