The Whistling Gypsy

It’s been a good three months since the beginning of the chorus season. The songs we have been practicing have been a little difficult, yet can be fun once you can understand the rhythm. Think of how we all have conquered Take the A Train, when John Potelle decided he wanted to try to scat solo. I have been discovering how some of the songs that have come from the Isles made it to America. I hope you have been with me on this journey as I have been able to discuss these songs. Today I am going to discuss The Whistling Gypsy.

I want to first say that I will be happy to try out for the solo audition the next practice. I thought since my mother has been into Irish Music and her fiddle for twenty-five years, it would be a pleasure for me to be a soloist during the upcoming concert. This song was created Leo Maguire in the 1950’s in Ireland, and since then it has been sung by several artists, and was used in the film The Black Knight, after Leo recreated the lyrics.

This version of the Whistling Gypsy is made for four-part chorus, and includes Baritone, solo, piano, and guitar accompaniment. There are five verses, which will have three soloists, the main-storyteller, the father, and the female parts. The whistling part adds flavor to the mix of the chorus singing the Ah-de-do part. The song is about a woman who runs off to be with a gypsy, who is originated from the Romanians, or an ethnic tribe living in Europe or America. Once we sing the song in the chorus concert, it should put the audience into perspective about the life of Ireland, and how most of Americans living in the Eastern United States came from our ancestors from Europe, such as the gypsy in this song.


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