Week #211 ~ Star of County Down

  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    This week's winner is Star of County Down, which was submitted as an Irish Traditional tune. I am rushed, so I'm depending on some of you good members to come up with the abc, tabs or video! Please and thank you!
  2. Njugglebreck
    Njugglebreck


    Van Morrison & The Chieftains
  3. Eddie Sheehy
    And old version I did on Tenor Guitar...

  4. David Hansen
    David Hansen
    A great tune with a wide range of variations. Here is my AAB version played as a slow air.

  5. John Arabi
    John Arabi
    Beautiful David and nice backing, is that all you?

    simple TAB from traditionalmusic.co.uk: http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/ma...ounty_Down.htm
  6. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    Yes, John, it's the famous David Hansen Band with David on multiple instruments.
    Great job, David. Another tune literally made for your superb mandolin.
  7. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    Knowing this only as a song bawled in chorus in the late hours of pub sessions, I find your delicate 3/4 version especially enlightened David. Seems to represent the point of view of sweet colleens who'd rather avoid to meet rough ramblers from Bantry Bay to Derry Quay...
  8. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Great recording, David.

    Here is my own multi-instrument version. This is an arrangement I found at Fiddle Hangout (Link). The arrangement is by A.J. Wrigglesworth for his band of fiddle, two guitars and double bass. It's in 3/4 time and the key of Bm -- the more common key is Am, but it works fine like this.

    I've taken it and played the fiddle (melody) part on the Ajr, the rhythm guitar on the Mid-Mo octave mandolin, the harmony guitar on my Ozark tenor guitar and the bass on the Troubadour bouzouki (tuned a half-step down to F#C#G#D#, which simplifies the fingering in this instance). For the second repeat I have the OM take the melody and the Ajr doubling the tenor guitar harmony, and on the third repeat both OM and Ajr on melody.

    Here is my recording using the Cafe's embedded player:

    [mp3=1]http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=102075&d=1368392260[/mp3]

    Same recording on Youtube with pictures of County Down (plus some cailíns with mandolins):



    Martin
  9. Chris Ferreira
    Chris Ferreira
    Very nice versions Eddie, David and Martin. With apologies to Monty Python - and now for something completely different...

  10. GKWilson
    GKWilson
    Nice sustain Chris.
    Gary
  11. luurtie
    luurtie
    Very beautiful versions and one nice and interesting version so far. What a strange mandokind guitar Rock-axe is that you're playing Chris? I'd like one too, for if i'm in a special mood. Heavy Stuff!

    Here's my version

  12. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    The bar has been raised higher than the Cliffs of Moher.
  13. Eddie Sheehy
    A little light tremolo...
    On a Weber Bitterroot...

  14. Marcelyn
    Marcelyn
    What a variety of takes on this pretty song--from Martin's full arrangement, to Eddie's elegantly simple tremolo in the upper register. And then there's Chris who--barring any unforeseen posts--is bound to win most original.
    Hendrik, that's just amazing. I love the tin whistle and your singing in this one.
    David, that's such a professional recording in every way. It's hard to stop listening to.
  15. jonny250
    jonny250
    Some really nice versions of this song here; Luurtie - that was amazing!!!
    I've gone for the simple approach:
  16. Marcelyn
    Marcelyn
    Wow, Jonny, that's my favorite post from you yet. It had a ton of feeling and drive to it. I really love solo mandolin and singing when it holds your attention like that. Great breaks too.
  17. luurtie
    luurtie
    With only a mandolin and your voice you give it a real folky and Irish touch...The solo's are excellent...
  18. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    Hendrik, your version confirms two things I had suspected:
    1 - your DeLorean is in mint condition
    2 - not all Dutch people are alike, but better than many others
  19. James Rankine
    James Rankine
    Hello everyone. Have been admiring your work from afar.
    My first post, although it's one I prepared earlier and has been on youtube for a few months. I've been slowly getting to grips with the technology.
    I'll post more about myself in the introductions section.
    Hope this works!
  20. Chris Ferreira
    Chris Ferreira
    Very nice - I actually saw this on youtube last week when I was checking out the song. Nice chording with the melody. Would love a tab if available, else expect your youtube hits to rise geometrically as I attempt to learn it!
  21. James Rankine
    James Rankine
    Thanks Chris. Sorry I don't use tabs. Its just evolved this way. When I play it with the Ceilidh band it tends to go at warp speed so I like to slow it down when I'm on my own and mix a few chords in.
  22. luurtie
    luurtie
    That was nice James!
    Bertram, I was glad that I fixed the Flux Capacitor and that jou don't hate dutch people.
  23. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    James, welcome. And what a first appearance !
    Eddie, very nice tremolo throughout.
    Jonny, I admire your skills of making a tune your own.
    Here is my effort as an air, trying to keep up with Chris' sustain.

  24. Marcelyn
    Marcelyn
    You're excellent at these slow airs, Manfred. They always sound so lovely.
    James, I love the chording in that version. Glad to see you in the group.
  25. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    Very good James, so much complexity!
    Manfred, that's an unusually melancholic approach with a certain American touch - I picture the lonesome horseman riding into the sunset, thinking of the maid he left behind in the county Down.
  26. laura809
    laura809
    Once again. there is a lot of variety to appreciate on this thread. I enjoyed Chris' rock version and Luurtie's vocal version. Jonny, I enjoyed the way you played the chords and thought that was a great solo instrument version. I also really liked James' chordal arrangement. Great job to everyone.
  27. maudlin mandolin
    maudlin mandolin


