Wovember Words: Island Spinning Song

This song appears in a collection of Island and Highland tunes compiled by composer Hugh Robertson, in the 1950s. I had heard it referred to before as the Shetland Spinning Song, but that is quite incorrect as it features the kind of  beautiful non-lexical vocables (think to Hickory-dickory-dock) which are present in Gaelic purit a buel, or mouth music.

The song is about a woman at her spinning, trying to use her wheel to divine her romantic future. I love that hypnotic chorus of vocal meandering sounds and can almost hear the whirr of the wheel and feel the fleece between the fingers….

…has your spinning wheel ever been your own wheel of fortune?

IMAG0881_spinning

: : Island Spinning Song : :

Hullamacka doo, hoorova hee
Hoorova hinda, hoorova hinda
hullamacka doo, hoorova hee
O dicko, decko, dandy.

When will someone come to me?
Will he come by land or sea?
Will he my own true love be?
Oh tell me truly wheel-o.

Hullamacka doo, hoorova hee
Hoorova hinda, hoorova hinda
hullamacka doo, hoorova hee
O dicko, decko, dandy.

Wheel of fate what ist you say?
This year next or ne’er a day.
When will a lover come my way?
Oh tell me truly wheel-o.

Hullamacka doo, hoorova hee
Hoorova hinda, hoorova hinda
hullamacka doo, hoorova hee
O dicko, decko, dandy.

Be he dark or be he fair
Shy or bold or debonair?
Ribbons braw will deck my hair
To meet and greet my true love.

Hullamacka doo, hoorova hee
Hoorova hinda, hoorova hinda
hullamacka doo, hoorova hee
O dicko, decko, dandy.

Summer days and heather bells
Are ringing through the silent hills
There’s yellow corn in yonder fields
and autumn brings the shearing.

Hullamacka doo, hoorova hee
Hoorova hinda, hoorova hinda
hullamacka doo, hoorova hee
O dicko, decko, dandy.

If the weather it be dry,
They’ll say there’s love ‘tween you and I
They’ll say there’s love ‘tween you and I
When we go to the shearing.

Hullamacka doo, hoorova hee
Hoorova hinda, hoorova hinda
hullamacka doo, hoorova hee
O dicko, decko, dandy.

When the harvest it be done
We’ll have some ranting, roaring fun.
We’ll have some ranting, roaring fun.
When we go to the shearing.

Hullamacka doo, hoorova hee
Hoorova hinda, hoorova hinda
hullamacka doo, hoorova hee
O dicko, decko, dandy.

 

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This entry was posted by louisescollay.

2 thoughts on “Wovember Words: Island Spinning Song

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