Week #91 ~ Sitting in the Stern of a Boat

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  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    This week's tune is "Sitting in the Stern of a Boat" which was submitted as an Old Time tune. I am not familiar with the tune, and am in a bit of a rush, so I thought I'd go ahead and make the official announcement, and if someone else can post the abc and tune info, that would be great!
  2. Brent Hutto
    Brent Hutto
    I do not think of it as an Old Time tune as the only recordings I've heard of it are by Scottish fiddle and mandolin players. That doesn't mean it didn't make the crossing and become a piece of Americana, though...

    Here's the link to its listing at The Session, including this ABC file.

    X: 1
    T: Sitting In The Stern Of A Boat
    M: 4/4
    L: 1/8
    R: strathspey
    K: Gmaj
    (3DEF |: "G"G3 A G2 F2 | "Em"E4 D2 G2 | "G"B3 c d2 B2 | "D"A4 G2 E2 |
    "G"D3 E G3 A | "Em"B3 d "C"gedc | "G"B2 Bc "D"A2 AB |1 "G"G2 DEFD :|2 "G"G4 z2 g2 |
    || "C"e3 d e2 f2 | "G"g6 b2 | "D"a3 g a2 b2 | "Em"e4 d2 B2 |
    "G"d2 ef g3 a | "Em"g3 a gagf | "C"e3 ^d e2 f2 | "Em"e6 g2 |
    "G"e2 dB d2 e2 | "Em"g4 B2 b2 | "G"g3 e d2 B2 | "D"A4 G2 E2 |
    "G"D3 E G3 A | "Em"B3 f "C"g3 d/c/ | "G"B2 Bc "D"A2 AB | "G" G8 |]

    There is an arrangement of SitSoaB in Dagger Gordon's "Scottish Mandolin Tutor" book, as well. Highly recommended.

    P.S. Do not listen to Alasdair Fraser & Tony McManus doing this tune or you will lose all will to recording it yourself. Heart-achingly beautiful, that.
  3. mculliton123
  4. mculliton123
    This is a taste of how it should sound, very beautiful.

  5. Brent Hutto
    Brent Hutto
    That clip almost tempts me into dragging the viola out the closet. But after 5+ years away from playing with a bow, my screeching would probably damage at least the microphone if not the camera as well.
  6. mculliton123
    Brent, looking this over i believe that you are right about it being a fiddle tune. Just because it was submitted as OT does not mean that it is. sometimes we Yanks will, um, 'borrow' a tune we've heard before but don't remember where. Or maybe it's our water?
    Fair Warning: I have my fiddle out for this one and I'm NOT afraid to use it...
  7. Brent Hutto
    Brent Hutto
    When I pull my great-grandfather's fiddle out the closet once in a blue moon, the cat gives me a look that says "Step Away From The Fiddle And Nobody Has To Get Hurt"!
  8. mculliton123
    I found this citation: "A lovely air by the Rev. William McLeod", so the Scots win this one!
  9. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    It's supposed to be played slowly, from what I can find, like an aire. I think its a strathspey .... A slow Scottish dance, slower than a reel.
  10. Ten_or_Fifths
    This one has just a little bit of harmony and I'm actually pretty happy with it. I was having trouble finding an Em chord I liked. Ended up with 4223, though I wish I had learned of 4520 first.

    This harmony thing is still harder than I expected. I also went to a disappointing old-time jam this week. I'm having trouble finding a convenient slow session and this one was a lot of talented fiddle players. There was no way I could play melody at speed, but I was hoping to do a few chords. I ended up leaving my mandolin in the case, but I recognized Sally Goodin and tried playing that the next day with the stereo. Ugh! My A and E didn't fit at all. I eventually looked into a YouTube lesson and tried again with the A and E chop chords, which did work (though I can't play them at speed). It kind of surprised me that what I had thought was an old-time tune required what I thought were "bluegrass" chords. It's probably a topic for a different discussion group, but I bring it up because the simple harmony is what I was working on this week (probably should have done the video on the mandolin instead).

    I also had a bunch of videos of people sitting in the stern of a boat, so I dropped those in for fun.

    I'm not sure where to go next week. I'm thinking of spending more time to learn the song better on mandolin and seeing if I can bump the speed up a little more just on the one instrument (melody and harmony) while staying reasonably clean.
  11. Tosh Marshall
    Tosh Marshall
    Nice vid Michael and well played Tens or Fifths. It is a Slow Scottish Air as found in the Fraser Collection. The way it's written in Frasers is the first section is eight bars repeated and the second section just once, although it seems to imply twice round the second section. Variations of these old tunes vary from tunebook to tunebook and in Dagger's book and Christine Martin's Highland Tunes for the Fiddle Vol 2 they just go round the first section once and play the second section once. Christine's book gives the composer as a Rev. M. MacLeod.

