Caledonia – RTV Drenthe

Caledonia

Rapalje plays Caledonia here between the Hunebedden in Drenthe, with RTV Drenthe they went out to Hunebed het Loon (D15) to record the song “Caledonia”. This is one of the most requested songs at Rapalje.

We have seen many tears of sorrow, emotion and joy with this song. It has often happened that a wedding proposal is made when we start playing Caledonia. It is also regularly performed at funerals. There are many people in our midst who have a special thought about Caledonia and it remains a very beautiful song.

Background Information Caledonia

Dougie MacLean’s love song to his homeland has become an anthem of Scottish pride but it was written in just 10 minutes on a beach in France when he was in his early 20s.  “I wrote it in my very early 20s on a beach and then finished it off in a youth hostel somewhere around Paimpol in Brittany. “I was genuinely homesick and it was just a little song I wrote.” Dougie MacLean says he had been busking around Europe with three Irish guys but the day after writing the song – with its lyric “Caledonia you’re calling me and now I’m going home” – he set off back to Scotland.

Lyrics Caledonia

I don’t know if you can see
The changes that have come over me
In these last few days I’ve been afraid
That I might drift away
I’ve been telling old stories, singing songs
That make me think about where I came from
And that’s the reason why I seem
So far away today
Let me tell you that I love you and that I think about you all the time
Caledonia you’re calling me and now I’m going home
If I should become a stranger you know that it would make me more than sad
Caledonia’s been everything I’ve ever had
I have moved and I’ve kept on moving
Proved the points that I needed proving
Lost the friends that I needed losing
Found new ones on the way
I have kissed the ladies and left them crying
Stolen dreams, yes there’s no denying
I have traveled hard with conscience flying
Somewhere with the wind
Let me tell you that I love you and that I think about you all the time
Caledonia you’re calling me and now I’m going home
If I should become a stranger you know that it would make me more than sad
Caledonia’s been everything I’ve ever had
Now I’m sitting here before the fire
The empty room the forest choir
The flames that couldn’t get any higher
They’ve withered now they’ve gone
But I’m steady thinking my way is clear
And I know what I will do tomorrow
When the hands are shaken and the kisses flow
Then I will disappear
Let me tell you that I love you and that I think about you all the time
Caledonia you’re calling me and now I’m going home
If I should become a stranger you know that it would make me more than sad
Caledonia’s been everything I’ve ever had

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Wat zullen we drinken – Zomerfolk

We play “Wat zullen we drinken” here at our own Rapalje Zomerfolk Festival. It is one of our most famous songs and has been listened to many millions of times. We cannot remember how many times we have performed it ourselves, but it remains a very nice song. There is no band that performs it like this.

Background information “Wat zullen we Drinken”

A national anthem originally from Brittany, created in the late 1920s and written in 1929. Called “Son ar chistr”, the song of the cider. It was popularized by farmers when it was sung at the end of harvest time to make fun of themselves. The lyrics in Breton are about a man who has a hard time when his wife beats and curses him all the time. But, as the lyrics said, “Cider is made to drink, and girls to love!” Ar chistr ‘so graet’ vit bout evet, hag ar merc’hed ‘vit bout karet!

Wat zullen we drinken has already been translated into many languages ​​and in the Netherlands the version of Rapalje, Wat zullen we drinken, became very popular. Rapalje has stripped the song of its political significance in his own Celtic way and added three verses of their own hand, eating, singing and making love. Bots has also released a version of the original called “Zeven dagen lang” and there are already many artists who have released the old national anthem.

Lyrics Wat zullen we Drinken

Wat zullen we drinken, zeven dagen lang
Wat zullen we drinken, wat een dorst
Wat zullen we drinken, zeven dagen lang
Wat zullen we drinken, wat een dorst

Er is genoeg voor iedereen, dus drinken we samen
Sla het vat maar aan, dus drinken we samen, niet alleen
Er is genoeg voor iedereen, dus drinken we samen
Sla het vat maar aan, dus drinken we samen, niet alleen

Eerst zullen wij werken, zeven dagen lang
Eerst zullen wij werken, voor elkaar
Eerst zullen wij werken, zeven dagen lang
Eerst zullen wij werken, voor elkaar

