Most of the tunes on these pages
refer in some way to the movement of dancers. This one is more
about the motion of water in the sea. Da Auld Swarra Jupie is a
Shetland lament for sailors lost in the great storms of the 19th
century when the fishermen rowed out in six-oared open boats called
sixareens. The title refers to a woven shirt worn next to the skin
of the sailors back then. If a sailor drowned, often the only way
to identify the body was by their clothes.
The tune comes from the playing of the late Peter Frazer of
Finnigarth, Walls. I learned it from fiddler Paul Friedman who got
it from Tom Anderson at a workshop many years ago in Scotland. You
can read more about the tunehere.
Of couse, this is a fiddle tune, but I like the way the solo Anglo
concertina can emulate the ringing of the open fiddle strings. In
the mp3 below, I play through the tune twice, but when I play this
tune with Paul, we are happy to play it for 20 minutes or more. The
more we play it, the more we want to play it more.