The Flowers Of Edinburgh barndance

Also known as Blata Duin-Eudain, Da Flooers O’ Edinburgh, Da Floors A’ Edinburgh, The Flours Of Edinburgh, The Flower Of Edinburgh, The Flowers Of Edinburgh Jig, Knuckle Down, My Love Was Once A Bonnie Lad, My Love’s Bonny When She Smiles On Me, To The Battle Men Of Erin, The Weobley Hankie Dance, The Weobley Hanky Dance.

There are 49 recordings of a tune by this name.

A tune by this name has been recorded together with The Rakes Of Mallow (a few times), The Mason’s Apron (a few times), Soldier’s Joy (a few times).

The Flowers Of Edinburgh has been added to 650 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Twelve settings

X: 1
T: The Flowers Of Edinburgh
R: barndance
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:GE|D2DE G2GA|BGBd cBAG|FGFE DEFG|AFdF E2GE|
D2DE G2GA|BGBd efge|dcBA GFGA|B2 G2 G2:|
|:d2|g2g2 gbag|f2f2 fagf|edef gfed|B2e2 e2ge|
dBGB d2 d2|edef g2fe|dcBA GFGA|B2 G2 G2:|
# Added by noah .
ABC
X: 2
T: The Flowers Of Edinburgh
R: barndance
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:D3E ~G3A|BGBd cBAG|(3FGF EF DEFG|AFdF E2GE|
D3E ~G2A|BGBd efge|dcBA GFGA|1 BGGF GAGE:|2 BGGF GABd||
|:g2gf gbag|f2fe fagf|edef gfed|Beed efge|
dBGB d2Bd|edef g2fe|dcBA GFGA|1 BGGF GABd:|2 BGGF GAGE||
ABC
X: 3
T: The Flowers Of Edinburgh
R: barndance
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
D2 DE G2 GA | BGBd cBAG | FGFE DEFG | AFdF E/F/E G/F/E |
D3 E G3 A | BG B/c/d efge | dcBA GFGA | B2 G2 G2 :|
g2 g2 gbag | f^efd f/g/a gf | e^def gfe=d | B2 e2 e2 g/f/e |
dBGB d4 | e^def g2 fe | dcBA G2 F/G/A | B2 G2 G2 :|
ABC
X: 4
T: The Flowers Of Edinburgh
R: barndance
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
DEFD G2 A2 | B2 B2 BdcB | AGFG EFGA | B2 E2 E2 GE |
DEFD G2 A2 | B2 B2 Bgfe | dcBA GFGA | B2 G2 G4 |]
g6 (3gag | f6 (3faf | e2 e2 efge | B2 e2 e2 ge |
dBGB d2 d2 | e2 e2 efge | dcBA GFGA | B2 G2 G4 |]
G2 DG B2 GB | d2 B2 g3 e | d2 B2 BAGA | B2 G2 E2 D2 |
G2 DG B2 GB | d2 B2 g3 e | d2B2 BAGA | B2 G2 G2 f2 |]
g4 f3 e | B2 e2 e3 f | g2 g2 fafd | B2 e2 e2 ge |
dBGB d2 d2 | edef g2 fe | d2 B2 BAGA | B2 G2 G2 |]
ABC
X: 5
T: The Flowers Of Edinburgh
R: barndance
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
DEFD G2 GA | B2 B2 BdcB | AGFG EFGA | B2 E2 E2 GE |
DEFD G2 A2 | B2 B2 Bgfe | dcBA GFGA | B2 G2 G4 |]
{ef}g6 ag | f8 | edef gfed | B2 e2 e2 ge |
dBGB d2 dd | edef g2 fe | dcBA GFGA | B2 G2 G2 e<f |
g2 g2 gbag | f2 f2 fagf | e2 ef gfed | B2 e2 e2 ge |
dBGB d2 dd | edef g2 fe | dcBA GFGA | B2 G2 G4 |]
E4 | D2 E2 F2 D2 | G4 A4 | B4 B4 | (B d3) c2 B2 |
A2 G2 F2 G2 | E2 F2 G2 A2 | B4 E4 | E6 GE |
DEFD G2 A2 | B2 B2 Bgfe | dcBA GFGA | B2 G2 G2 |]
ABC
X: 6
T: The Flowers Of Edinburgh
R: barndance
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
G2 G2 B2 B2 | d2 ef g2 e2 | dcBA GFGA | B2 G2 E2 D2 |
G2 G2 B2 B2 | d2 ef g2 e2 | dcBA GFGA | B2 G2 G2- |]
g2 g2 gbag | f2 f2 fagf | e2 ef gfed | B2 e2 e4 |