Dan is er werk voor iedereen, dus werken we samen
Zeven dagen lang, werken we samen, nee, niet alleen
Dan is er werk voor iedereen, dus werken we samen
Zeven dagen lang, werken we samen, nee, niet alleen

Eerst zullen wij vechten, maar niemand weet hoe lang
Eerst zullen wij vechten, voor ons belang
Eerst zullen wij vechten, maar niemand weet hoe lang
Eerst zullen wij vechten, voor ons belang

Voor het geluk van iedereen, dus vechten we samen
Samen staan we sterk, vechten we samen, niet alleen
Voor het geluk van iedereen, dus vechten we samen
Samen staan we sterk, vechten we samen, niet alleen

Eerst zullen wij eten, zeven gangen lang
Eerst zullen wij eten, dus schuif maar aan
Eerst zullen wij eten, zeven gangen lang
Eerst zullen wij eten, dus schuif maar aan

Voor het genot van iedereen, dus eten we samen
Snij het zwijn maar aan, eten we samen, schuif maar aan
Voor het genot van iedereen, dus eten we samen
Snij het zwijn maar aan, eten we samen, schuif maar aan

Eerst zullen wij zingen, zeven verzen lang
Eerst zullen wij zingen, met elkaar
Eerst zullen wij zingen, zeven verzen lang
Eerst zullen wij zingen, met elkaar

Dit is een lied voor iedereen, dus zingen we samen
Zeven verzen lang, en zingen wij samen, ik niet alleen
Dit is een lied voor iedereen, dus zingen we samen
Zeven verzen lang, en zingen wij samen, ik niet alleen

Eerst wil ik vrijen, zeven nachten lang
Eerst wil ik vrijen met mijn lief
Eerst wil hij vrijen, zeven nachten lang
Eerst wil hij vrijen met zijn lief

Maar ik vrij niet met iedereen, dus vrij ik samen
Zeven nachten lang, vrij ik samen met mijn lief alleen
En ik vrij niet met iedereen, dus vrij ik samen
Zeven nachten lang, vrij ik samen en met mijn lief!

La la lala lay la, la la la la lay, la la lala lay la, la la lay
La la lala lay la, la la la la lay, la la lala lay la, la la lay
La la la lay, la lala lay, la lalala lay la, la la la la lay, la lalala lay la, la la lay
La la la lay, la lala lay, la lalala lay la, la la la la lay, la lalala lay la, la la lay

Eerst zullen wij drinken, dit lied duurt ons te lang
Eerst zullen wij drinken oh, wat een dorst!

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Galway Girl – Bevrijdingsfestival

Galway Girl

Rapalje released this great song on the CD Clubs in 2012, in 2020 this is still one of our favorite songs. This video was recorded during our concert at the Liberation Festival in Zwolle.

Background information “Galway Girl”

Galway Girl is a song written by Steve Earle. It was released in the year 2000. It is about the semi-autobiographical story of Steve Earle and his reaction to an encounter with a beautiful girl, Bodhrán player Joyce Redmond with black hair and blue eyes. The meeting is of course in Galway, Ireland. In 2007 the song was also used in the romantic movie P.S. I Love You.

Lyrics “Galway Girl”

Well, I took a stroll on the old long walk
on a day -I-ay-I-ay
And I met a little girl and we stopped to talk
on a nice soft day -I-ay-I-ay

And I ask you, friend, what’s a fella to do
Cause her hair was black and her eyes were blue
And I took her down and I givin’ a twhirl
‘Round the Salthill Prom with a Galway girl

Well we were halfway there when the rain came down
on a day -I-ay-I-ay
And she asked me up to her flat downtown
on a nice soft day -I-ay-I-ay

And I ask you, friend, what’s a fella to do
Cause her hair was black and her eyes were blue
So I took her hand and I gave her a twirl
And I lost my heart to a Galway girl

When I woke up I was all way down
on a day -I-ay-I-ay
With a broken heart and a ticket home
on a nice soft day -I-ay-I-ay

And I ask you friend, what would you do
If her hair was black and her eyes were blue
I’ve been around all over the world, boys
But I ain’t never seen nothin’ but a Galway girl

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Home is Where My Friends are – EM2 With Fan Applause

Home Is Where My Friends Are

William brought  this song to the Rapalje repertoire. He heard a song during a nice evening in his favorite Pub, part of the lyrics just stuck in his head and even his dreams, eventually Home is Where my Friends Are came out of this. We found the original song played in Williams pub, this was “Back to Donegal” by Rory McLoad, so this was the inspiration for Home is Where my Friends Are

The tune we play in this song is called Pride of Petravore, other songs have also been written for this.

