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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Gordon Jackson Origins: Gaelic Waltz - Alan Stivell - Gaeltacht (32) RE: Origins: Gaelic Waltz - Alan Stivell - Gaeltacht 20 Feb 19

I, too, really like Renaissance of the Celtic Harp. In fact, I’d say it’s one of my top ten folk albums. I often wondered about ‘Gaelic Waltz’, as it, as least as played by Alan Stivell, is obviously not a waltz, being in a heavily-syncopated 2/4 or 4/4. I was pleased to find a ‘proper’ title for it, and the origins of the name (if not the actual tune). One thing that seems to have been missed is that Galley of Lorne was the name of a late-Victorian steamship (, built on the Clyde.

A tune in 3/4 is not necessarily a waltz (or mazurka or minuet), just as a syncopated 4/4 is not necessarily ragtime. Personally, I prefer to play it in a loose 3/4, more as a slow air.

None of this, of course, throws any light on the origin of the tune itself: is it a Gaelic tune, with an original Gaelic name or words? If so, that would suggest The Galley of Lorne is either a translation or a later name. I suspect that’s not the case. It might even be a more recent tune (remember The Dark Island?).

This is a fascinating thread that, while throwing up good suggestions for the name, hasn’t managed so far to find the origin of the tune!


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