Friday, March 22, 2013

Bye Bye to the Skye Boat Song ?

Bye Bye to the Skye Boat Song ?

Copied to:
Visit Scotland
The Traditional Music and Song Association of Scotland
The Scottish National party

I uploaded the Skye Boat Song to you tube [composed circa 1840] and was flagged by the youtube music engine for infringing the copyright of a song administered by EMI and United Music called 'Forever and ever Amen' - which actually doesn't sound like the Skye Boat Song.
Although this seems a trivial error on behalf of youtube - the rights of the record company to assert that their song Forever and Ever Amen is actually the same material as the Skye Boat Song is currently being evaluated and in one case upheld - which means that in this 'case' Scottish national heritage is in the process of being shunted off youtube and google because record industry giants can subsume these native melodies and claim whatever they want about them.

The whole process seems set to automatic and would by default create issues with anyone in the future uploading the Skye Boat Song.

Should Scots the world over have the right to freely record, upload and play the Skye Boat Song without nonsense from record and music publishing companies?

I write to bring this to your attention and wait to hear what advice you may wish to give me about this matter.

Andrew Hennessey

Monday, March 04, 2013

The Fiddlers and the Faeries

The Fairy Mythology, Illustrative of the Romance and Superstition of Various Countries. by Thomas Keightley [1870]


NEARLY three hundred years ago, there dwelt in Strathspey two fiddlers, greatly renowned in their art. One Christmas they resolved to go try their fortune in Inverness. On arriving in that town they took lodgings, and as was the custom at that time, hired the bellman to go round announcing their arrival, their qualifications, their fame, and their terms. Soon after they were visited by a venerable-looking grey-haired old man, who not only found no fault with, but actually offered to double their terms if they would go with him. They agreed, and he led them out of the town, and brought them to a very strange-looking dwelling which seemed to them to be very like a Shian. The money, however, and the entreaties of their guide induced them to enter it, and their musical talents were instantly put into requisition, and the dancing was such as in their lives they had never witnessed.
When morning came they took their leave highly gratified with the liberal treatment they had received. It surprised them greatly to find that it was out of a hill and not a house that they issued, and when they, came to the town, they could not recognise any place or person, every thing seemed so altered. While they and the townspeople were in mutual amazement, there came up a very old man, who on hearing their story, said: "You are then the two men who lodged with my great-grandfather, and whom Thomas Rimer, it was supposed, decoyed to Tomnafurach. Your friends were greatly grieved on your account, but it is a hundred years ago, and your names are now no longer known." It was the Sabbath day and the bells were tolling; the fiddlers, deeply penetrated with awe at what had occurred, entered the church to join in the offices of religion. They sat in silent meditation while the bell continued ringing, but the moment that the minister commenced the service they crumbled away into dust.


A FIDDLER having agreed with a person, who was a stranger, for so much money, to play to some company he should bring him to, all the twelve days of Christmas, and received earnest for it, saw his new master vanish into the earth the moment he had made the bargain. Nothing could be more terrified than was the poor fiddler. He found he had entered himself into the Devil's service, and looked on himself as already damned; but having recourse to a clergyman, he received some hope. He ordered him, however, as he had taken earnest, to go when he should be called, but that whatever tunes should be called for, to play none but psalms. On the day appointed the same person appeared, with whom he went, but with what inward reluctance it is easy to guess; and punctually obeying the minister's directions, the company to whom he played were so angry, that they all vanished at once, leaving him at the top of a high hill, and so bruised and hurt, though he was not sensible when or from what hand be received the blows, that he got not home without the utmost difficulty.