Crossing to Ireland
CROSSING TO IRELAND ("An t-aiseadh do dh' Eireann" or "An t-aiseag do dh'Eireann"). Scottish, Canadian; Slow Air (12/8 or 3/4 time) or Waltz. Canada, Cape Breton. E Minor (Barnes, Matthiesen): E Dorian (Cranford, Dunlay & Greenberg): F Minor (Fraser): A Minor (Johnson). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Barnes): AAB (Cranford, Dunlay/Greenberg, Fraser, Johnson, Matthiesen). The Gaelic title translates literally as "The Ferryboat to Ireland." "The editor discovered this air in an ancient manuscript in the possession of his father, of some of the band music of the 78th regiment, to which he belonged, raised by the late General Fraser of Lovat in the year 1757; it seems to be quick-march time, built upon Lord Kelly's strathspey, unless antecedent to it. MacArthur, the master of the band, was instructed with the view of becoming minstrel to the Kilravock family, and had access to much of the music of the Mairnshire gentlemen formerly mentioned" (Fraser). The tune is sometimes played as a waltz (as in Winston Fitzgerald's recording), though this is frowned upon by traditionalists. It was recorded by Cape Breton musicians Winston 'Scotty' Fitzgerald (c. 1950's in the key of F Dorian) and Dougie MacDonald.
Source for notated versions: Winston Fitzgerald (1914-1987, Cape Breton) [Cranford, Dunlay & Greenberg].
Printed sources: Barnes (English Country Dance Tunes, vol. 2), 2005; p. 144 (appears as "Winter Waltz", the name of a dance by Fried de Metz Herman set to the tune). Cranford (Winston Fitzgerald), 1997; No. 224, p. 90. Dunlay & Greenberg (Traditional Celtic Violin Music of Cape Breton), 1996; p. 84. Fraser (The Airs and Melodies Peculiar to the Highlands of Scotland and the Isles), 1874; No. 95, p. 36. Johnson (The Kitchen Musician No. 10: Airs and Melodies of Scotland's Past), 1992 (revised 2001); p. 19. Matthiesen (Waltz Book I), 1992; pp. 56-57.
Recorded sources: Avocet Records, Glasnotes – "Live from Contrafornia." ACC-49195, Dougie MacDonald – "Staying in Tune." Breton Books and Records BOC 1HO, Winston "Scotty" Fitzgerald – "Classic Cuts" (reissue of Celtic Records CX 59). Celtic SCX 59, BBMCD 001, Winston Fitzgerald – "A Selection of New Jigs, Reels, Strathspeys." Culburnie CUL110, Abby Newton – "Crossing to Scotland" (1997). Shag Rock SOTH 0001, Marcel Doucet – "Tarbot Anthology."
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