02-Scottish Tunes


Westering Home. Traditional Scottish sailing song about coming home after a long voyage. There are words to it; I can’t really remember them.

The Trooper and the Maid (in Bm). (Which is basically like D.) (More or less.) Another song the subject of which we can all understand.

Rothsea-O (in Em). I heard this song on a buddy’s Clancy Brothers CD and fell in love with it. The song, not the buddy. It is a laugh riot. Look for my band, Mosaic, to be playing this one soon. Even if I have to kick, scream and hold my breath. Again. We’re going to cover this song! Oh yeah — this song is in E-minor, which, for the purpose of playing on the whistle, is pretty much like G major.

Barnyards of Delgaty and Barnyards of Delgaty in High D This is a Bothy ballad. The “Bothys” were Scottish “Hair Bands” of the 1780s. Much like metal 200 years later in the 1980s, they sang a lot of power ballads. And had really big hair. They say there’s nothing new under the sun, and the Bothy bands pretty much prove that. About the ’80s, anyway.

Scottish Bothy Band

This picture of a traditional Scottish Bothy Band was taken in Edinburg in 1782. Note that there is nothing intrinsically gay about a dude having a lot of hair and wearing makeup. Lots of makeup. I'm sure that one Scottish chap has his arm around the other because they are really just good pals. Nothing more. The Scottish lad on the far right looks constipated if you ask me. Of course, no one ever does.

The Work of the Weavers (in D). This Scottish song speaks to me on a fundamental level. I think any craftsman who makes something with his hands will be able to relate to this song.

Calton Weavers (in G). You might be wondering why I seem to have so many songs posted on here about weaving. You might even be tempted to ask why I have so many songs posted on here about weaving. That would be a fair question.

MacPhearson’s Farewell (in D). This is one of my favorite songs. I really, really like this one. It’s Scottish. I like that. It’s about an underdog. I like that. He’s got a sword. That’s cool, too.

Rattlin’, Roarin’ Willie (in G). Another of my favorite Scottish songs. Or maybe I should say that a lot of my favorite songs are Scottish. Or… maybe I should just say I drink a lot of Scotch and sing some. We’ll leave it at that.

Maid of Fife-O (in D). Suck it up, pansy. Jeez! What a looser! Get over it, dude! You don’t have to be a big man… just be a man. Besides, you just met her. And there’s lots more where she came from. (UPDATE: Special thanks to Colin, who pointed out to be geographically correct, the place name in this should be Fyvie.)

Mingulay Boat Song (in D) and also Mingulay Boat Song (in G). I almost called this one a PIRATE SONG!!! because I heard it from the Jolly Rogers at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival. This is also the first song I ever learned to play on the whistle. “What Shall We Do With a Drunken Sailor” was second.

Donald, Where’s Your Trousers? Let the wind blow high, let the wind blow low. This one goes out to all of Toronto’s whistling and/or piping firemen. You know who you are.

Eight Men of Moidart. Another traditional tune… because you can never have enough of those. This one is Scottish.

Eight Men of Moidart — TT. Another traditional tune… because you can never have enough of those. This is the Tinwhistle Tablature version of the song.

  7 Responses to “02-Scottish Tunes”

  1. […] think I’m being rude pointing out that the tune your calling The Bonnie Lass of Fife-O (http://fullbodyburn.com/?page_id=275) should be The Bonnie Lass of Fyvie – Fyvie is a small town in the north east of Scotland, which […]

  2. Hey.

    I’m loving the site re-design. It’s coming on nicely, but I found a small error.

    On the page “02-Scottish Tunes”, “Work of the Weavers” comes up as “Wild Mountain Thyme”.


  3. Thanks for the heads-up, Chris. I suspect it might not be the only one… Unfortunately, the link isn’t bad — the sheet music is. Oops. It will be fixed soon, though. Just have to track down the original music files….

  4. Now the Work of the Weavers is fixed.

  5. Note concerning “Westering Home”: The other versions I’ve tracked down seem to be the same tune, except in a major key (on the whistle, it starts on high A instead of F#). This could be intentional, or it could just be a copying error (accidentally dropped it down one line-and-space on the staff). Either way, I like the minor-key version just as well.

  6. Are you sure about this music for Westering Home? I’ve tried playing it and the tune doesn’t seem to be the melody I remember. This is more how I remember it – http://abcnotation.com/tunePage?a=www.leedscontra.freeuk.com/GoodParkingTunes/WaltzEtc/0007. Maybe it’s something to do with the whiste I’m playing it on. 🙂

  7. Just have to say “thank you” so much for sharing your work. I have spent the entire morning here with you and haven’t laughed so much in a good while. You are good medicine, a very generous soul and you are very much appreciated. Music and laughter are wonderful things to share and you are definitely a bright spot on the landscape.


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