Muckle a Skerry in Three
Back to Muckle a Skerry in Three
MUCKLE A SKERRY IN THREE. AKA and see "Irish Shilling," "Out and in the Harbour." Shetland, Shetland Reel. From the districts of Whalsay and Nesting, Shetland, or (according to Old-Lore Miscellany of Orkney, Shetland, Caithness and Sutherland, Vol. VI, Part 1, Jan., 1913, p. 8), the Whalsay and Skerries Districts. Muckla Skerry is a small island east of Whalsay, and, according to Peter Cooke (1986), the title makes reference to a fishing mead. The Old-Lore Miscellany remarks (rather disappointingly): "At festive gatherings the fiddler was commonly treated quite freely, and if he was at all inclined to indulge he ultimately reached a stage where his vision seemed distorted, he began to see things double or it may be even treble--in fact he saw Muckla Skerry in three, hence the reference." Pat Shuldham-Shaw also made a field recording of the tune under this name from the playing of Willie Hunter Sr. and Jr. (Lerwick, Shetland), and there is also a field recording of Andrew Polson playing the reel.
Source for notated version:
See also listing at:
Hear Peter Cooke's field recording of William Robertson of Whalsay playing the tune in 1974 at Tobar an Dualchais  
Hear Peter Cooke's field recording of Gilbert Hutchison of Whalsay playing the tune in 1974 at Tobar an Dualchais