Words to "Mairi’s Wedding"
"Mairi’s Wedding" is a Scottish song I’ve heard in a number of places. Van Morrison sang it on the album he did with the Chieftains.
Chorus (A part):
Step we gaily on we go
Heel for heel and toe for toe
Arm in arm and row on row
All for Mairi’s wedding.
Verse (B part):
Over hillways up and down
Myrtle green and bracken brown
Past the shieling through the town
All for sake of Mairi.
Red her cheeks as rowans are
Bright her eye as any star
Fairest of them all by far
Is my darlin’ Mairi.
Plenty herring, plenty meal
Plenty peat to fill her creel
Plenty bonny bairns as weel
That’s our toast for Mairi.
There’s also a specific Scottish Country dance for this tune and song.
You’d get some pretty strange looks if you started playing this in a session anywhere in Scotland. This particular song is more associated with the "tartan" end of Scottish tourism, rather than traditional music. It’s one of the songs which was hammered into school-kids at school music lessons , thereby putting them off traditional Scottish music for life. Billy Connolly has a great sketch about this on a live double LP he recorded in the late 70s/early 80s, before he became famous - a lot of us could identify with that story only too well!
Having said that, I would have to admit it could work well as a polka, but please, forget about the words.
More of a March than a Polka, I think…
Though hopelessly over-played, it’s still a nice tune…
I have yet to find a good recording of this tune. It’s usually played in a horrible american fashion: everything rolled together with no swing :(
Slightly reluctant to contribute to this for the reasons stated above, but if it is a song you like , then the best version I could recommend would be by "The Corries". I’m sure it’s on several of their recordings - try "Foot Stompin" website, or do a "Google" search for "Corries".
M’s Weddin’ ~
Back to the future:
Good enough for Noel Hill………..
Having heard Mari’s Wedding in a session set, one follow-on tune I know, but can’t find the title?
Would appreciate any members suggested follow-on tune to this Polka.
Thanks, john T
Other possibilities :-
Uist Tramping Song (from the same stable as this)
Tha mi sgìth (Buain na Rainich)
"Mairi’s Wedding" ~ Wikipedia & a few YouTubes too
The Chieftains w/ Van - "Marie’s Wedding"
The Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem - "Marie’s Wedding"
Cape Breton’s Rankins ~
The Rankin Family_Mairi’s wedding
Jimmy Shand - "Mairi’s Wedding"
Northern Ireland ~
Danced at Portadown Summer Party, County Armagh, 20th May, 2009
Mairi’s Wedding + follow on tune?
Thank you everyone for your response. One or two of the first tunes suggested are very similar to the tune I play, but thanks for the great tunes you’ve suggested.
I remember the band that played the version I’m looking for, from the around the seventies named
" The Orwell String Band " from my neck of the woods in Suffolk UK.
Tom Montgomery was the Elder Irish Fiddler, and one of the younger was Pete Croft the Melodeon Player.
A great session dance band. If anyone remembers them please let me know.
Thanks, John T
I’ve always really liked this tune and think it is probably getting a bit of an unfair press in some of the comments, although no one hammered it in to me at school which probably helps. Anyway sticking with a Scottish theme I’ve often rolled into anyone of these from a stint with Mairi
https://thesession.org/tunes/3640 (Dr Dow’s version)
All good for a bit of the old gay Gordon’s or some such hoofing.
"Lewis Bridal Song" / "Marie’s Wedding" ~ The Corries - - - Kenny recommends
"~ if it is a song you like , then the best version I could recommend would be by "The Corries"."
# Posted by Kenny - September 6th, 2005
"follow-on tune to Mairi’s Wedding"
I like The Liberton Boys - a four parter, but any two parts will do.
And if dancing lady cops turn you on…
This a fantastic Scottish Country dance, not as popular as it once was. Even danced it at my wedding in my wedding gear, very hot work with on an extremely hot July day.
Mairi’s Wedding, X:5
Setting as played at the Golden Guinea pub session, Bristol, UK.
Re: Mairi’s Wedding
John T was asking about The Orwell String Band. I formed the band with John Chandler, Pete Croft and Sean Halpenny and gave the band its name. Tom Montgomery joined later - he taught me to play the fiddle. The follow on tune that John mentions may have been The Black Bear which I recall that we played.
Re: Mairi’s Wedding
An arrangement for fiddle ensemble (2 fiddle lines, cello, and chords) is available in Weaver MacFarlane’s Choon Book, a free download from cracklingsmarts.com.
Audio file of this arrangement is available on Soundcloud (just search for Weaver MacFarlane).
Re: Mairi’s Wedding
The last one isn’t Gmaj, it’s Ddor or Dmix
Re: Mairi’s Wedding
Tisn’t - G maj ‘tis! Just because it finishes on a D doesn’t make it D anything! It’s what’s called a suspension! I love ‘em! Can’t bear being forced back to finish on the keynote. Suspensions rule, Ok! Some of the tunes used for Burns’ songs even finish on the second note of the scale: live with it.
When played as a dance tune it is often played AABB, wheras the song goes ABAB, finishing with a further chorus (A tune).
Mairi’s Wedding, X:8
Setting from Loretta Egan Murphy & John Brennan.
Mairi’s Wedding, X:9
Loretta Murphy’s setting transposed up to Ador/Amix.
Re: Mairi’s Wedding video from Ohio
Our little band turns Mairi’s wedding into a 32-bar tune so that we can play it for contradances. And we sing it. We are very happy with the liveliness of the result. I humbly submit it here. (Skip to 1:57 in the video for Mairi’s Wedding.) (And yes, I’m well aware that our sound is not at all Celtic-sounding.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v78osMKnFMY&feature=youtu.be&t=117