CD A0349: An Unfair Dance

An unfair dance

CD coverContemporary Celtic group featuring Davy Steele, Jim Walker, Wendy Stewart and Gary West.

'Ceolbeg are rooted in tradition with a freshness and vitality that deserves a wider hearing' (Q Magazine)

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Ceolbeg: profile & index of recordings

Track Listing & Audio Samples

An unfair dance

1.  Zito The Bubbleman
2.  Galicia Revisited
3.  The Jolly Beggar
     The Man in Black
4.  Gale Warning
      The Gale Warning
      Dancing Feet
      The Clumsy Lover
5.  The Collier's Way
6.  Standing Together
7.  Wild West Waltz
8.  Ceol Beag
     The Caledonian Society of London
     The Birmingham Breakdown
     The Old Mountain Road
     An Unfair Dance
     The Eavesdroper
9.  Seton's Lassie
10. Train Journey North
      Farewell to Nigg
      Train Journey North
11. My Love Is Like A Red, Red Rose
     The Mermaid
12. The Sleeping Tune      


CD Notes

CD Sleeve Notes

1.  Zito The Bubbleman - comp Gordon Duncan; pub Celtic Music
Although not yet 30, Duncan has already made an immense contribution to the world of piping, both as an innovative composer and as an outstanding performer. This tune was written while on tour in Italy with another Scottish band, following a concert in which they were supporting the star attraction of the evening, a local character whose act involved walking on stage and blowing bubbles into a variety of shapes and forms - 'Zito the Bubbleman'!

2.  Galicia Revisited - trad; arr, Ceolbeg, pub, Grian Music
Three traditional tunes from Galicia, a Celtic region in Spain whose culture and music share many similarities with our own here in Scotland.

3.  The Jolly Beggar - trad; arr Ceolbeg; pub. Grian Music
Usually these knights/kings dressed as tramps songs, are about jolly nobelman having their way with peasant girls then shooting the craw. This one seems to have shot his bolt instead. How satisfying.
    The Man In Black - comp Wendy Stewart pub Grian Music
This tune which sits nicely in 'The Jolly Beggar' could have been subtitled 'The Grumpy Git', however, it refers to a 'sound'man, Adie Bolton.

4.  Gale Warning
     The Gale Warning - comp. R. Bruce;pub.Paterson's Publications
     Dancing Feet - comp. G.S. MacLennan;arrCeolbeg; pub. Grian Music
     The Clumsy Lover - comp. Neil Dickie;pub. Isa Music.
This set of reels has been a favourite of the band for several years now.

5.  The Collier's Way - comp. Davy Steele;pub. Grian Music.
Monktonhall Colliery in Midlothian was the last pit my father worked in. It was closed down by British Coal/the Government as being uneconomical. The miners decided to pool their redundancy money, and with outside financial help, plus backing by the same Government, they bought the pit and eventually started producing coal. This whole process took something like three and a half years, between the closing and reopening of the pit. The first order the miners received, was for 185,000 tonnes of coal from British Coal. That angered me enough to write this song, what does it do to you?

6.  Stand Together - comp. Davy Steele. pub .Grian Music.
April 9th 1992 (the British General Election), I've never seen so many people with a look of "I don't know how it happened" written all over their faces as there was in Portree that day. Out of that, a couple of movements got off the ground, most of them to do with ordinary people determined Scotland should have more say in her affairs. Scotland United tried to mix all parties,to get a stronger message and lobby on behalf of the Scottish people. Their only mistake was they had some politicians amongst their ranks who were motivated by what their party wanted, more than by what the people were saying, or isit just me? Much of the 'feel' of the vocals on this track is thanks to the voices of Shona Bowman, Ingrid Brown, Kate Cullen, Tracey Muirden, Fiona Newlands and Karen Ogilvie of Grantown Grammar.

7.  Wild West Waltz - comp Wendy Stewart;pub. Grian Music
Wendy wrote this waltz for a grand occasion, the wedding of our piper Gary West and Wendy Murray.

8.  Ceol Beag
     The Caledonian Society of London - trad arr Ceolbeg; pub Grian Music
     The Birmingham Breakdown - comp. Gary West;pub. Grian Music
     The Old Mountain Road - trad arr Ceolbeg ;pub Grian Music
     An Unfair Dance - comp. Wendy Stewart; pub Grian Music
     The Eavesdropper - trad; arr Ceolbeg; pub Grian Music
'Ceol Beag' is the Gaelic term for the lighter music of the pipes, as opposed to 'Ceol Mor' or piobaireachd. This medley was put together to include a strathspey and some reels and jigs- three of the most popular forms of ceol beag. The Birmingham Break-down was written on an English tour in the back seat of Jim Walker's car while waiting, yet again, for the RAC to come and rescue us. 'An Unfair Dance' is a comment on life for those of us 'blessed' with two left feet.

9.  Seton's Lassie - comp. Davy Steele ,pub. grian Music
A song with a happy ending. The place is real, the names changed to protect the incontinent, the stiry fiction. Apart from that it is all fairly accurate.

10.  Train Journey North
       Farewell to Nigg - comp. Duncan Johnston; pub Celtic Music
       Dinkies - trad; arr. Ceolbeg; pub Grian Music
       Train Journey North - comp . T. Anderson; Copyright Control

11.  My Love Is Like A Red, Red Rose - comp. Robert Burns; arr Ceolbeg; pub. Grian Music
A classic example of how brilliant Robert Burns took old ballads and re-worked them into some of the most beautiful songs ever written.
      The Mermaid - trad; arr Ceolbeg; pub. Grian Music

12.  The Sleeping Tune - comp ;Gordon Duncan; Copyright Control


CD Credits

CD Credits

There are always, many people who have contributed directly and indirectly to the release of this album, including many friends and the families of the band members and we thank them all for their help, support and guidance. In particular we would like to thank Dick Gaughan and also Ian Green, Roy Ashby Murray Seaton and Christine Walker.

Davy Steele - vocals,guitar,bouzouki, bodhran
Peter Boon - flute,whistle,cittern,harmonica
Gary West - Highland & Lowland pipes, whistle
Colin Matheson - Keyboards, guitar, accordion
Wendy Stewart - electro harp, concertina
Jim Walker - drums, percussion

Recorded at Hart Street Studios, Edinburgh by Roy Ashby
Front Cover painting 'Zito the Bubbleman' by Simon Manfield
Sleeve Design by John Haxby art surgery

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© 1993 Greentrax Recordings Ltd

Album Information

Title: An unfair dance
Artist: Ceolbeg
Genre: Traditional / Scottish
Format: CD
Our Ref: A0349
Label: Greentrax Recording Ltd
Year: 1993
Origin: Scotland (EU)