Gilderoy

  1. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    "Gilderoy" is an old Scottish broadside ballad, based on a (possibly mythical) highwayman said to have been hung in 1638. The use of the name for a tune is somewhat complicated, as various tunes are in use for the ballad, and the name "Gilderoy" is used for some tunes that do not to me seem to be related to the ballad at all. In the US, Gilderoy mostly seems to be an alternative name for The Red-Haired Boy (and indeed, "Gilderoy" is an anglicised form of the Gaelic for "Red-Haired Boy"), but the similarity of that tune to the sung versions appears to me tentative (possibly because of the speed difference). Other references say that "Star Of The Country Down" and "Salisbury Plain" are both variants of Gilderoy, and I don't think I hear that either.

    Anyway, I have in the past recorded the tune that Nigel Gatherer gives for the song on my Ajr (Link), but have recently encountered a quite different version which I have now recorded on the Mid-Mo with tenor guitar backing. The sheet music is here: Link



    This variant does have some (but not much) resemblance to The Red-Haired Boy, but I'm playing it much slower than one would play that tune, which I think suits it well.

    Martin
  2. GHall
    GHall
    A seldom heard but fun tune to play. I'm playing a Red Valley flat top, and my daughter is playing an A-5 Silverangel.

  3. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    Great versions all. Greg, that duo is unbeatable, again
  4. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Awhhh so cute! (The vid above)


    https://youtu.be/R7vm7-MWK10

    BTW sorry some of you guys (about the capo). This version is in F/Dm because Mr. Guitar said so!
  5. Gelsenbury
    Gelsenbury
    Great stuff, Simon! What you wrote in the other thread about using the metronome regularly made me think that your fluent playing may come from that. You've invested the work, and it's paying off.
  6. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Fine performance, Simon.
  7. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Thanks D and J, always a pleasure to hear from you, this is probably not as authentic as it could be, but that’s history for you.
    I think it’s cool that the lyrics of the song are about a hungry civil rights activist, and about land rights and racism.
  8. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    I really like this one Simon. Super nice playing.
  9. Simon DS
    Simon DS
  10. Christian DP
    Christian DP
    Three nice versions of this Scottish broadside ballad!
  11. Gelsenbury
    Gelsenbury
    I'm just adding a fourth version, which I hope you'll like as well.



    This is another joint effort from John Kelly and me. We've spent quite a long time working on this one and put a lot of work into making decisions about instrumentation, harmony parts, speed, and similar things. It's been a good learning experience for me, and I hope you enjoy the end result.

    On the audio track, John plays octave mandola and guitar. I play mandolin and whistle, and sing the first verse more or less as heard from Ewan MacColl.

    The video shows some of John's recordings of the River Massan near his home. I'm sure you'll agree that he has some awesome scenery where he lives, and the moving images go so well with the tune. Apparently Gilderoy occasionally hid from the strong arm of the law in caves and among the rocks in landscapes such as this. I can just imagine him skulking around the area.

    Incidentally, the waterfalls and rapids of the River Massan have featured in an older video by John, a rendition of his original tune "Glen Massan", recorded with the accordionist Derek Macdonald. Here's that older video:

  12. Frithjof
    Frithjof
    So different but all great videos in this thread!
  13. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    I agree with Frithjof 100% on this.
    Fine playing John, and I like this singing too, Dennis.
    Thanks for opening new horizons -maybe for Christmas I’ll try it out too.
  14. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    That was a lot of work by Dennis and John!! Lots of different tracks to try and synchronize. Well worth the effort. Nice ornamentation and some harmony. This should go in your favourites file Dennis.
    Simon, you may be crazy thinking of Christmas so soon..but you are not. I have been shopping locally and on line and already have my Xmas carol for December, well I don't actually have it, but I know which one I'm going to do.
  15. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Thanks, Frithjof, Simon and Ginny. We had a lot of fun with this one, including which instruments to leave out and where to place the sung verse. Dennis has some exotic instruments, as you will know from some of his own postings here on the SAW group. We reckoned that if we began with the singing then listeners would expect the lyrics to continue (and it is a long ballad), so we began instrumentally then brought in the voice. Kudos to Dennis who sang in spite of the tune being in a key that really tested his vocal range.

    It was pure luck that I had gone to Glen Massan on Saturday to film the river after we had had a spell of very wet weather (not in Scotland, surely, I hear you all say!). We were struggling otherwise to think of visual content and Dennis thought that the water in spate would suit the tune and the story of upheaval and fate of the hero.

    Thanks too, Dennis, for link to my 10-year-old video of my waltz. It is already over three years since Derek passed away and he is still very much missed by us all.
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