dcBc d2 d2 | edef g2 e2 | dcBA GFGA | B2 G2 G2 |]
ABC
X: 7
T: The Flowers Of Edinburgh
R: barndance
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
D3 E G3 A | BGdG cBAG | FGFE DEFG | AFdF E3 F |
D3 E G3 A | BGBd efge | dcBA GFGA | B2 G2 G2 :|
gfga gbag | fdfg fagf | edef gfed | B2 e>f efge |
dBGB B/c/d cB | egfa g2 fe | dcBA GFGA | B2 G2 G2 :|
|: d2 | ~ the usual, and then bars 4 & 5 ~ | B2 ef efge | dBGB d2 d2 | ~
ABC
X: 8
T: The Flowers Of Edinburgh
R: barndance
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
G2 GA B2 AB | cBAG E2 E2 | EFGE DEFG | AdBG E2 GE |
D2 DE G2 GA | BGBd efge | dBAG EDEG | (3ABA G2 G2 :|
g2 gf gbag | fefg a2 az | edef edBd | de-ed e2 ge |
dBGB d3 d | edef g2 fe | dBAG DEFG | (3ABA G2 G2 :|
ABC
X: 9
T: The Flowers Of Edinburgh
R: barndance
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
D3 E G3 A | BGdG B2 AG | F3 E D>EFG | AFdF E3 F |
D3 E G3 A | B>AGd e2 e/f/g | cBAG A2 GA | B2 A>G G2 :|
g>fga g/a/b ag | f>efg f/g/a gf | edef gfed | B2 e>f e2 g2 |
B2 AG d2 cB | edef g>abB | cBAG A2 GA | B2 A>G G2 :|
D3 E G3 A | BGBd B2 AG | F3 E DEFG | AFdF E2 FE |
DEFD G3 A | (3BAG (3Bcd e3 g | dBAG E2 GA | B2 GA G2 ||
gfg>a f/a/b ag | fef>g f/g/a gf | edef gfed | B2 e2 e3 g/4f/4e/ |
dBAG d2 cB | edef g3 g/4a/4b/ | cBAG E2 GA | B2 G2 G2 |]
D3 E G3 A | BGdG B2AG | F3 E DEFG | AFdF E3 F |
D3 E G3 A | B2 d2 e2 (3efg | B2 AG A2 GA | B2 G2 G2 :|
gfga (3gab ag | fefg (3fga gf | edef gfed | B2 e2 e2 (3efg |
B2 AG d2 Bd | edef (3gab ag | B2 AG A2 GA | B2 G2 G2 :|
ABC
X: 10
T: The Flowers Of Edinburgh
R: barndance
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
B|D2 E G2 A|Bdg dBG|gag efg|dBG A2 B|D2 E G2 A|
ege dBG|g2 e dBG|AGG G2::d|gfg b2 g|fef a2 f|e^de gdB|
Bee e2 f|gfe dcB|ABG FED|GBd gdc|BGG G2:|]
D|GG BG/B/|dB g>e|dB B/A/G/A/|BG ED|
GG BG/B/|dB g>e|dB B/A/G/A/|BG G:|]
d|g2 f>e|Be e>f|g2 f/g/f/e/|Be eg/e/|
d/B/G/B/ dd|e/d/e/f/ gg/e/|dB B/A/G/A/|BG G:|
ABC
X: 11
T: The Flowers Of Edinburgh
R: barndance
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:D3E ~G3A|BGBd cBAG|(3FGF EF DEFG|AFdF E2GE|
D3E ~G2A|BGBd efge|dcBA GFGA|1 BGGF GAGE:|2 BGGF GABd||
|:g2gf gbag|f2fe fagf|edef gfed|Beed efge|
dBGB d2Bd|edef g2fe|dcBA GFGA|1 BGGF GABd:|2 BGGF GAGE||"
ABC
X: 12
T: The Flowers Of Edinburgh
R: barndance
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|: GE |D2 DE G2 GA | BGBd cBAG | FGFE DEFG | AFdF E2 EF |
D2 DE G2 GA | BGBd efge | dcBA GFGA | B2 G2 G2 :|
|: d2 |g2 g2 gbag | f2 f2 fagf | edef gfed | B2 e2 e2 ge |
dBGB d2 Bd | edef g2 fe | dcBA GFGA | B2 G2 G2 :|
ABC

Forty-six comments

The Flowers of Edinburgh

Shouldn’t the high d in bar 4 of the first part be in fact a low D, so that the ABC of that bar reads ADFD E2GE?
Trevor

This is usually considered either a reel or hornpipe round here — by construction, it’s the latter…

"Shouldn’t the high d in bar 4 of the first part be in fact a low D, so that the ABC of that bar reads ADFD E2GE?"