Pride of Petravore

As far as we know, William Houston Collisson (1865-1920) is the writer of Pride of Petravore and is a traditional hornpipe tune. Percy French (1854-1920) wrote the lyrics to the song, which means it is now also called Eileen Og. The two were friends, stage partners, and college composers. In our CD “Into Folk” we have written the musical notes.


sheet music Pride of Petravore

Lyrics of “Home is where my friends are”

I’d like to introduce you to the band that’s playing
All the way where we came from, you don’t want to know
Going down to Tager, play for pints of lager
I’m just following the road, I go to Donegal

Home is where my friends are
You are all part of me
I leave you with this song
Are you comming, are you going, are you trying to stop me

Play six and reels and jigs at one time, I just think I’m going fine
I don’t care what’s going on and I could be alone
Coming through St. Prady’s and all the pretty ladies
But none of them is as beautiful as down in Donegal

I love ladies, I can’t get enough I dance with them ’till my legs fall of
Pretty ladies I see them and side by side we go
I’m drinking ’till I’m pissed of, going ’till I have to mud down
In the bars of Rotterdam I dream of Donegal

I love you true Alida but I think I’m gonna leave you
I don’t want to sit at your place watching years go by
Sitting with your fatty on your ugly satty
I’m dreaming away the plans I’ve got when I return in Donegal

The barman rings the bell, in announcement to everybody:
“Have you got no homes to go to”
And I sing: “I ain’t got no home in this world anymore
I’m just passing through”

(You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here)

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Skye Boat Song – Theater het Kielzog

During the corona lockdown we gave a unique concert for stuffed animal toys from Caden Myles, the son of David Myles in the Kielzog theater in Hoogezand. Unfortunately our violinist was ill during this livestream and for us it took some getting used to giving a concert without an audience.

The Skye Boat Song

An old Scottish national anthem. The melody dates from 1870 and the text we sing is from 1892, written by Robert Louis Stevenson. Since the hit series ‘Outlander’ it became even more popular and we always love the reaction of the audience when they recognise the first notes.

Background information

The first contact with the song was back in 1995 when David Myles had to practice it in bagpipe class. An old traditional that has already been sung by several artists. David wanted to play The Skye Boat Song within the band and persuaded the other members to play along, shortly before a performance after William had the lyrics in his head, Dieb came up with the idea to play the song on Uilleanpipes instead of the Scottish bagpipes and a structure was devised. An hour later “The Skye Boat Song” was presented to the public and it remains one of our favorites. Even the front cover of the CD “Scotlands Story” is based on this.

The song is about Prince Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) ‘s journey from Benbecula to the Isle of Skye during an escape after his defeat at the Battle of Culloden in 1746.

Stevenson’s version is more about the inner feelings of the defeated prince. Ambition and optimism have been replaced by a feeling of tired loss.

Sir Harold Edwin Boulton’s original 1870 song ends with a sense of heroic failure and a romantic expression of future victory. Stevenson’s ending, however, is poignant and realistic. In the song, he realizes that he has lost everything, even his own identity: “All I was is gone.” The “boy” he once was is gone and will never return.

Lyrics

[Chorus]

Sing me a song of a lad that is gone,
Say, could that lad be I?
Merry of soul he sailed on a day
Over the sea to Skye.

Mull was astern, Rum on the port,
Eigg on the starboard bow;
Glory of youth glowed in his soul;
Where is that glory now?

[Chorus]

Give me again all that was there,
Give me the sun that shone!
Give me the eyes, give me the soul,
Give me the lad that’s gone!

[Chorus]

Billow and breeze, islands and seas,
Mountains of rain and sun,
All that was good, all that was fair,
All that was me is gone.

