New Land (The)

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NEW LAND, THE. Canadian, Waltz. F Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The most famous composition by luthier and musician Otis Tomas (Goose Cove, St. Ann's Bay, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia) in 1977, commemorating the first piece of land he and his wife bought on Cape Breton. Thomas told Cape Breton's Magazine in an interview ["Otis Thomas: Making instruments and Tunes" [1], Issue 56, p.43]:

I wrote it...(on a) September day or something. We were in the teepee (sic) again, we were just kind of getting settled there. I can remember the afternoon, a nice kind of sunny, fa11 sort of a day, just playing the fiddle. Just the whole idea of the new land ....We were in a new country, a new land. And we had our own land, our little piece of property we were starting at. It was just kind of a sense of, leaving behind, al1 the things leaving behind, and al1 the things that were opening up at the same time. Just that whole--that kind of sense, I think, is sort of what's in that tune.

The melody was recorded by the band Touchstone in the early 1980's.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Matthiesen (Waltz Book II), 1995; p. 40.

Recorded sources: Green Linnet SIF1040, Touchstone - "The New Land."

See also listing at:
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [2]
Alan Ng's Irishtune.info [3]
Alan Snyder's Cape Breton Fiddle Recording Index [4]




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