    Nice arrangement Laura. What instruments were you playing? I sseemed to hear more than two mandolins.
    Great tremelo, Manfred and excellent fills from James. My version sounds similar but it took two tracks to do what you did in one. Lead and rythmn both on a Savannah.
  28. laura809
    laura809
    Nice Maudlin. Were you cross picking the chords? I had guitar, bass, and violin in my recording. My video and multi-tracked recording were a bit out of sync, which gave the lead mandolin a delay effect. I liked the groove it gave it, so I left it.
  29. Marcelyn
    Marcelyn
    Cool, Laura, I missed the violin on my first listen through because I was so focused on the mandolin. You'd better call it a fiddle if you're going to have fun with it like that. I like the groove you had going too.
  30. luurtie
    luurtie
    Well done everybody! A lot of different styles in this tune. James, it nice how you can pick the melody within chords! Manfred, you are completely into very nice and steady tremolo these days. Laura, you have your own groovy style and I love it. Maudlin, your version should fit wel in one of those documentary's on tv. It sounds very special... I only hoped there where more singers, but after all it's not a vocalcafe
  31. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    Laura's groovy Rhythm&Blues version has the most inconspicuous fiddle I ever didn't hear without being told, it's that smoothly mixed
    Maudlin - a musical box in space (the Star Countdown)!
  32. laura809
    laura809
    Marcelyn, you are right about calling it a fiddle. I have no clue how to really play a violin, and this isn't really violin music. The reason it is so inconspicuous is that my skill level on it is only just now up to some basic drone notes.
  33. Marcelyn
    Marcelyn
    Some may say otherwise, Laura, but calling it a fiddle is always a compliment from me. And I think long drone notes are really tricky to bow smoothly, so super job.
  34. WillFly
    WillFly
    "Lazarus" is a sister tune - a very close one - to the better known "Star Of The County Down". Their common ancestry is probably a tune from the early 1700s called "Gilderoy" which is either of English or Scottish origin. Ralph Vaughan Williams also used the tune for his "Five Variants On Dives And Lazarus" composition.

    I took this version of the tune and the chord structure from an influential book of folk songs called "English County Songs" published in 1893 and compiled and annotated by Lucy E. Broadwood and J.A. Fuller Maitland. (Lucy Broadwood was a close friend of Vaughan Williams). The chords have a very church-like quality to them. I've arranged it in D (Bm, to be precise) - it's given in G (Em) in the book - and I play it here on tenor guitar, guitar and cello - recorded in 2010.

  35. woodenfingers
    woodenfingers
    Lots of incredible versions as usual. Laura is sneaking a fiddle in and WillFly is sneaking in a cello. Perhaps I'm a little less discrete with my accordion but here's my take on the Star.



    After listening to all your posts, mine sounds a bit like a dirge.
  36. cwboal
    cwboal
    Wow, some great and diverse versions of this tune. Given how simple yet beautiful the melody is, I went for a mellow play through.

  37. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    woodenfingers, the intriguing, unexplained part of your version is the rhythm section - how did you do that? I picture old Hebridean women waulking tweed...
  38. woodenfingers
    woodenfingers
    Bertram, ah yes, my rhythm section. I found myself wishing that I had a bodhran and upon gazing at my tenor banjo I thought maybe I in fact did have one. A few tentative finger taps on the old calf skin head and, presto, back to recording. (Best to mute the strings though as they tend to ring too much). I also played mandolin chop chords for that good old Irish bluegrass touch.
  39. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    Some here would say a bodhran is a banjo done right
  40. woodenfingers
    woodenfingers
    Bertram, your comment of Hebridean women waulking tweeds left quite an impression on me. My wife is a weaver so I consulted her and we decided it was some kind of fulling process whereby you beat the tweeds to make them somewhat felted and that the process was possibly laden with tradition. So, had to look it up and came upon the following. I find you were quite correct in your sonic analysis of my post but I suspect they would have trouble with 3/4 time. Any translations available for the song?

  41. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    Translation - hmmm. Translating the stuff is one thing, comprehending what it is all about is a whole another business. Take this example: Gaol ise gaol i, sung by Kathleen McInness during the Highland Sessions on BBC, has translations on the web. I always got the impression these are skilfully camouflaged riddles about local goings-on. Translation is unreliable, some information is always lost. Plus, since waulking was strictly for women only, it maybe a special set of symbolics I am probably not supposed to understand in the first place.
  42. OldSausage
    OldSausage
    Here's mine. No Hebridean women doing anything, culturally-specific or otherwise, in the background of this I'm afraid:

  43. GKWilson
    GKWilson
    Very nice David. #21 sounds like it's already coming in to it's own.
    Martin makes some very interesting mandolins.
    Gary
  44. GKWilson
    GKWilson
    Oh Yeah. Welcome back cwb. Glad to have you and your Herb Taylor OM back.
    woodenfingers. I really like your version. It reminds me of something. But, I just can't put my 'finger' on it.
    Will. Your a deterrent to my mandolin practice. Every time I see one of your video's I pick up my Tenor and
    try to play as well as you. Thanks for your posts. They are always enjoyed.
    Gary
  45. Gelsenbury
    Gelsenbury
    Coincidentally, this is one that we like to play in our weekly after-work music group. We learnt this in 3/4 time and only became aware of the 4/4 version later. Here's two guitars, one mandolin, and a sing-along:
  46. Marcelyn
    Marcelyn
    Really enjoyable singing and picking, guys! That looks like a fun group.
  47. GHall
    GHall
    Finally got my son to put down his computer long enough to learn three chords on the mandolin a couple of months ago and join my daughter and I in some musical festivities.
    He hasn't put it down much since
  48. Marcelyn
    Marcelyn
    Y'all sound great together! What an enjoyable arrangement of the tune.
  49. dustyamps
    dustyamps
    Here is my version on mandolin and banjo, slowed down to dusty speed.
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