Farder Ben da Welcomer (Da)

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FA(R)DER BEN DA WELCOMER, DA. AKA - "Farder bein, da Welcomer (Da)," "Farther Ben the Welcomer (The)." Shetland, Listening Tune (2/4 time). Shetland, Walls. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB (Cooke {version B}): AABBC (Anderson & Georgeson, Cooke {version A}): AA'BBC (Carlin). Pat Shuldham-Shaw says the title means 'The farther within, the more welcomed', and was played to welcome guests at a wedding reception. Anne Gilchrist remarks that the "but" was the outer compartment of the cot, the "ben" the inner and cosier. "Come ben the hoose!" was a warm greeting, she says. The tune was played in Walls as a welcome on the return from the kirk of the bridal party to the Bride's home (in Unst "Bride is a Boanie Ting (Da)" or "Bride's a Bonnie Thing (The)" was played instead). It was also occasionally played as a listening tune at the wedding dance, state Anderson & Georgeson (1970). The tune was listed in Hoseason's 1863 MS. "Neither (John) Stickle nor (Peter) Fraser gave any hint that it may have been danced, but the title appears in a list of 'Names of Reels or Dance Music collected in the Island of Unst' in the Notes section of the Old Lore Miscellany (vol. 4, 1913). Its asymmetrical phrasing and internal repetitions lead one to think it is not of Scottish origin" (Cooke, 1986). Francis Collinson also suggests the tune may be of Norwegian origin.

See also "Farther Ben the Welcomer (The)," printed in publisher Daniel Wright's Aria di Camera, printed in London in 1727.

Sources for notated versions: John Stickle (1875-1957, Baltasound, Unst, Shetland) [Cooke, version B, Shuldham-Shaw]; Peter Fraser (Shetland) [Cooke {version A}, Anderson & Georgeson].

Printed sources: Anderson & Georgeson (Da Mirrie Dancers), 1970; p. 10. Carlin (English Concertina), 1977; pp. 48-49. Cooke (The Fiddle Tradition of the Shetland Isles), 1986; Ex. 30a and 30b, pp. 82-83. Shetland Folklore Society (Shetland Folk Book). Pat Shuldham Shaw ("Folk Music and Dance in Shetland", Journal of the English Folk Dance and Song Society), vol. V, No. 2, 1947; p. 80.

Recorded sources:

See also listing at:
Hear the 1959 recording by Shetland fiddler Peter Fraser (backed by Tom Anderson on piano) at Tobar an Dualchais [1] [2]




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