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Burns songs on duet


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I'm booked to do the musical side of a Burns Supper here in southwest Germany in January, and I've decided that this is the opportunity to go public with my Crane Duet. Yes, I know Burns' lyrics predate the invention of the concertina, but I find the duet concertia more suitable for art songs of the Classical/Romantic period that my alternatives, banjo or guitar.


I've already identified a few suitable art songs for concertina accompaniment:


Ae fond kiss

Ye banks and braes o' bonnie Doon

The lea rig (My ain kind dearie, o)

A man's a man for a' that

My love is like a red, red rose


And a couple of Burns' versions of folk songs of his day:


MacPherson's Lament

Ye Jacobites by name


The last two are now very much part of modern "pan-Celtic" folk music, so I'd accompany them on the banjo. So vocally, I'll be alternating between "Kenneth MacKellar mode" and "The Corries mode."


Has anyone got any more suggestions for songs that are "essentially Burns" - either as art songs or folk songs?


Ah, yes! Then there's the piping in of the Haggis! We may be able to get a piper, but if not, and if I have to do it, what would you consider the better substitute - a tin whistle, or the Crane with drones on the left and the tune on the right? And are there any tunes that are typically used at this point in the proceedings?


And what would you regard as "the essence of Burns?" I ask this because I'll probably have to do the literery side of the Burns Supper as well, because (as an Ulsterman who went to primary school in the Scottish Highlands) I'm the only one around here who can more or less get his tongue around the Broad Scots texts.


Thanks in advance,



Edited by Anglo-Irishman
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I'm booked to do the musical side of a Burns Supper here in southwest Germany in January


Few will know if summat is Burns related oor no - as long as it sounds Scottish (they will probably say Scotch anyway!)


But! A bit of history before you perform a piece, spoken clearly with a mike, shows em how smart you are, makes em feel good and knowledgable and of course gets em ready to hear and maybe sing.

Always have the words passed around the room beforehand so they can join in and sing either all or just the chorus. Their ticket should say :bring reading glasses.


so Loch Lomond (lots of gaelic in the last verse) is allegedly by a prisoner due to be executed the next morning who will never see his loved one again. (the words at this url are not the one's I dish out. http://www.mysongbook.de/msb/songs/l/lolomond.html


And Rabbie's Loch Lomond footfall



And if there is growing noise from the overlibated then their joining in cuts down the bar racket - as it gets further along you can hear more folk joining in singing and playing (yes there are tinas in there) . And they enjoyed all the flat notes even, and you can hear the lone fiddler continuing to play.




and Rabbie and Danny Boy

Ballad - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Respected literary figures like Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott in Scotland both collected and wrote their own ballads, using the form to create an artistic product. Such songs include "Little Rosewood Casket" (1870), "After the Ball" (1892) and "Danny Boy".[31] By the Victorian era, ballad had come to...



The more people join in and sing the more free whiskeys you will get and of course more bookings for other events (paid hopefully)


And a bit of humour helps - when they take photos of you in your kilt and tina sporrin shout: "no photos!! - I am paranoid about security!.......... Social Security!! etc etc


There is a Danny Boy plus crowd knocking around from Whitby 2012 if you want?


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I guess I's add "My Love She's but a Lassie Yet" to your set of tunes.


"Road to the Isles" is not a Burns tune, but I've seen it danced at Burns celebrations. (Not sung, just played for dancing.)


For the Haggis IMHO the duet with drones and melody would be much nicer than a whistle. I'm not conversant enough to be very sure about what tunes,but I'd think any good standard pipe march would work: Scotland the Brave, Barren Rocks of Aden, Black Bear, Atholl Hichlanders, Atholl and Breadalbane Gathering (sp), etc. If it were me I'd avoid Scotland the Brave, but on the other hand it might be what folks want to hear....

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