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Lyr Req: Back of the North Wind

DigiTrad:
LADS O' THE FAIR
MUIR AND THE MASTER BUILDER
STRONG WOMEN RULE US ALL WITH THEIR TEARS


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BB 12 Oct 02 - 08:26 AM
Big Mick 12 Oct 02 - 09:59 AM
Susanne (skw) 12 Oct 02 - 04:36 PM
BB 12 Oct 02 - 06:52 PM
Murray MacLeod 12 Oct 02 - 08:27 PM
Susanne (skw) 13 Oct 02 - 05:22 PM
Murray MacLeod 13 Oct 02 - 06:03 PM
Jeri 13 Oct 02 - 06:38 PM
Susanne (skw) 13 Oct 02 - 08:44 PM
GUEST,BAILLIE 14 Oct 02 - 12:07 PM
BB 14 Oct 02 - 02:26 PM
Malcolm Douglas 14 Oct 02 - 03:42 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Back of the North Wind
From: BB
Date: 12 Oct 02 - 08:26 AM

A friend has asked me for the words to 'The Back of the North Wind', and we haven't got them anywhere in our collection, and I can't find them on Mudcat or anywhere else on the web. It seems that it's been recorded by Brian McNeill, maybe composed by him?

Come on, you lot, don't let me down - my credibility (and Mudcat's) is on the line here!

Barbara


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Subject: Lyr Add: BACK OF THE NORTH WIND^^
From: Big Mick
Date: 12 Oct 02 - 09:59 AM

Your credibility is safe, Dearie. Here are the lyrics. "The back o' the north wind" is a metaphor for Scotland. The song deals with her sons and daughters emigrating. Jed Marum gave me this CD as a gift,and it has become one of my very favorites.
^^
In the grey o' the gloamin' there sits an old man,
Wi' a glint in his eye and a glass in his hand,
and he sings to the new day when the old day is done,
cyin' "Where are my daughters and where are my sons?"

CHORUS:
And it's rovin' for pleasure by mountain and stream,
Rovin' for sorrow wi' whisky for dreams,
Rovin' for fortune on a far foreign shore,
at the back o' the north wind it's rovin' no more


The old woman pulls at the old shuttle wheel,
she sings o' the cradle, the plough and the creel,
She sings to the bairns as she weaves and she spins,
an old woman's song to the tune o' the wind

CHORUS

There's a maiden who scatters the seed on the land,
but the wind takes a share o' the seed from her hand,
that others might harvest what Scotland can sow,
As far as the blast o' the north wind can go.

CHORUS FOLLOWED BY 9/8 JIG CALLED "THE ENTAIL"

Author:Brian McNeill
copyright: Grian Music


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Back of the North Wind
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 12 Oct 02 - 04:36 PM

And this is what Brian says about the song in his songbook of the same title:

[1991:] One of Europe's most enduring myths tells of a land behind the North Wind, and in some versions of the story, the land is Scotland. In terms of Scotland's people, the idea is certainly credible - over the centuries they seem to have been prey to a perpetual outward force, pushing them to all parts of the globe. If it's a wind, then it's one that has many names, some harsh - poverty and persecution - and some hopeful - betterment, restlessness, a desire to know what's over the next hill, the next ocean. But it's a complex wind as well, perplexing, for the further the Scots are blown from home, the more that home seems to exert its pull on them - and that's a paradox which has become part of our national character; anyone who wants to understand Scotland today must look at the lives of the Scots abroad, past and present. And nowhere have these lives had more impact than across the Atlantic. (Notes Brian McNeill, 'The Back o' the North Wind')


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Back of the North Wind
From: BB
Date: 12 Oct 02 - 06:52 PM

Thanks, Mick & Susanne, your help and the trouble you've taken is very much appreciated.

Barbara


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Back of the North Wind
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 12 Oct 02 - 08:27 PM

I have never quite got confirmation regarding the tune that Brian used for this song, although the subject has cropped up here before.

Obviously he borrowed it from Mick Hanly's version of "Jack Haggerty" but did Mick Hanly actually write the melody?

Murray


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Back of the North Wind
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 13 Oct 02 - 05:22 PM

Sorry, I omitted mentioning the tune. Brian himself gives the tune as the American traditional 'Jack o' Diamonds'.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Back of the North Wind
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 13 Oct 02 - 06:03 PM

Suzanne, any more info on the tune "Jack O'Diamonds"? It obviously has no relation to the "Jack O'Diamonds" in the DT. Is it a fiddle tune that Brian adapted for the song? I had always assumed that Mick Hanly had composed the tune and that Brian had borrowed it.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Back of the North Wind
From: Jeri
Date: 13 Oct 02 - 06:38 PM

Murray, it may be Rye Whiskey, but Hanley's Jack Haggerty tune sounds a lot closer. (I never noticed the similarity until you mentioned it.)

I have the same question as you regarding Mick Hanley's composition of that. I wonder if there's a variant of the Jack o' Diamonds/Rye Whiskey tune that sounds more like Back o' the Northwind. Maybe McNeill just started with the tune.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Back of the North Wind
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 13 Oct 02 - 08:44 PM

God knows where he picked it up, and what version. I don't know anything else about it and would have to ask him when I see him next. He's usually too busy to reply to eMails. I'll keep it in mind, though.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Back of the North Wind
From: GUEST,BAILLIE
Date: 14 Oct 02 - 12:07 PM

To go off on a completely different tangent, 'At the back o' the North Wind was also a book by the author George McDonald!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Back of the North Wind
From: BB
Date: 14 Oct 02 - 02:26 PM

I know! That's virtually all I could find when I looked for the lyrics on the web! Loads of websites mention that, but only a couple mentioned the song - that's how I found the Brian McNeill connection.

Does the book have any relation to the song - or rather, vice versa? Does anyone know anything about the book?

Barbara


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Back of the North Wind
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 14 Oct 02 - 03:42 PM

No relation at all, bar the title.


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