An excerpt from this Wikipedia page:

Santiano is a German band from the northern region of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, whose genres include Irish folk, sea shanty, and schlager music. The name Santiano is taken from the Hugues Aufray song of the same name. They topped the German, Austrian, and Swiss charts in the mid 2010s.

One of their songs, Mädchen von Haithabu, sounds very similar melodically to the linked section of Michael Sweeney's Celtic Air and Dance No. 2, a composition for which I played percussion in my high school concert band. The section is based on the traditional Scottish song Tha Mi Sgith (Scottish, not Irish, nor German).

It seems that Santiano wrote Mädchen von Haithabu themselves, but is it likely that they, like Michael Sweeney, were inspired by Tha Mi Sgith?

Edit: As pointed out by the accepted answer, I made a mistake. Both songs are based off of Star of the County Down, not Tha Mi Sgith. I've played far too many Celtic songs in concert band :)

1 Answer 1


The Santiago song and the Sweeney piece are based on the same original melody, but that's not "Tha Mi Sgith" which is very different. The Sweeney piece is titled "Star of the County Down" which would indicates an Irish origin rather than a Scottish one. The Wikipedia page for "Star of the County Down" lists "Mädchen von Haithabu" as a recorded version. enter image description here

  • Oops, my bad. Tha Mi Sgith was involved in one of Sweeney's other pieces, I was confused. Thank you for your service once again! Commented May 28, 2020 at 14:58

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