Caald Nights O Winter (Da)

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X:1 T:Da Caald Nights O Winter M:4/4 L:1/8 Q:1/4=220 C:Trad Shetland R:reel Z:Chris Hoseaso K:Amix e|eaaf gefd|BBge d2 dd|eaaf gafd|efdf e2 e:| |:A|AAcA eAcA|BBge d2 df|eAcA eAce|efdf e2 e:||



CAALD NIGHTS O WINTER. Shetland, Shetland Reel. Shetland; Nesting, Whalsay. A Mixolydian/D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. A popular tune from Whalsay, notes Tom Anderson (1970).

The following descriptive passage is excerpted from the memoirs of Elizabeth Grant of Rothiemurchus. She grew up in a manor in the Highlands in the early 19th century, and here she writes about the year 1812, when at age fifteen she and her sister arose under the direction of her governess:

In winter we rose half an hour later, without candle, or fire, or warm water. Our clothes were all laid on a chair overnight in readiness for being taken up in proper order. My Mother would not give us candles, and Miss Elphick insisted we should get up. We were not allowed hot water, and really in the high- land winters, when the breath froze on the sheets, and the water in the jugs became cakes of ice, washing was a cruel necessity, the fingers were pinched enough. As we could play our scales well in the dark, the two pianofortes and the harp began the day's work. How very near crying the one whose turn set her at the harp I will not speak of; the strings cut the poor cold fingers so that the blisters often bled. Martyr the second put her poor blue hands on the keys of the grand-pianoforte in the drawing room, for in those two rooms the fires were never lighted till near nine o'clock - the grates were of bright steel, the household was not early and so we had to bear our hard fate.


Additional notes

Source for notated version: - A. Hutchinson (Shetland) [Anderson & Georgeson].

Printed sources : - Anderson & Georgeson (Da Mirrie Dancers), 1970; p. 25.

Recorded sources: -



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