Derwentwater’s Farewell Air
Before this next tune, from the McGuire Brothers LP, starts another near riot, can I just explain that this is in fact an Air, not a Waltz, but as there is no waltz section, I put it in as a slow Waltz.
The brothers learned this tune from the playing of Grit Laskin on the Northumbrian Pipes & they describe it as a ‘Northumbrian Air’.
Grip was, & perhaps still is, a member of the group "Hang the Piper" (Folk-Legacy FS1-71)
On the LP they were joined by Ian Robb on Concertina.
If you play it at half speed, it should, hopefully convey the Air.
The song is one of the Child Ballads, based on the beheading of James Derwentwiter in 1716 for his participation in the Jacobite Rebellion. Lyrics and background can be found at:
including a link to the speech he gave shortly before his execution.
Hey Gary, thanks for that info. This is truly a beautiful Air & the McGuire brothers certainly do a great job with it on the LP. It has been a favourite of mine for a long time now & it’s brilliant to finally get some background details on the name.
Derwentwater’s Farewell Air
Pt - thanks, nice tune.
I assume you meant "but as there is no AIR section, I put it in as a slow Waltz."
The abc as written suggests (to me) a waltz with syncopation - is that the intention? Or is it rather to be played
D2E | G2G | A2B | D2B | c2B | A2G | E3 | G2E | etc
I’m looking forward to giving it an airing at our weekly session tonight - thanks
‘Domnull’. The way the bros. play this is more like a lament, with an irregular rhythm pattern, a bit like this:
T: Derwentwiter’s Farewell
D4E2 |G6G2 |A4B2 |D6B2 |c4B2 |A4G2 |E9 |G4E2 |
D4E2 |G6G2 |A4B2 |D6B2 |c4B2 |c4d2 |e9 g4e2||
d4B2 |A6G4 |c4d2 |e6g4e2 |d4B2 |A4G2D2E6 |G4E2 |
D4E2 |G4G2 |A4B2 |c6d2e2 |d4B2 |A4G2 |G12 ||
Let us know how folks like it at your session?
You can probably deduce the rhythm from the lyrics:
Farewell to pleasant Dilston Hall, My father’s ancient seat,
A stranger must now call thee his, Which gars my heart to greet;
Farewell each friendly well known face My heart has held so dear,
My tenants now must leave their lands, Or hold their lives in fear.
"Fare" comes on an F# pickup note before the D that starts the version notated above. "Seat" falls on the E9. etc.
I cannot agree with any of the ABC’s given so far. The midi is therefore very misleading and it sounds like a jig. The time signature is correct, 3/4 and I am tempted to call this a Lament. That description should automatically give the reader some idea of the tempo. It certainly needs a pick-up measure in order for the words to fit. I have always started on a ‘G’.
Here is my ABC and the tempo is approx 90 to 100.
T: Derwentwiter’s Lament
G2 | DE G3 G | AB D3 B | cB D3 B | cB A2 G2 | E4 G2 | DE G3 G | AB D3 B | cB c2 d2 | e4 e2 |
| dB A3 G | cd e3 e | dB A2 G2 | E4 G2 | DE G3 G | AB c2 e2 | dB A3 G | G4 ||
I am tempted to lengthen the first ‘e’ in bar 8 with the second being a quaver. My ABC would not let me do that.
Of course the two quavers at the beginning of the bars could be written | D>E G3 G | etc. for example. It depends whether you want to hold the note on or not. Slowish and with feeling and possibly not regemented.
Excuse spelling mistake on Derwentwiter’s and the fact that I put Lament. Unintentional slip.
It’s done it again, Derwentwiter’s
It’s spelt it wrong again. I thought it was me but it seems that this prog. has a mind of it’s own. What’s happening Jeremy?
I’ve just found the manuscript of D F in my copy of ‘The Charlton Memorial Tune Book’ published 1956 where it has been put with a second part and possibly intended for two bagpipes. There is a strong pause on the ‘C’ in bar 14 just before the tune is rounded off.
The Earl of Derwentwiter lived at Dilston, in a tributary valley of the Tyne south-west of Corbridge. He owned lands at the head of the South Tyne valley near or round the small town of Alston, where at that time there was a lucrative lead mining industry; these were seized by the Crown, the mineral profits going to the Greenwich Hospital and the area being incorporated into the county of Cumberland.
I realise why this system keeps spelling "Derwentwiter" wrongly a lot of the time.
The name contains a rude word, which the system has probably been set up to screen out.
I don’t think this is a very good transcription.
Well then, show us what you got? 😎