Maighdeanan na h-Airigh

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X:1 T:Maighdeanan na h-Airigh T:Island Sheiling Song, The T:Mo Mary R:Air M:3/4 L:1/8 B:Marjorie Kennedy-Fraser - Songs of the Hebrides (1908) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:G GB|c2B2 AF|E2E2 FE|D2E2 G>F|G2 GDGB|c2B2 AF| E2F2 EB,|D2E2 G>F|G2G2 GB|d2d2 ec|A2A2 Bd| e2e2 dB|d2 cB AG|G2d2 BG|E2 FG BG|D2E2 G>F|G2 G4|]



MAIGHDEANAN NA h-AIRIDH (Sheiling Maids). AKA – "Mo Mary," "Maighdeannan na Hibiridh." AKA and see "Thug mi'n oidhche raoir san airidh." Scottish, Slow Air (3/4 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Martin, vol. 4): AAB (Martin, vol. 2): AABB (Neil). The song was collected by Kenneth MacKellar and Marjory Kennedy-Fraser on the isle of Barra, and both English and Gaelic versions were published in Songs of the Hebrides, vol. 1 (1908). The authors seem to have elaborated on a fragment of the song to produce versions in each language. The song begins:

Thug mi 'n oidhche raoir 's mi bruadar,
Mar ri nigheagan na buaile;
B'fhìnealt uasal mìn na gruagaich
Seinn nan duanag anns an àirigh.

Last night by the shieling was Mary, my beloved.
Out on the hillside by the shieling, Mo Mary, my beloved.
Mo Mary, mo lennan, mo Mary, my beloved,
On the hillside by the shieling, mo Mary, my beloved.

However, the air (as "Maighdeannan na h-Airidh") was composed by John MacGilvray, alias 'Alasdair Ruadh', the piper to Alexander Macdonald X of Glenaladale, according to J. Murray Neil (1991). The piper was responsible for the building of the Glenfinnan Monument in 1874 and later emigrated with his family to Nova Scotia.

There is perhaps (?) a relation with the hymn "Beach Spring" printed in the shape-note hymnal The Sacred Harp (Philadelphia, 1844).


Additional notes



Printed sources : - Martin (Ceol na Fidhle, vol. 2), 1988; p. 4 ("Thug mi'n oidhche raoir san airidh"). Martin (Ceol na Fidhle, vol. 4), 1991; p. 22. Neil (The Scots Fiddle), 1991; No. 138, p. 178.

Recorded sources : - SUR 014, Capercaille – "The Blood is Strong."




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