Bird's Nest

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BIRD'S NEST. AKA - "Put out the Fire." Scottish, Canadian; Reel. Canada; Cape Breton, Prince Edward Island. A Dorian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Dunlay): ABB (Shears): AA'B (Perlman). Dunlay and Greenberg (1996) find that the second part of "Ratha Fair" bears some resemblance to the first part of "Birds Nest;" similarly, the first part to "Feargan" (in Kerr's) is also close to the first of "Bird's Nest." Angus Chisholm and Winston Fitzgerald paired the tune with "Bonnie/Bonny Lass of Fisherrow (The)" in recordings which have become classic. Gaelic words for the tune were obtained from Lorrie MacKinnon from Archie Neil Chisholm:

Tha nead na h-eoin anns a'choille (x3)
Far an d'fhuair an smeorach.
(The bird's nest is in the woods (x3)
Where the thrush is gotten.)

Sources for notated versions: fiddler Angus Chisholm (1908-1979), learned this tune from the Gaelic singing of his mother (Cape Breton, Nova Scotia) [Dunlay & Reich]; Peter Chaisson, Sr. (b. 1929, Bear River, North-East King's County, Prince Edward Island) [Perlman].

Printed sources: Cranford (Jerry Holland's Collection), 1995; No. 75, p. 22. Dunlay & Greenberg (Traditional Celtic Violin Music of Cape Breton), 1996; p. 66. Dunlay & Reich (Traditional Celtic Fiddle Music of Cape Breton), 1986; No. 65, p. 66. Perlman (The Fiddle Music of Prince Edward Island), 1996; p. 99. Shears (Gathering of the Clans Collection, vol. 1), 1986; p. 60 (pipe setting-the second part is altered somewhat to fit the pipe scale).

Recorded sources: Breton Books and Records BOC 1HO, Winston "Scotty" Fitzgerald - "Classic Cuts" (reissue of Celtic Records CX 40). Canadian Broadcasting Corp. Celtic Music Co. 009 (78 RPM), Angus Chilsholm (1935). NMAS 1972, Natalie MacMaster - "Fit as a Fiddle" (1993). CX 009, CX 1, SCX 57, and Shanachie 14001, Angus Chisholm - "The Early Recordings of Angus Chisholm." CX 40, Winston Fitzgerald. Decca 14006, The Inverness Serenaders (appears as "Put Out the Fire"). Green Linnet GLCD 1117, Altan - "Harvest Storm" (1992. Learned from accordion player Paddy O'Brian from Co. Offaly, now living in Minneapolis). PKMMCD-17, Peter Chaisson (P.E.I.) - "Road to Rollo Bay." Rounder 7001, Joe Cormier - "Scottish Violin Music from Cape Breton Island" (1974).

See also listing at:
Alan Snyder's Cape Breton Fiddle Recording Index [1]
Hear also Altan's recording on youtube.com [2] (3rd tune in medley, preceded by ""Pretty Peg," "New Ships a Sailing," and followed by "Man from Bundoran").




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