    T:Sitting In The Stern Of A Boat
    T:Mi'm shuidh'an deireadh bata
    B:The Airs & Melodies Peculiar To The Highlands Of Scotland & The Isles
    B:Edited by Capt. Simon Fraser
    D/E/F |: G>AGF E2 DG | B>cd>B A2 GE | D>EG>A B2 g/e/d/c/ | B2 A2 G2 D/E/F |
    G>AGF E2 DG | B>cd>B A2 GE | D>EG>A B2 g/e/d/c/ |1 B2 A2 G2 D/E/F :|2 B2 A2 G2 zg ||
    | e>^def g3 b | a>gab e2 dB | de/f/ g>a g>a g/a/g/f/ | e>^def e3 g |
    e>dBd g2 Bb | g>edB A2 GE | D>EG>A B2 g/e/d/c/ | B>c A2 G4 ||
  12. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Ten or Fifths.... that was great.... exactly what instrument are you playing?
  13. Ten_or_Fifths
    Thanks Tosh and Barbara. It's a parlor sized tenor guitar. I also played the fiddle and mandolins in the background.
  14. David Hansen
    David Hansen
    I call this Sitting in the Stern of a Boat in the Dark. Played in the key of C on my Weber Bitterroot mandola. This is the 1st recording & video I've ever done in one take, on most of them it takes me a gazillion takes to get it right. Maybe I'm getting better.

  15. mculliton123
    David, that was just beautiful, great playing, and to think in only one take? great!
  16. Bernd Bannach
    Bernd Bannach
    David, what a lovely playing of this tune and both other players very beautifull. I'm gooing to work on this tune, never heard it before, it is touching the heart.
  17. Jill McAuley
    Jill McAuley
    Lovely, lovely stuff there David, plus the video looks like a 17th century painting come to life!
  18. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    Very nice David. I especially like the "Calling Down Wotan's Fire" special effect!
  19. Brent Hutto
    Brent Hutto

    Here's the Dagger Gordon arrangment, minus the tremolo he suggests and with a couple of slight differences in ornamentation.

    My tempo is all over the place (not that some ebb and flow is inappropriate to a Slow Air) but probably averages around his suggested marking of 108bpm eighth notes. I also did not use all of the fingerings suggsted in his tablature but moves one little part up out of 1st position. I don't look at the tab when I'm playing, anyways.
  20. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Here is my version. Pretty straight from the ABC posted by Tosh, played as a slow air not as a strathspey as indicated in the other ABC. I tried it out on both the Mid-Mo and the Ajr and as I think the contrast between the two instruments is nice, I'm posting both versions:

    First the Mid-Mo:

    Then the Ajr:

  21. Tosh Marshall
    Tosh Marshall
    David, fantastic as always, the lightening effect in the vid made me think you were going through a stormy sea! Brent, great effort, it's not a straightforward piece by any means and you did well. Martin, great stuff, loved the contrast of your Mid Mo & Ajr, you've a fine collection.
    Here's my bash at it:

  22. agundrum
    I can't stop thinking "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay" everytime I read this post.
  23. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Tosh, that was great!
  24. tnt2002
    Got my "new" Gibson A Friday, and I had to try it out.

  25. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    tnt2002: Very nice version... and that's one dynamite mandolin!
  26. Jill McAuley
    Jill McAuley
    So many great versions - well done everyone!

    Brent - gorgeous tone in your version!

    Martin - It think this tune sits particularly well on your Ajr.

    Tosh - lovely version there sir!

    tnt2002 - nice one and congrats on the "new to you" Gibson A!
  27. Bernd Bannach
    Bernd Bannach
    A tune I never heard before and learnd it this sunday. I played it on my Weber Octar.
  28. Bernd Bannach
    Bernd Bannach
    Again, somthing did not work, I hope this times it goes better. Sorry.
  29. David Hansen
    David Hansen
    Bernd, If you take the letters after the = on your YouTube page address and paste it into the red YouTube box in the reply to discussion box that should work.