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Long May You Run – Pieterburen releasing Seals

Aftermovie of our trip from Pieterburen to release seals in the Wadden Sea. Our live stream opening song was “Long May You Run”. With this song we have added images from our tour into a very nice compilation. We really enjoyed this experience and really appreciate the work Pieterburen does for the seals. Unfortunately our violinist is missing during the recording due to illness.

Background Info “Long May You Run”

Originally written by Neil Young, our singer William thinks it’s a great song and wanted to play him with our band Rapalje. This gives the song its own sound and it is fantastic for us to play.

Neil’s beloved Buick hearse, “Mort,” was the inspiration for this song. Neil drove “Mort” from Toronto to Los Angeles, where he met Stephen Stills and founded Buffalo Springfield. Later Neil drove a Pontiac hearse “Mort 2”

Neil was on his way to Sudbury in Canada when ‘Mort’ broke down in Blind River, Ontario in June 1965. (the lyrics in the song are, “well, it was back in Blind River, 1962, when I last saw you alive”) the year is incorrect, but the song is about this story.

Neil Young is pictured here in the middle in front of his Mort.

Pieterburen releasing Seals

Both Rapalje and Pieterburen are Groningen crowd favourites who have been able to reach thousands of people with various live streams in recent months. During this, a combination of live acoustic music and conversations about seals and the mudflats will be broadcast. The combination of seals and music is not very far-fetched. This summer, the Sealcenter will open an exhibition dedicated to the language and sense of rhythm of seals.

The cooperation between the Sealcenter Pieterburen and Rapalje is a striking one, but there are two nice similarities. First, both of them had been able to reach thousands of people through live streams of music or seals being cared for throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Second, seals and music have more in common than people generally assume. Seals have been proven to have a sense of rhythm and can “parrot”!

Precisely now pups are born at a certain location in the Wadden Sea that require intensive care from their mother for a few weeks. This bond is often broken due to disruption. Rapalje would like to make sure that these animals get well again.

Lyrics

We’ve been through some things together
With trunks of memories still to come
We found things to do in stormy weather
Long may you run.

Long may you run. Long may you run.
Although these changes have come
With your chrome heart shining in the sun
Long may you run.

Well, it was back in Blind River in 1962
When I last saw you alive
But we missed that shift on the long decline
Long may you run.

Long may you run. Long may you run.
Although these changes have come
With your chrome heart shining in the sun
Long may you run.

Maybe The Beach Boys have got you now
With those waves singing “Caroline No”
Rollin’ down that empty ocean road
Gettin’ to the surf on time.

Long may you run. Long may you run.
Although these changes have come
With your chrome heart shining in the sun
Long may you run.

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Dunmore Lassies – Back to School

We gave a musical lesson at primary school De Westerburcht in Eelde on the Friday before the schools were allowed to reopen after they were closed by Covid-19. The images during Dunmore Lassies are holiday photos from Ireland by David Myles

Dunmore Lassies

This is a traditional also called Dunmore Lasses or Morrison’s Reel.

The original title is Morrison’s Reel and refers to Galway flutist Tom Morrision (1889-1958). When recording the melody at 78 rpm in 1927 it was titled “the Dunmore Lasses”

Morrison’s Reel

Three-time Ireland champion Irish flute player Paddy Carty (1929-1985, Loughrea, County Galway) recorded the tune as “Morrison’s” on his 1975 Shanachie Records album. Carty was known for his smooth East Galway playing style.

Sheet music Dunmore Lassies

Practice Dunmore Lassies with David Myles

Dunmore Lassies on Spotify

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Glen Coe – Pumpkin’s Fancy – Theater het Kielzog

During the corona lockdown we gave a unique concert stuffed toys in the Kielzog theater in Hoogezand. We opened the concert with Glen Coe – Pumkin’s Fancy and we had to do this concert without our violinist Dieb.

Glen Coe

Glen Coe is a fantastic volcanic valley in the Scottish highlands. The valley is named after the river Coe flowing through it.

The song, the melody of which we play on the bagpipes, is about the “Massacre of Glen Coe” The Glen Coe Massacre from 1692, in which 37 men of the Clan Donald were slaughtered and at least 40 women and children perished.

Pumpkin’s Fancy

Composed by Dublin piper (GHB variety) Terry Tully, This is one of the first hornpipe tunes our David learned. The song is characterized by the slides that you hear in the song.