High d is usually played in our neck of the woods and I would normally play it as written.

A little north of Edinburgh they play a high D too. Very popular tune, usually played as a reel here.

Posted by .

Commonly reel in and around Edinburgh. For those who don’t already know: the "Flowers" of Edinburgh is reference to the aroma of the various human "ejecta" tossed from tenement windows in the days before proper waste management!

Unfortunately, it’s played to death around here in Edinburgh. It was a good tune, though.

I play two basic versions of this tune, one as a Scottish reel slightly different to this with more notes in the ‘B’ music with a high D. The second is as an English morris dance tune from the Bampton tradition, slightly simpler in the ‘A’ music but with a ‘B’ music very close to the version given here. the ‘A’ music does not go up to high D nor to a low D but stays on F#. It is written differently at this point anyway. A comparison of different versions would prove interesting. certainly within the different traditions of Morris Dance many tunes differ slightly from tradition to tradition and make for interesting ‘reading’ if you like that sort of thing.

Posted by .

Flowers of Edinburgh

The Angels of the North play it both the ways Hetty saysbut usually we play it as a Northumnbrian Rant which lies somewhere between the English and Scottish ways of playing it.
Noel Jackson
Angels of the North

Flowers of Edinburgh

I’ve only ever heard a high D. FoE is originally a fiddle tune and the bounce off the high D is nice on that instrument.but it can be tricky toget to sound neat. The low D makes for an easier run, so I would suggest that this is a later simplification.
Noel Jackson
Angels of the North

The Flowers Of Edinburgh

It’s a reel, not a hornpipe, although the Irish play it as one. It’s just that reels meant for Scottish country dancing have those quarter note hornpipe endings which are so unbearable for Irish tradists. So I’ve come up with a purified version with some fancy twiddly bits and smoothed out endings for all you people who secretly like this tune but daren’t play it in Irish sessions in case people laugh at your quarter notes. Played like this, it shouldn’t be any more offensive than, say, "Sally Gardens":

|:D3E ~G3A|BGBd cBAG|(3FGF EF DEFG|AFdF E2GE|
D3E ~G2A|BGBd efge|dcBA GFGA|1 BGGF GAGE:|2 BGGF GABd||
|:g2gf gbag|f2fe fagf|edef gfed|Beed efge|
dBGB d2Bd|edef g2fe|dcBA GFGA|1 BGGF GABd:|2 BGGF GAGE||

Flowers of Edinburgh

This is a Scottish Measure - as are several other Scottish tunes used for Morris Dancing eg. Corn Rigs. The Measure is a slowish reel with a very strong beat at the beginning of each bar.

My late aunt Alexandra Walker (nee Stewart) learnt the fiddle in Glen Lyon in Perthshire before 1910. Her firs set was The Flowers of Edinburgh/The Soldier’s Joy/The Muckin’ o’ Geordie’s Byre.

James Scott Skinner composition?

Well, as it mentioned in the link to the thread above, John Doherty told a story of this tune; he said James Scott Skinner wrote the tune for a Miss Flowers who besotted him at the time.

Although this may not be accurate, according to the sleeve notes on "The Floating Bow", is it the fact that Skinner wrote it or the reason he wrote it?

The Flowers…

I didn’t like this tune while learning Scots music on the penny whistle in Edinburgh, but it has grown on me after I started playing Irish music on the flute. I’ve never heard it played on the flute, so tried playing it myself: http://slainte.web.infoseek.co.jp/edinburgh.mp3 The late Josie McDermott would have played it much better though.

