You’ve been a long time away Willy Gray

We have been major fans of Spiro for a long time and so this is our way of paying homage… by trying to learn one of their tunes. I’m afraid we won’t be able to play it like them, partly because they play it in C and I’ve transposed it into D to make it easier, but mostly because they are Spiro and have a unique and brilliant take on everything that they play.

Their sleeve notes from their album Kaleidophonica suggest that City and the Stars uses a tune from Northumberland called “You’ve been a long time away Willy Gray”. Unfortunately, I haven’t found any other recordings on Youtube, so you’ll just have to enjoy Spiro playing it (in C), and it’s a great film (Willy Gray starts at 0.38 mins in).

Confusingly, there is a tune/song called Wee Willie Gray which the Jock Tamson’s Bairns wove into a song called Dusty Miller (preview in iTunes) using a tune very much like Rusty Gully (another 3/2 hornpipe as is Willy Gray). It’s a good tune too, but different.

As usual, my thanks to Jane and Jon for their help in checking the transcription and chords, and errors are all mine.

Please note that the B part doesn’t repeat.

Pdf version here.


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