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The Library of Aethers
The Library of Aethers
Pages and Files
Armed conflict & weapons
Body parts, functions & fluids
Musical instruments & terms
Points of the compass
Titles & trappings
References (interviews, reviews)
List of songs
Hirta Songs reading list
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Join Our Lusty Chorus contains portions of the traditional Sussex hunting song Sportsmen, Arouse (or The Innocent Hare) as sung by the Copper Family of Rottingdean, Sussex.
Carousing incorporates part of the melody for the traditional Bonny At Morn as played by Bob Fox and Stu Luckley.
When A Man’s In Love He Feels No Cold takes its title line and part of its melody from the traditional Irish song of the same name as sung by Paddy Tunney.
The Whole House is Singing has a lyric "highly influenced by an English translation of '
' ('Song of the Gael'), the well-known collection of oral poetry and song by Alexander Carmichael (1832-1912)" from the sleeve notes to Urstan
The Old Men of the Shells — there is a
pipe tune of the same name
. The melody of ‘The Old Men of the Shells’ is adapted from that of the traditional Irish song ‘The Verdant Braes of Screen’.
The Hidden Sin — music taken from the Yowie wi the Crookit Horn (
) mentioned in intro at Kings Place 2011
Hyperboreans — Boreas (Greek: Βορέας, Boréas) was the Greek god of the cold north wind and the bringer of winter. His name meant "North Wind" or "Devouring One"... Herodotus and Pliny both describe a northern land known as Hyperborea ("Beyond the North Wind"), where people lived in complete happiness and had extraordinarily long lifespans.
On 020110304 Jackie Oates cited Herodotus as one of Alasdair's sources.
The Sacred Nine and the Primal Horde — (from
Revenge of the Folksingers
booklet): A song of metaphysical enquiry with lyrics inspired by sources including The York Mystery Plays, Ronald Hutton's
Stations of the Sun
, Mircea Eliade's
Patterns in Comparative Religion
, and F. Marian MacNeill's
The Silver Bough
. The melody is partly derived from the traditional Irish song
as sung by Mary Delaney, a blind Traveller woman living in London in the 1950s.
The Wheels of the World — indebted to a singer from Derry called Kevin Mitchell who lives in Glasgow. 02010-10-30 Cecil Sharp House
I Saw the Boy of Blazing Brow take to Rood Like Groom to Bride — tune very similar to My Love's in Germany by Silly Wizard, plust something else mentioned around 40 mins in to Resonance FM interview
The Laverock in the Blackthorn — tune from Sean O'Dwyer of the Glen as sung by Len Graham
Fusion of Horizons — the term "
fusion of horizons
" (translated from the German "Horizontverschmelzung") comes from the work of philosopher
, particularly in his book
Truth and Method
, and refers to how understanding, interpretation, knowledge, meaning and truth emerge from intersubjectivity and communication (it's hard to summarise in a few words).
Sweet William - Fred Jordan (Cecil Sharp House, 2005)
Bonnie Susie Cleland - Maureen Jelks (Snape, 2010)
Long Lankin - George Fradleigh, Derbyshire (Resonance FM interview)
The Crook of my Arm
Lord Gregory is from the singing of Shirley Collins on her record with Davy Graham Folk Roots, New Routes, and that version derives from the singing of Elizabeth Cronin.
As I Came In By Huntly Town is adapted from the traditional Bogie’s Bonnie Belle, from the anglicised version sung by Robin Dransfield.
Bonnie Lass Among The Heather is from Dick Gaughan on his album Gaughan.
The Magpie’s Nest is again from the singing of Shirley Collins.
Ploughboy Lads is from the singing of Dougie Maclean.
Lowlands is from the singing of Anne Briggs.
Master Kilby is from the singing of Nic Jones.
Standing In Yon Flow’ry Garden is from the singing of Mary Ann Haynes.
Ye Banks And Braes O’ Bonnie Doon is by Robert Burns.
The False Bride is from the singing of Alasdair’s father Alan.
The Month Of January is from the singing of Paddy Tunney.
The Wife Of Usher’s Well is an American variant of the classic supernatural ballad, from the singing of Alex Campbell.
No Earthly Man
Lord Ronald is adapted from the misremembered singing of Donald Lindsay of Kirkintilloch.
Molly Bawn is from the singing of Packie Manus Byrne of Donegal.
The Cruel Mother is a composite of several versions of the song.
On The Banks Of Red Roses is from the singing of Ella Ward of Edinburgh.
The Two Brothers is from the singing of Sheila Stewart and also her mother Belle Stewart of Blairgowrie, Perthshire.
Admiral Cole is from a version by Graham Pirt and Alistair Anderson.
Sweet William is from the singing of Fred Jordan of Shropshire.
A Lyke Wake Dirge is from the singing of Peter Bellamy, Heather Wood and Royston Wood.
Too Long in this Condition
General sources and influences
"The way I play [guitar is] more like how my father Alan used to play, and influence of a more British kind of folk/traditional finger style tradition can be discerned in it, absorbed through listening to players like Nic Jones, Martin Carthy, Dick Gaughan and so on." [
A Living Legend
Slint, Codeine, Pavement [
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