“The Flowers of Edinburgh” ~ another take

X: 3
T: Flowers Of Edinburgh, The
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: reel
K: G Major
|: GE |\
D2 DE G2 GA | BGBd cBAG | FGFE DEFG | AFdF E/F/E G/F/E |
D3 E G3 A | BG B/c/d efge | dcBA GFGA | B2 G2 G2 :|
|: d2 |\
g2 g2 gbag | f^efd f/g/a gf | e^def gfe=d | B2 e2 e2 g/f/e |
dBGB d4 | e^def g2 fe | dcBA G2 F/G/A | B2 G2 G2 :|

The Flowers of Edinburgh

Following on from the discussion in http://www.thesession.org/discussions/16108 this tune comes in three slightly different versions in Lionel Bacon’s "Handbook of Morris Dances". The differences arise out of the fact that in morris the details of a tune are usually specific to the movements of the particular dance it is associated with, unlike Irish set dancing where there is a choice of literally hundreds of tunes for a set dance figure.

“The Flowers of Edinburgh” ~ Bampton Morris, etc…

Bampton Morris
http://www.bamptonmorris.co.uk/

The Bassett Street Hounds Mixed Border Morris Team, New York
http://bassett-street-hounds.org/
http://tomkeays.com/morris/tunes/
http://tomkeays.com/morris/tunes/bampton/the_flowers_of_edinburgh.html

X: 4
T: The Flowers of Edinburgh
S: Bacon (MDT)
A: Bampton
O: English
M:4/4
L: 1/8
R: Reel
K: G Major
DEFD G2 A2 | B2 B2 BdcB | AGFG EFGA | B2 E2 E2 GE |
DEFD G2 A2 | B2 B2 Bgfe | dcBA GFGA | B2 G2 G4 |]
g6 (3gag | f6 (3faf | e2 e2 efge | B2 e2 e2 ge |
dBGB d2 d2 | e2 e2 efge | dcBA GFGA | B2 G2 G4 |]

http://bassett-street-hounds.org/dances/flowers_of_edinburgh.php

X: 5
T:Flowers of Edinburgh
H: Used as tune for Red Stags Morris dance "Weobley Hankie Dance"
C:William Preece.
M:4/4
L:1/8
R:hornpipe
K: G Major
D2 |\
G2 DG B2 GB | d2 B2 g3 e | d2 B2 BAGA | B2 G2 E2 D2 |
G2 DG B2 GB | d2 B2 g3 e | d2B2 BAGA | B2 G2 G2 f2 |]
g4 f3 e | B2 e2 e3 f | g2 g2 fafd | B2 e2 e2 ge |
dBGB d2 d2 | edef g2 fe | d2 B2 BAGA | B2 G2 G2 |]

“The Flowers of Edinburgh Jig” ~ another Bampton Morris take

X: 6
T: The Flowers of Edinburgh Jig
T: Knuckle Down
S: Bacon (RD from Arnold Woodley)
A: Bampton
O: English
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: Reel
K: G Major
P: A
DEFD G2 GA | B2 B2 BdcB | AGFG EFGA | B2 E2 E2 GE |
DEFD G2 A2 | B2 B2 Bgfe | dcBA GFGA | B2 G2 G4 |]
P: B
{ef}g6 ag | f8 | edef gfed | B2 e2 e2 ge |
dBGB d2 dd | edef g2 fe | dcBA GFGA | B2 G2 G2 e<f |
g2 g2 gbag | f2 f2 fagf | e2 ef gfed | B2 e2 e2 ge |
dBGB d2 dd | edef g2 fe | dcBA GFGA | B2 G2 G4 |]
P: C
E4 | D2 E2 F2 D2 | G4 A4 | B4 B4 | (B d3) c2 B2 |
A2 G2 F2 G2 | E2 F2 G2 A2 | B4 E4 | E6 GE |
DEFD G2 A2 | B2 B2 Bgfe | dcBA GFGA | B2 G2 G2 |]

“The Flowers of Edinburgh” ~ Morris again, this time Bledington

X: 7
T: Flowers of Edinburgh
A: Bledington
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: reel
K: G Major
D2 |\
G2 G2 B2 B2 | d2 ef g2 e2 | dcBA GFGA | B2 G2 E2 D2 |
G2 G2 B2 B2 | d2 ef g2 e2 | dcBA GFGA | B2 G2 G2- |]
Gf |\
g2 g2 gbag | f2 f2 fagf | e2 ef gfed | B2 e2 e4 |
dcBc d2 d2 | edef g2 e2 | dcBA GFGA | B2 G2 G2 |]

“Flowers of Edinburgh” ~ Athole & Skye Collections, Scotland, no differences

"The Athole Collection of Scottish Dance Music"
James Stewart Robertson, 1884, page 144

