The Bonnie Isle O’ Whalsey reel

Also known as The Boanie Isle O’Whalsay, Bonnie Isle A’ Whalsay, The Bonnie Isle O’ Whalsay, The Bonnie Isle Of Whalsay, Bonny Isle A’ Whalsay, Da Boanie Isle O Whalsay, Da Boanie Isle O Whalsey, Da Boanie Isle O’Whalsay, Da Boannie Isle O’ Whalsey, Da Bonnie Isle A’ Whalsay, Da Bonnie Isle O’ Whalsay, Da Bonnie Isle O’Whalsay, Da Bonny Isle A’ Whalsay, Da Bonny Isle O’Whalsey.

There are 15 recordings of a tune by this name.

A tune by this name has been recorded together with Jack Broke Da Prison Door (a few times), Donald Blue (a few times), Sleep Soond Ida Mornin’ (a few times) and Lasses Trust In Providence (a few times).

The Bonnie Isle O’ Whalsey has been added to 12 tune sets.

The Bonnie Isle O' Whalsey has been added to 73 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Three settings

X: 1
T: The Bonnie Isle O' Whalsey
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
|:edcA B2 ed|cAAc BE E2|edcA B2 ed|cABG A4:|
cde=g dfed|cAdc B=G G2|cde=g fded|cABG A4|
cde=g fded|cAdc B=G G2|cdef =ga=ge|dBGB A4|
X: 2
T: The Bonnie Isle O' Whalsey
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amix
(e2|e)d cA B2ed|cA Ac BE2(e|e)d cA B2ed|\
cd eg fd ed|cA Ac BE E(c|c)d eg fd ed|\
cd ef ga ge|dB GB A2||
X: 3
T: The Bonnie Isle O' Whalsey
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amix
(e2|e)d cA B2ed|cA Ac BE2(e|e)d cA B2ed|cA B^G A2:|
AB|cd eg fd ed|cA Ac BE E(c|c)d eg fd ed|cA BG A2A2|
cd eg fd ed|cA Ac BE Ec|cd ef ga ge|dB GB A2||

Eight comments

A tune from Shetland. It is sometimes played with the high ‘e’s at the start of bars 1 and 3 slurred across the bar lines, giving it a syncopated feel, a feature more common in Shetland than Irish fiddling.

The following setting is from Richard Robinsons Tunebook.

M:4/4
K:Amix
(e2|e)d cA B2ed|cA Ac BE2(e|e)d cA B2ed|\
cA B^G A2::
AB|\
cd eg fd ed|cA Ac BE E(c|c)d eg fd ed|\
cA BG A2A2|
cd eg fd ed|cA Ac BE Ec|\
cd ef ga ge|dB GB A2||

Slurs

Yeah, you’ve really got to accent the high E’s in the A section with slurs to make this work. It’s a really super tune - I play it often. Have you ever tried it in the same set as Spootiskerry? This tune also works best with syncopated bowings and makes a good partner to Bonnie Isle of Whalsey

The Bonnie Isle O’ Whalsay

Sorry,I made a mistake in the abc.The high Gs in the second part should be natural.I’ll alter the abc and perhaps Jeremy could edit the sheet music.

Tom Anderson, Aly Bain and Dave Tulloch recorded this as the last tune in a monster set of reels:

Jack Broke da Prison Door, Donald Blue, Sleep Soond i’ da Moarnin’, Lasses Trust in Providence, Da Boanie Isle O’ Whalsay

A golden oldie.

Also recorded by Dougie McLean, on his first album several years ago, with yours truly on flute.

Posted by .

5 reels

In Shetland, that set laid out by granama is played at practically every session, often as the first set - if anyone suggests the "5 reels" or the "Auld 5", that’s what they mean.

Posted by .

Shetland 5

I was checking this out since someone at our local session is playing 3 of them and thought it might be useful to have all the links here. (we play 1,2 and 5)
Jack Broke da Prison Door,
https://thesession.org/tunes/1260
Donald Blue,
https://thesession.org/tunes/1175
Sleep Soond i’ da Moarnin’, (read the comments for the 2 part version)
https://thesession.org/tunes/1001
Lasses Trust in Providence,
https://thesession.org/tunes/8229
Da Boanie Isle O’ Whalsay (this one)
https://thesession.org/tunes/3583

The Bonnie Isle O’ Whalsey, X:3

Just fixing up the sheet music to CMO’s setting #2.