Notes on the Tunes

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3. Highlander's Farewell

Elizabeth and Alan Lomax interviewed and jointly recorded Emmett Lundy for the Library of Congress in 1941. Lundy said of the tune, “This piece was composed in the old country where they had war with Scotland. And when the Highlanders took their departure from the Lowlands, a Highlander had a sweetheart in the Lowland, and they gave him so long for to bid her farewell. And the low part of his represents the man and the high part the lady.” As a boy, he learned it from Green Leonard. The album notes speak of tune similarities to French Carpenter’s “Elzic’s Farewell.” I might also note a likeness to Howard Phillips’ “Grapevine” as played by Bruce Greene. Both Blech and Greene agree that these similarities are likely coincidental. There is a Strathspey from which this descends, usually named “The Highlanders Farewell to Ireland” that appears in most collections of Scottish music from the mid 18th century onwards. (Blech)

Chris’ fiddle GDAE : Joe - Guitar