Dark Island

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DARK ISLAND, THE. AKA and see "Dr. Mackay's Farewell to Creagorry." Scottish, English; Pipe Air (6/4 time) or Waltz (3/4 time). A Dorian ('A' part) & G Major ('B' part) {Martin}: D Dorian ('A' part) & C Major ('B' part) {Merryweather}: E Dorian ('A' part) & D Major ('B' part) {Johnson}. Standard tuning (fiddle). One part (Martin): AB (Johnson): AA'B (Merryweather). Composed in 1963 as a pipe lament by the late Iain MacLachlan, an accordion player from Creagorry who originally titled it "Dr Mackay's Farewell to Creagorry," after a local physician. Various lyrics have been written to the tune, although the first version was by David Silver of Inverness, who was asked to write a song for a BBC TV thriller, "The Dark Island", filmed in Benbecula in 1963. The island was his inspiration for the pensive song. He set his lyrics to MacLachlan's air. Subsequently others wrote sets of lyrics to the melody, including one in Gaelic, "Eilean Dorcha."

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Johnson (The Kitchen Musician's Occasional: Waltz, Air and Misc.), No. 1, 1991; p. 2. Martin (Ceol na Fidhle), vol. 1, 1991; p. 10. Merryweather (Merryweather's Tunes for the English Bagpipe), 1989; p. 54.

Recorded sources: Direction, Barde (1977). Rounder 0193, Rodney Miller - "Airplang" (1985). Sampler 8911, Thistledown - "Hills of Lorne" (1989). Topic, "The Clutha: Scots Ballads, Songs & Dance Tunes" (1974). Ryan's Crossing - "Dance Around This One." Iain McLachlan - "An Island Heritage."




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