Whats your favourite slow air

Im trying to decide what my favourite slow is. At the moment I cant decide between. Hector the Hero, Niel Gows Lament for his Second Wife or Marnie Swanson of the Grey Coast. I wondered what was the favourite slow air of other footstompers.


  • Im trying to decide what my favourite slow is. At the moment I cant decide between. Hector the Hero, Niel Gows Lament for his Second Wife or Marnie Swanson of the Grey Coast. I wondered what was the favourite slow air of other footstompers.
  • Too many from which to choose but my favourite composers of these would be Neil Gow and, more recently, Phil Cunningham.
  • One of my favourites is Welcome Christmas Morning by Jimmy Shand.
  • Over the moor among the heather would be one. Also Cathal McConnel playing For Ireland Id not Tell Her Name on an old Boys of the Lough CD. Former BotL, Aly Bain, is an absolute master of the slow air - he gets a vocal quality to his playing that really brings the tunes to life.

    This would be a good place to bring up a pet hate of mine - the practice of everyone joining in on an air when one comes up at a session. If ever there were a case for one singer, one song....

  • Unfortunately, this is because some people mistakenly think that they are easy. However, I agree that a slow air is a very individual thing. Even worse, is when they are speeded up and played as jigs, reels, or whatever. Of course, the latter tunes get slowed down so everything is at the same pace. :-( This is a very common practice at ALPy sessions so you should warn your students personally. :-)

  • David Milligan does a great arrangement of a tune called Orkney. I also agree with the suggestions of Marnie Swanson of the Grey Coast and most things by Phil Cunningham.
  • Coilsfield House, Niel Gow - still my favourite!
  • Wasnt that one attributed to(or claimed by) his son Nathaniel Gow, Spike? Its a lovely tune, though.
  • Eek ! Thanks John - youre right. Should have known - Ive introduced it PROPERLY enough times !! Thats what a Sunday diet of the Eastenders and River City omnibuses ( omnibi ??? ) does to your brain !! Next week Ill learn the composers of some tunes, instead.. ! :)
  • At the moment I am hooked on Bruce MacGregors highly emotional The Nameless Clan on Cliars first album. Goose-pimply!
  • I had to pull in to the side of the road when AChuthag (The Cuckoo) came on the wireless one Sunday a couple of years ago. From My Roots are Showing by Natalie McMaster.

  • Lament for King George V by Donald Riddell

    So powerful and haunting.

  • Mrs Helen N Robertson by A.S. Robertson (in the Fiddle Music of Scotland), closely followed by Lament for the Death of the Rev Archie Beaton by John Mason (I think)
  • Tom Anderson,slow airs from Shetland.Im really loving the shetland tradition, a convert!
  • Your right viola, Tom A wrote loads of beautiful tunes including Shingly Beach (spelling?)
  • I agree with Shingly Beach for Shetland. I heard an amazing performance of this last year by Catriona MacDonald and Annbj¿rg Lien.

    I think Roslin Castle (definitely in C Minor!!) or Archibald MacDonald of Keppoch would be my favourites from the dusty books.

    Night in that Land by Johnny Cunningham is currently my favourite contemporary air.

  • The Heroes of Longhope (As played by the Wrigleys) Paddys Rambles Through The Park (As played by Paddy Glackin)
  • Speaking of Shetland and slow airs - how about this handful -

    Lament for Lowrie o Da Lee - Tom Anderson Big Dougal - Ian Powrie John Roy Lyall - Eddie Edmonds Wallace and Thomas - Cheri Mallaig

    All played magnificently by the late Willie Hunter and accompanied by Violet Tulloch ( herself a slow air by Phil Cunningham) and of course you could not forget Willies own compostions -

    Leaving Lerwick Harbour The Love O Da Isles Annie - My Mother

    All the above have made this grown man cry.

  • All this talk of Shetland brings back memories of Trevor Hunter playing The Wild Rose of the Mountain during an unforgettable weekend I spent on the islands several years ago. A truly mesmerising air. Its not only grown men who cry. Old wifies can do it, too.
  • >Niel Gows Lament for his Second Wife< i= had= the= pleasure= of= hearing= pete= clark= play= this= last= summer;= wow.= his= rendition= will= always= be= the= one= for=>

    Tom Andersons The Shingly Beach is a favorite of mine. I have been to a shingly beach in the Queen Charlotte Islands. Its a beach of stones, not sand, that have been rounded by the tide and make the most wonderful, soothing sounds as the tide comes in. I always think of this beach when I play it!

    Then theres Roaring Water and Tame Her When Da Snow Comes.

  • It has to be Neil Gows Lament fot the death of his 2nd wife!! I like the recording on the Highland Fiddler (Donald Riddle CD) but was dissapointed by Alastair Frasers recording on Vol1 CD...very weak...but thats just my opinion!
  • Highland Cathedral by a lone piper or a pipe band. As an ex-pat Scot, living in the USA, it never fails to bring a tear to my eye!
  • Highland Cathedral? Sorry Willie, but are you taking the piss? I hope you get the chance to hear some proper pipe tunes sometime!
  • Now, now Gle_mhath. It makes quite a few of us greet.
  • Aye, but usually not from sentiment.
  • Neil Gows Lament for the Death of His Second Wife takes the prize for me: I learned it first from the LP recordings by the late Ron Gonnella! It would be a great service to acquire rights and to re-issue Gonnellas superb recordings on CD. Anybody?
  • One of my favourite slow airs is Bovaglies Plaid especially as played by Alasdair Fraser on his album The Road North and the other is by Gordon Gunn entitled Orkney
  • Leaving Stoer by Ivan Drever, A Bhean Ionmhainn by Blair Douglas, agree with Spike on Coilsfield House, and actually I quite like Highland Cathedral (:-s) as long as you dont sing the bl**dy awful words....
  • Highland Cathedral has words???????? Jeez!

    Just when you thought Scottish boomerang music couldnt get any worse.

  • How about the wounded hussar, as performed on the the most recent lunasa album?
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