Sailing Through The Narrows waltz

There are 2 recordings of a tune by this name.

Sailing Through The Narrows has been added to 1 tune set.

Sailing Through The Narrows has been added to 82 tunebooks.

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Five settings

X: 1
T: Sailing Through The Narrows
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
D2|:B2 B ABd|BcE EFG|A2 E3 G|FG/F/E DGA|
|B2 B ABd|BcE EFG|GFE DAB|1 G4 D2:|2 G4 F2||
|:E2 E DEF|FGE EFG|GF D2 A2-|ABA GFG|
|E2 E DEF|FGE EFG|GFE DAB|1 G4 F2:|2 G4 D2||
# Added .
X: 2
T: Sailing Through The Narrows
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
B2 B | A B d | B c E | E F G | A2 E- | E2 G | F G/F/ E | D G A |
B2 B | A B d | B c E | E F G | G F E | D A B | G3- | G :|
E2 E | D E F | F G E | E F G | G F D- | D A2- | A B A | G F G |
E2 E | D E F | F G E | E F G | G F E | D A B | G3- | G :|
X: 3
T: Sailing Through The Narrows
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
D2|:B2 BA Bd|Bc EE FG|A2 E3 G|FG/F/ ED GA|
B2 BA Bd|Bc EE FG|GF ED AB|1 G4 D2:|2 G4 GF||
|:E2 ED EF|FG EE FG|GF D2 A2-|AB AG FG|
E2 ED EF|FG E2 FG|GF ED AB|1 G4 GF:|2 G4 D2||
X: 4
T: Sailing Through The Narrows
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
B2 B | ABd | BcE | EFG | A2 E- | E2 G | F G/F/ E | DGA |
B2 B | ABd | BcE | EFG | GFE | DAB | G3- | G :|
E2 E | DEF | FGE | EFG | GFD- | D A2- | ABA | GFG |
E2 E | DEF | FGE | EFG | GFE | DAB | G3- | G :|
X: 5
T: Sailing Through The Narrows
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
D2|:B2 B ABd|c2 E2 FG|A2 E3 G|FG/F/E DGA|
|B2 BA (3Bcd|c2 E2 (3EFG|GF ED AB|1 G4 D2:|2 G4 GF||
|:E2 ED (3DEF|FG E2 FG|GF D2 A2-|ABA GFG|
|E2 ED (3DEF|FG E2 (3EFG|GF ED AB|1 G4 F2:|2 G4 D2||

Twelve comments

Sailing Through the Narrows

This beautiful jig was written by John McCusker and appears on his cd "Yella Hoose" (Yellow House). John’s a legendary Scots fiddler, veteran of the Battlefield Band, and one of those rare composers who is completely immersed in the tradition and yet can create strikingly new tunes that both stretch the tradition and well deserve to be included at any session.

I emailed John to ask his permission to post Sailing Through the Narrows here, and he replied:

"I’d be delighted if you posted the tune on the web site…it’s a great
thrill to hear people playing my tunes and that’s what they are for!
Good luck with your playin’ and say hi to everybody at the session….
Best Wishes, John McCusker"

You can order the Yella Hoose online and learn more about John’s music at www.johnmccusker.net.

Now to the tune. I hope the sound file does it justice because the sway of this tune would be difficult to catch from the dots alone. The phrases tend to flow right across the bar lines, and you’ll find odd pairings of beats, such as the third measure in the B Part where you get two eighth notes followed by two quarter notes, and the second quarter gets carried over into the first eighth note of the next bar! Not your typical jig rhythm, yet it’s unmistakably founded in the tradition.

From the basic version shown here, you can add cut notes on the first measure B2 B and other places where notes double up (on the EE’s and GG’s, notably). Again, listen to Yella Hoose to hear the embellishments that John brings to the tune.

I should thank Mary Angela Collins, my cohort in fiddling crime here in Helena, for instantly recognizing the Narrows as a great tune, and also Doug Holly for playing it on the low D whistle, where it finds its true home as a sweet and somber air.

Posted .

Yella Hoose

I would like to second that praise for this wonderful album and there are a number of other amazing tunes on that album. It is gratifying to hear his response to the posting of his tunes on the ‘Session’.

