Maggie’s Farewell to Odessa

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Odessa is port city on the Black Sea in Ukraine, during the nineteenth century it was the fourth largest city in Imperial Russia and the most important trading port. Often called “the Pearl of the Black Sea” or the “South Capital” under the time of Russian Empire and Soviet rule.

In 2016 Iron Broo ceilidh band were in involved in a play called “Granite”. There was a story of an Aberdeenshire family in the play, who had moved to Odessa, Russia to teach Granite quarrying techniques to the Ukrainians and Russians. They settled in well, but things turned against them when the Russian revolution began, and they came home in poor condition.
I wrote this on a whim and thought it could work for a scene in the play when Maggie came home. The play never utilised it, but I like the tune anyways. It sounds melancholic and sad with a Russian or Ukrainian sounding .  Part of the play was about a Scottish family from Aberdeen with experience in quarrying hard granite stone, that moved to Odessa to start a business and teach the Ukrainians and Russians how to quarry Granite. Odessa had the resources but not the skills to quarry their granite. Aberdeen granite being famous around the world for it’s strenght and durability.
The Scottish family came back to Aberdeen because things didn’t work out when a war broke out with the Revolution. I called it ‘Maggie’s’ Farewell to Odessa’. Hence the sad Ukrainian / Russian accordion feel to it.
The family had risked everything and had a good life and many friends in Odessa, they returned to Aberdeen, Scotland, broken and poor, having lost everything when the war broke out.

 

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