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Issue 1636: Dance Tunes are NOT song names (strike TWO)

The Road to the Isles (Tune)
Ian Price
Assigned to
Viktor Lehmann

Once again, the correct TUNE listed on the album sleeve has been replaced by the name of a song that is sung to it.

If you are going to list my former band’s recordings, please reproduce the sleeve notes accurately. Thank you

Previous Actions

  • Date  Feb. 16, 2019, 6:42 p.m.
  • User  Unknown

New issue submitted

  • Date  Feb. 16, 2019, 7:46 p.m.
  • User  Anselm Lingnau (anselm)

Disposition changed to »Needs help« (previously »New«)

I appreciate your concern, and we are in fact interested in keeping our data as complete, accurate, and unambiguous as possible.

The data in the database is derived from a multitude of sources over more than two decades, and it is not at all unlikely that in various cases we really, honestly, don’t know better. Especially with older and out-of-print material, we often do not have access to the original sources and have to rely on (a) the data as it was provided to us, and (b) constructive additions and corrections by database users.

What would help us in this case is if you could provide us with a scan or legible digital photograph of the album sleeve notes, which I don’t think we currently have access to. That would go a long way towards ensuring that we can fix problems in the database.

Having said that, I agree that sometimes existing tunes have lyrics set to them that then become very popular to a point where few people seem to remember what the tune was called originally, and that can be confusing, especially to people who are not experts on the history and development of traditional Scottish music and song. We can insist on calling these tunes exclusively by their original names but that may not in fact be helpful.

For such cases, the database supports an “alias” mechanism that lets us list a tune (or dance) by its more popular name while still directing appropriate attention to the other name. For example, the tune that is (correctly but somewhat confusingly for the majority of people who are likely to know the Burns song but aren’t necessarily aware of the title of the underlying tune) listed as “Low Down in the Broom” on your album would appear as “My Love Is Like A Red, Red Rose (as ‘Low Down in the Broom’)”, and the detail page for the tune could then explain about the various names and the Burns connection. To us, this looks like a reasonable compromise between accuracy and utility.

  • Date  Jan. 19, 2023, 3:15 p.m.
  • User  Viktor Lehmann (tone2tone)

Assigned changed to »tone2tone« (previously »None«)

Don’t know where we stand with this issue. It seems to evolve around this recording: https://my.strathspey.org/dd/recording/2498/ which is the only Ian Price recording showing the tune in question. I can’t find any artwork (cover back) online. Ian, if you could send a scan or photo to scddb-submissions@strathspey.org, that would be great.

  • Date  Jan. 20, 2023, 7:04 p.m.
  • User  Viktor Lehmann (tone2tone)

Disposition changed to »Fixed« (previously »Needs help«)

Ian sent through scans of the backside of the album which helped a great deal. It was indeed recording 2498 “The Ellwyn Strathspey” and the tune “The Burning Sands of Egypt” which shows as “The Road to the Isles”. A broader search led to:
“The Road to the isles” IS the most popular tune name for the original called “The Bens of Jura” and it has far more aliases than our database showed before (I added them all). Therefore I changed nothing. One could argue that the tune only got its name when it was associated with the poem of the same name, yet, in this instance, the tune inherited that name as well as one alias. Keeping it as the main entry is not really wrong or incorrect, but reflects what people would search for most. I amended the notes to reflect that.