Back to Ferrie Reel
FERRIE REEL (Fairy Reel). AKA - "Faery Reel," "Ferry Reel." Shetland, Reel. Shetland, Island of Yell. D Major. Standard or ADae tuning (fiddle). AABB. A traditional Shetland reel, part of the Yell Reels set. According to Tom Anderson (1978) the tune was one of the Yell tunes that were revived and played by Bobbie Jamieson and Willie Barclay Henderson. He identifies it as a trowie (troll) tune which tradition has it as heard emanating from a hole in the ground by a fiddler returning from performing at a wedding. The second strain has similarities to Gow's "Largo's Fairy Dance" (also sometimes called "Fairy Reel (1) (The)" or "Fairy Dance"), which may account for the "Faery" title. The melody is one of the tunes in the traditional Yell Reels set, which includes "Ferrie Reel," "Lay Dee at Dee (1)," and "Miss Spence's Reel."
The note with the tune in Anderson & Swing's Haand Me Doon da Fiddle records:
Dis een comes fae Yell an it seems it a fiddler comin hame fae a weddin set him doon ta rest upon a broo. He heard music comin fae a hole ida grund an he could hear da soond o dancin as weel. He kent it wis da trows haddin a rant bit he wisna feard an sat still until he'd gottin da tün in his head. Whin he got hame he never guid ta bed until he wis able to play him upo da fiddle. Bobby Jamieson an Willie Barclay Henderson o Nort Yell played dis een wi da high bass, dat is, da back string set up ta A.
Source for notated version:
Printed sources: Anderson & Swing (Haand Me Doon da Fiddle), 1979; No. 30. Bain (50 Fiddle Solos), 1989; p. 26 (appears as "Faery Reel"). Carlin (Master Collection), 1984; No. 112, p. 73.
Recorded sources: Topic 12TS379, Aly Bain & Tom Anderson - "Shetland Folk Fiddling, vol. 2" (1978).
See also listing at:
Hear the tune played in a 1954 recording by Peter Scollay (fiddle), Lowrie Scollay (guitar) and Alice Manuell (accordion) at Tobar an Dualchais