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Some years ago I got to sing an arrangement of a traditional American song which was translated to Catalan; the song should be called something like "The Eagle".

I've been looking for the original lyrics in English, but I cannot find the original song anywhere; I've seen that there are quite a bunch of songs called something related to the word "eagle", but none of them matched the one I'm looking for. I've even contacted the arranger, but he told me that he got the song theme already translated into Catalan, and didn't remember where from.

Here's the main theme of the song: lyrics are in Catalan, but I hope that someone will recognise the tune and point me to the right direction:

Main theme from the song:

Main theme from the song

Lyrics in Catalan are:

Quan l'alba encén el blau del cel, el vol de l'àliga reial que sobrepassa el cim més alt contemplo amb un se-...

Which would translate as:

When the dawn turns the sky blue, I watch with a secret wish the flight of the royal eagle as it flies over the highest peaks

Anyone knows about the original song, and can point me to the original lyrics?

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    Could you please add an English translation of the Catalan lyrics? Maybe they are close enough to the original that it rings a bell for some users here. – Arsak Aug 16 '18 at 17:14
  • I feel sure the tune is an English (or Scottish?) folk tune, but I can't think what the words are. Of course many "traditional American" songs arrived with the immigrants who sang them before they immigrated! – alephzero Aug 17 '18 at 9:27
  • Sure! The lyrics, roughly translated to English, would be: "When the dawn turns the sky blue, I watch with a secret wish the flight of the royal eagle as it flies over the highest peaks". The order of the sentences are changed in Catalan, but I translated the lyrics so they kinda make sense in English (romanic languages do weird things, sometimes :P) – Johanovski Aug 19 '18 at 10:06
  • I feel I've heard this --something closer to this melody than the accepted answer. I'll keep on mulling over it... – Chris Sunami Sep 13 '18 at 19:36
  • Thanks, Chris! If you come up with anything, I'd be great if you could share it! :) – Johanovski Sep 18 '18 at 15:21
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That tune isn't familiar to me as an American, although I'm no folk music expert.

So off to Musipedia I go. I used their "keyboard search" feature to do a search on your tune; as usual, none of the search results seem to match exactly, but the "Princess Royal / Mrs MacDermott (Turlough O'Carolan)" match is tantalizingly similar: https://youtu.be/UAUFnOCoJfM

Turlogh O'Carolan was a Celtic harper and composer from the early 18th century.

I don't see any obvious lyrics for the "The Princess Royal" as a song in its own right, but the same tune was apparently also used for "The Saucy Arethusa", which apparently often (always?) is played on the last night of the BBC Proms. In case this really is the song you're looking for, you'll find full lyrics at http://www.sailorsongs.com/the_saucy_arethusa.html.

  • Thanks for the very detailed answer! :) Didn't know about Musepedia, seems like an interesting resource... The "Princess Royal" does indeed seem very close to the one I'm looking for, and the lyrics seem to match quite well with the score I have, so I guess this one should be it (considering how much traditional songs usually vary). Thanks again! – Johanovski Sep 6 '18 at 9:24

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