Coming back to this tune two years later I am suprised that I did not note that Will, you have put this in as a Jig - Isn’t it a WALTZ?? Sorry for the nitpicking and anyway who’s going to read this incredibly belated comment.

Me, and I agree Donough, not much as a jig but workable as a waltz…

“Sailing Through The Narrows” ~ John McCusker

The following is taken from the existing transcription by Will and merely slowed down to 3/4 time. The ‘piece’ can be taken as either an air, for one’s listening pleasure, or to waltz to ~

M: 3/4
L: 1/4
R: waltz / air
K: Gmaj
|: D2 |
B2 B | A B d | B c E | E F G | A2 E- | E2 G | F G/F/ E | D G A |
B2 B | A B d | B c E | E F G | G F E | D A B | G3- | G :|
|: F2 |
E2 E | D E F | F G E | E F G | G F D- | D A2- | A B A | G F G |
E2 E | D E F | F G E | E F G | G F E | D A B | G3- | G :|

"Yella Hoose"
Track 8: Kev’s Trip to Brittany:
Sailing through the Narrows / Kev’s Trip to Brittany / Pur the Orang Utan

"The first tune is a stretch of water in Loch Lomond. The second isfor my friend Kevin Morris who came on tour with the Battlefield Band to Brittany. I got a present of a sponsored Orang Utan last year…..his name is Pur."
~ John McCusker

We usually play this with enough pace that it would be uncomfortable to waltz to, though on occasion we slow it down. The pace seems to dictate where the emphasis falls. Also, I find it easier to read as a jig (not that this should matter—I learned it by ear off the recording).

Posted .

Will, it don’t matter how fast you want to play it it still remains a ‘fast waltz’ with three pairs of notes rather than two lots of three notes per bar.

Well I finally got around to writing out my take on this as a waltz - play as fast as you like :)
X: 1
T: Sailing Through The Narrows
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
R: Waltz
K: Gmaj
D2|:B2 BA Bd|Bc EE FG|A2 E3 G|FG/F/ ED GA|
B2 BA Bd|Bc EE FG|GF ED AB|1 G4 D2:|2 G4 GF||
|:E2 ED EF|FG EE FG|GF D2 A2-|AB AG FG|
E2 ED EF|FG E2 FG|GF ED AB|1 G4 GF:|2 G4 D2||

Whoa Hoss! ~ pull in the reins a little bit, don’t go saying things like "as fast as you like", pleeaaassse! It does go nicely at a clip, but one where you can still hear the melody…maybe a Viennese tempo if you want some speed…

This actually works treated as if it were 3/8, akin to a Breton bouree, one beat per measure, as for the transcription I’ve give above, changing M: 3/4 to M: 3/8, the first measure would then go similar to as whoosis is imagining it, but never 6/8:

The following is taken from the existing transcription by Will and merely slowed down to 3/4 time. The ‘piece’ can be taken as either an air, for one’s listening pleasure, or to waltz to ~

M: 3/8
L: 1/8
R: waltz / bouree
K: G Major
|: D2 |
B2 B | ABd | BcE | EFG | A2 E- | E2 G | F G/F/ E | DGA |
B2 B | ABd | BcE | EFG | GFE | DAB | G3- | G :|
|: F2 |
E2 E | DEF | FGE | EFG | GFD- | D A2- | ABA | GFG |
E2 E | DEF | FGE | EFG | GFE | DAB | G3- | G :|

In fact, if you really are set in gunning it, well, then it works much better as a bouree, actually fun to dance that to, but as commented earlier, too fast and it makes a cack waltz…

Sailing Through The Narrows, X:5

This is a really beautiful tune, one of the most beautiful I have ever played.
https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=john+mccusker+sailing+through+the+narrows&adlt=strict%2cstrict%2cstrict%2cstrict&view=detail&mid=D9007D5536686AC4CB48D9007D5536686AC4CB48&FORM=VRDGAR&adlt=strict
Above is the video which I got the tune from. I recommend looking at it before trying to play the tune. It is less of a jig than a waltz, though it has elements of both.
Enjoy!