The Grey Seal's Lament For Its Pup.

  1. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Continuing my mood of slow airs and waltzes and dreamy tunes, here is my arrangement on mandolin and guitar of Orcadian musician and composer Ronnie Aim's lovely air with its self-explanatory title.

    Ronnie left a fine legacy of original tunes after his death in 1982 in a road accident. One of my particular favourites is the beautiful air, "The Heroes of Longhope", which he dedicated to the eight lifeboat crewmen of the Longhope lifeboat the TGB, who died in a terrible storm at sea while rescuing the crew of a stricken cargo ship in March 1969. Here is a link should you want to have a listen to my version of this tune.

  2. Frithjof
    John, I like your slow air recordings a lot and this is another beautiful example.
    We play best when the mood of the tune and our own current mood match each other.
  3. Jill McAuley
    Jill McAuley
    What a lovely air that is! Fine playing as always John!
  4. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Fine playing John.
  5. JLewis
    I love slow airs (limited skill?). Dots and abc are at Folk Tune Finder.
  6. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    I love this song John !! and thanks to JLewis for providing the location on Folk Finder.
    I am being treated by a physio therapist for some very painful arthritis in my fingers and any hope of a specialist appointment is next spring. In the meantime I will play lightly with my taped fingers and hope to be back in the New Year. I enjoy listening to all of your songs.
  7. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Thanks, all. JLewis, never feel that the slow air is synonymous with limited skill. I would claim (as a player of many slow airs) that they require more skill as the notes are "on show" for longer than when we play reels or jigs, so it is harder to hide bad notes or phrasing, and the rubato feel takes away the comfort of a steady rhythm. Others may well not agree! Thanks too for posting link to notation. I am using a version I got from local fiddlers here.

    Ginny, I know about your finger problems through our regular e-mail contact, and you have my deepest sympathy. I have a regular playing buddy here who has the same problems with arthritic fingers and I know how frustrating this is for him. Hang in there and do what you can. Let the pain be your guide. Do not try to play through it or you might well do further damage.
  8. Bren
    Thanks John.

    That was very beautiful.

    I think I have heard it but didn't know its name.

    It's very hard to hold people's attention on a slow air, perhaps hardest on a sprightly instrument like mandolin, but you held this people's attention very well and I can think of no higher praise.
  9. Bren
    Actually, that sounds a bit big-headed but I trust you know what I was trying to say.
  10. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    Thank you John. And as a lover of slow airs, I agree they are the same level of skill or difficulty as jig or reel, etc. and I personally prefer to hear the beautiful mandolin tones rather than a "missed-half-the-notes" jig. They are also easier to 'interpret in your own personal way, like the one you posted today.
  11. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Bren, no thought of your sounding big-headed, and I really appreciate your kind and very sensible comments on slow airs. I always feel the fiddle is the best instrument for the delivery of slow airs, but I lack the necessary skills to do justice to the tune on fiddle. Ginny, thanks for further comment.
  12. Christian DP
    Christian DP
    I'm three days late to get aware of this beautiful slow air, but I like it very much, fine playing John!
  13. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    Have been missing out on this - which is a true shame for the Orkney lover I am. What a friendly, cosy tune, all with smiles and a fireplace!

    It seems that Orkney is a more dangerous place than meets they eye, despite its pastoral sceneries and excellent IPA. But having driven all over Mainland and Hoy, I'd expect a road accident behind every bend - narrow roads and fast drivers whizzing past you before you see them. And standing on the shore of John-O-Groats, I once witnessed the weird waves boiling in the Pentland Firth off South Ronaldsay where that RNLI crew went down.
  14. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Thanks, Christian and Bertam.
  15. Michael Romkey
    Michael Romkey
    Very dreamy and beautiful indeed.
  16. Robert Balch
    Robert Balch
    It is definitely beautiful John. It put me in a very relaxed state.
  17. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Mike and Robert, thanks so much for your kind comments.
  18. Gelsenbury
    Isn't that perfect? The tune, playing and setting complement each other very well here.
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