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Fear a Bhata
Know a similar Scottish Gaelic tune/ballad?
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ELCB
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June 21, 2020 - 5:56 pm
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Anyone know "Fear a Bhata"?  I love this!  I believe it's Scottish Gaelic.

My problem is there isn't much to it if you play it on the violin.  If I'm not mistaken, the chorus is the same music as the body of the song (I'm playing it by ear).  So, it's very dependent on the lyrics.

I can usually find similar simple songs to play as a medley, but I'm stumped here!

So, does anyone know of a similar tune/using similar notes maybe?  Or a different version of this?

Here's the version I fell in love with:

list=RDHR9ESUyRkAg&index=1

Appreciate all the help I can get!

- Emily

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GregW
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June 21, 2020 - 11:53 pm
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Emily @ELCB its possible its an original if your hitting dead ends.  You might email and ask Alison.  Just a thought.  

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ELCB
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June 22, 2020 - 10:45 am
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Thanks GregW!

It's a late 18th Century song with a variety of lyrics AND melodies (according to Wikipedia). 

Many different people have sung this, but I'm not noticing any variation between the artists I've heard (kind of unusual).

So many other Celtic melodies seem to at least have a "sister" song or two that just beg to be used in a medley.

I was hoping someone might know of one for this song.

 

- Emily

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BillyG
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June 23, 2020 - 1:43 am
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Hi Emily @ELCB -

ELCB said
Anyone know "Fear a Bhata"?  I love this!  I believe it's Scottish Gaelic.

Don't immediately recognise it...  BUT - 

........
So, does anyone know of a similar tune/using similar notes maybe?  Or a different version of this? 

 The nature of the tune seems (to me, anyway) to have marked similarities (in the sequence of notes in the melody, if not in the actual timing....) to "Mingualy Boat Song"....

  Here's a couple of links to THAT piece - perhaps you'll see the similarity I see, or perhaps not 🙂

Performance version ( The Corries ) -

An "ABC" format (and score) of the tune, and on that site there is an interesting "Tune Graph" that locates "similar sounding" ( I assume by some clever software! ) tunes - https://abcnotation.com/tunePa.....c/749/0000

Dunno if that helps or not dunno

***EDIT***

Once I have the bit-between-my-teeth, I rarely let go  ROFL - so I continued with my suspicion that Fear a Bhata had similarities to MBSong - and I found this (admittedly in an unusually argumentative thread), on "thesession" website - you'll find this comment from someone about 3/4 of the way down the thread under the comment title ""Did I hear Mingulay?

  (Its first 8 bars are v close to that other ‘super’ Scottish air, the so-called ‘Mingulay’ Boat Song, penned in English this time about 80years ago)

 Link to the thread is here, if you care to follow up - https://thesession.org/tunes/8919

  So, if I'm going crazy, I'm clearly not alone !   🙂

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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GregW
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June 23, 2020 - 8:30 am
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@ELCB Im subscribed to this channel and you might fund something here.   possibility something like this is what youre searching for? 

maybe also look at some of the appalachian type ballads if you havent went that route yet.  

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ELCB
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June 23, 2020 - 9:18 am
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BillyG - Thank you so much!

I had not thought to look at " the session" - quite the heated discussion there over this!  abcnotation is also great site - thank you.

I've been playing it in Dm instead of Am, but I'm sure all the other variations will help me create something that works.

The Mingulay just doesn't have the same feel, to me.

Last night I realized I already had something right under my nose (duh). Didn't even consider it before because it's pretty complete in itself & mixed feelings about using Fear a Bhata with it - if I'd be enhancing or just mess it up!  It isn't Scottish, but composed by a Norwegian, Rolf Løvland - called "Sleep Song".

 

 

Thanks again - for finding all the variations of "Fear a Bhata" for me!

 

- Emily

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ELCB
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June 23, 2020 - 9:30 am
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GregW - Thank you so much!

 

That takes me in a whole different direction I hadn't thought of!

 

- Emily

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ELCB
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June 23, 2020 - 9:57 am
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GregW -

Just went to the Dulahan YouTube site you referred me & the 1st video up was "Monaghan Jig".

I'm thinking that this (only in Dm) might be a good candidate to work with! 

BTW, I'm pretty new to knowing which key is what, I'm so used to just playing what I hear or just shifting it over somewhere.  I freaked out when I first started playing & heard "Dorian" scale (never knew there was more than Major & Minor).  My last year has been an eye-opening experience (which is just what I need as I get older)!

Thanks again!

- Emily

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ELCB
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June 23, 2020 - 10:33 am
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Sorry!

I mispoke - I know Dorian is a Mode.

Just discovered - HOW COOL to be able to play 2 of these melodies on this forum together (at the SAME time)!

Helps me tell immediately if they'll work together!

My hunt for treasure carries on...

 

I know I can do this elsewhere - just hadn't thought of it!

- Emily

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
June 23, 2020 - 1:44 pm
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Aide Memoire to the various modes by the way - 

I Don't Play Loud Music Any Longer......

Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, Locrian

I did actually make that up, and, oh, many years later, discovered someone else had come up with the same mnemonic (hmmm, it's maybe not a mnemonic, there's some other word for this I think... not sure...) ...  Oh well, anyway....  Nothing new under the sun as they say...

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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ELCB
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June 23, 2020 - 4:24 pm
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BillyG - in your terms "ROFL"!

I'd never be able to remember all those without your help - you and I have too much time on our hands (thank goodness)!

I checked over the tune sets at the Session - scratching my head (I need emojis) because I'm not really seeing where one song leads to the next in any way.

Anyway my search led to what I probably needed to find in the 1st place.

And... I also found some great fiddle 13music by "Duncan Chisholm" who has a few fairly dark pieces I think will work well in a setlist along with Fear a Bhata.  I might need to speed this up a bit...

So, to make up a setlist (easy) or play around with a medley... I'm thinking...

- Emily

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ELCB
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June 26, 2020 - 4:12 am
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GregW & BillyG - can't tell you enough how much all your great suggestions and links have helped me! 

Here's how I've ended up.

You sure led me find some strange variations of Fear a Bhata & made me re-think to broaden my search!  I think I'll be able to use a few of the variations.

Together with the latest idea of improve (from the Budapest Cafe Orchestra) and some of Duncan Chisholm's dark style, the last tune I found has Bonnie Rideout a little over 2 min into it - "The Airy Plover of the Heath".

Ihave been playing "Sleepsong" for a while and I like "the Monaghan Jig" (for some reason), but I think I'm hearing mostly key of D minor in a lot of the tunes (PLEASE correct me if I'm wrong).  Not that I need everything in the same key...

It's going to take me a while to play around with all this - I now have a lot to work with.

Any other suggestions will always be appreciated - Thanks again!

- Emily

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