Mak a Kishie Needle Dye
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MAK A KISHIE NEEDLE, DYE/DIE. Shetland, Shetland Reel. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. "Dye was an affectionate term for Grandfather on the West side of Shetland. A Kishie is a form of straw basket which was woven using a wooden needle very similar to a fishing-net needle. So, the title can be interpreted as -- 'Make a Kishie Needle, Grandad'" (Anderson). The tune is in the repertory of the Shetland Fiddle Band and is widely known in the Shetlands.
The authors of Old-lore Miscellaney of Orkney, Shetland, Caithness and Sutherland (Vol. VI, Part 1, Jan., 1913, p. 7) explain that "Mak a Keshie Needle, Dey" was a reel used in the Walls District of Shetland:
Why this name is applied to a piece of Dance Music, I have no means of knowing. Such names may be used metaphorically, or there may be some hidden meaning only known locally. "Dey" is a pet name for grandfather, and a "Keshie Needle" was a piece of hard wood or bone, made like a needle and extensively used in the olden days for sewing the numerous articles made of straw. When a Keshie (a straw basked for carrying on the back) was made, it was strengthened round the brim by a thick band of straw called da "faus gird," and it was her that the use of the "Keshie Needle" came in.
Source for notated version: "the late" Peter Fraser (Shetlands) [Anderson]. Fraser was one of the founding members, with Anderson, of the Shetland Folk Society.
Printed sources: Anderson (Ringing Strings), 1983; p. 85.
Recorded sources: Topic 12TS379, Aly Bain & Tom Anderson - "Shetland Folk Fiddling, vol. 2" (1978). Whirlie
WhirlieCD14, Aly Bain - "The Best of Aly Bain, vol. 1" (2008).