    Here is your embed code: 8R2VXMcQSx0

    Here is your video:

  30. Tosh Marshall
    Tosh Marshall
    Thanks for your kind words Barbara and Jill. tnt200 that's a great sounding oval hole you have got yourself and well played. Bernd, that Weber Octar sounds terrific, thanks to David for correcting your post!!!!
  31. Jill McAuley
    Jill McAuley
    Lovely version on your octar! It's both beautiful looking and sounding!
  32. Bernd Bannach
    Bernd Bannach
    Thanks for your help David and thanks for the kind words Jill.
  33. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    Nice posts, everybody. Bonus points for using a vintage Gibson A!
  34. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    Many nice versions above.
    Here is my effort, accompanied by Band-in-a-Box:

  35. mculliton123
    Manfred has gotten a new Mandolin! looks and sounds puuur-tee!
  36. Marcelyn
    Nice mandolin, Manfred! Your tremelo is amazing.
  37. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Great choice of tune this week and lots of very fine efforts all round. This is my try, done on my JK Octave mandolin with octave and guitar backing.

  38. Marcelyn
    John, that backup gives the melody such an ethereal sound. I really like the arpeggio chords you put with it. I'm glad I'll be in good company with my late post this week.
  39. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    Beautiful, John.

    Marcy and Michael: This is NOT a new mandolin. I have had this Eastman 804 for almost 4 years. When I started to play the mandolin I was a weekend commuter (high-speed train) and wanted to have a mando at every place of residence so I bought it in addition to my MD 815. I bought them mail-order and didn't know anything about mandolins then. One of my Eastmans will have to go when I get my REALLY new mandolin later this year. I am sure you will notice

    I also recorded Planxty Irwin with the Eastman MD 804 last year:
  40. Marcelyn
    Here’s yet another teens Gibson A. this week. It’s in GDGD tuning. TNT, your new A sounds wonderful.

    Jeff’s shooting video while sitting in the stern of a boat. It’s the third and last voyage our little boat ever took before it died in the middle of a very wide channel. Maybe this summer it will ride again. Because of its early demise, I had to supliment with the only other boat footage I had and then slow it way down to fill up the time.

  41. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    As mentioned over in the Green Willis thread, today I got my 26" bouzouki out for the first time in many years -- I'd just about forgotten I owned it. Green Willis was a bit of an odd match for it, so I decided to re-record last week's tune as well -- Sitting In The Stern Of A Boat is a much more natural choice on the bouzouki, I find.

  42. GKWilson
    What a bunch of great sounding oval holes. And another beautiful Octar in the group.
    I know I'm late. But, I just started working on this last night. I started playing it on my A5. But, figured I better fall in line and get out the oval hole.

    P.S. Marcelyn. That's quite a crew.
    And Brent you know I like [lust] your A5.
  43. Marcelyn
    Beautiful chords, Gary. You're a quick study. It took me what seemed like forever to make sense of the B part.
  44. GKWilson
    Thanks Marcelyn. I've been playing about a year and a half and it's time to start pushing myself with cords and double stops. I also need to go back in the archives and learn the great classic tunes I've missed. This is an awesome site. So many great songs and variations. And, so many wonderful musicians to learn from.
  45. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    I've been trying out some of the great harmony arrangements of Scottish slow airs at Eric Allan's site today, and one of the tunes I found there was "Sitting In The Stern Of A Boat". As this was one of our Songs of the week a couple of years ago and I enjoyed it when I recorded the melody at the time, I had to give Eric's harmonies a go.

    Mid-Missouri M-0W mandolin
    1921 Gibson Ajr mandolin
    Mid-Missouri M-111 octave mandolin
    Ozark tenor guitar

    I'm taking the melody on the Mid-Mo mandolin the first time around with the low harmony on the OM, with the two instruments then swapping places for the repeat. The high harmony is taken by the Ajr throughout. Ornamentation/grace notes as shown in Eric's score. With the ornaments and the harmonies, this is much richer than the plain vanilla mandolin melody I recorded in 2011.

  46. GKWilson
    Very nice Martin.
    This is yet another tune I still play often.
    Thanks for bringing it up again.
    Good to see all the different versions again.
  47. Christian DP
    Christian DP
    I must confess, I don't have the time at the moment to make many music videos. But I'd like to contribute to SAW once in a while.
    So I chose this Scottish slow air to keep in touch with my mando-strings and the fine folks at SAW.
    BTW:Nice videos so far, but alas, many of them removed.
  48. Frithjof
    That’s a nice way “to keep in touch with my mando-strings and the fine folks at SAW”, Christian.
  49. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Many thanks CC, lovely tune and memories of the ocean.
  50. Gelsenbury
    Well played! I love the tone of your mandolin. And the acoustics of the room where you play are very nice and mellow. Could you tell us how you achieve this tone?
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