"The Skye Collection of the Best Reels & Strathspeys"
Keith Norman MacDonald, 1887
Country Dances, page 170: "Flowers of Edinburgh" Country Dance

X:
T: Flowers of Edinburgh
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: Country Dance
K: G Major
|: GE |\
D3 E G3 A | BGdG cBAG | FGFE DEFG | AFdF E3 F |
D3 E G3 A | BGBd efge | dcBA GFGA | B2 G2 G2 :|
|: zd |\
gfga gbag | fdfg fagf | edef gfed | B2 e>f efge |
dBGB B/c/d cB | egfa g2 fe | dcBA GFGA | B2 G2 G2 :|

Here are the few differences found in the Nottingham Music Database notations, with the B-part, first the lead-in is notated as ~

|: d2 | ~ the usual, and then bars 4 & 5 ~ | B2 ef efge | dBGB d2 d2 | ~

“The Flowers of Edinburgh” ~ the Allegheny and Potomac Highlands of the U.S.A.

Ok Ive been spending les stime at the PC and more at other things, but Ive been sucked in by the allure and temptations of bright mustards and the chaos and madness of traditional melodies and the strange comfort they bring to me…

The Flowers of Edinburgh is one of the old tunes still traditionally played in the Allegheny and Potomac Highlands of the USA and although its been standardized and played currently as posted here already, at one time (pre 1900 to 1960s probably ) it was a tune of great variation to the players of the afore mentioned region.

Samuel Bayard collected many versions between the 1930s and 60s from "ear" players and almost all of them would be considered "crooked" meaning they had measures of 6/4. These crooked tunes are very prominent in West Virginia as well.

However, not all versions were "crooked" but each player had a version all his own in keeping with the oldest standards and characteristics of the central/mid Appalachian tradition.
"c" emailed me and got me into this and its interesting that I play a unique version of this tune that I picked up somewhere. It is not "crooked" (I personally don’t prefer crooked tunes.)

This version is not one you’d here in the jams around WV, MD and PA these days, but it is mine (and I really enjoy my personal setting of the tune )… As far as the category of reel/hornpipe? In the past it was really up to the player and how he laid it down… Currently, it is a tune that goes at a pretty brisk pace and Id say it wouldnt be called a hornpipe.

So from the hands of the merry-hielander…

X:1
T:Flowers of Edinburgh
M:4/4
L:1/8
Q:160
K:G
|: (3DEF |\
G2 GA B2 AB | cBAG E2 E2 | EFGE DEFG | AdBG E2 GE |
D2 DE G2 GA | BGBd efge | dBAG EDEG | (3ABA G2 G2 :|
|: (3def |\
g2 gf gbag | fefg a2 az | edef edBd | de-ed e2 ge |
dBGB d3 d | edef g2 fe | dBAG DEFG | (3ABA G2 G2 :|

# Posted on December 16th 2007 by Merry-Hielander

Nice

All nice settings "c"

I love to see all the variations on a great tune…

Thanks for moving my comments over, I meant to do that but got distracted.

“The Flowers / Flower of Edinburgh” ~ more history

The Fiddler’s Companion ~ Andrew Kuntz
http://www.ibiblio.org/fiddlers/index.html

http://www.ibiblio.org/fiddlers/FLOW_FLYN.htm#FLOWERS_OF_EDINBURGH_[1]

Scottish (originally), Shetland, Canadian, American; Scots Measure, Country Dance Tune or Reel: English, Reel, Country or Morris Dance Tune (4/4, cut or 2/2 time); Irish, Reel or Hornpipe…

X: 10
T: Flowers of Edinburgh, The
S: "McGibbon’s Scots Tunes, book II", page 59, 1746
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
N: ”Slow”
K: G Major
|: D2 |\
D3 E G3 A | BGdG B2 AG | F3 E D>EFG | AFdF E3 F |
D3 E G3 A | B>AGd e2 e/f/g | cBAG A2 GA | B2 A>G G2 :|
|: d/e/f |\
g>fga g/a/b ag | f>efg f/g/a gf | edef gfed | B2 e>f e2 g2 |
B2 AG d2 cB | edef g>abB | cBAG A2 GA | B2 A>G G2 :|

X: 11
T: Flower of Edinburgh
S: "John Johnson’s Twelve Country Dances for the Harpsichord", 1749.
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
Q: 60
K: G Major
(3GFE |\
D3 E G3 A | BGBd B2 AG | F3 E DEFG | AFdF E2 FE |
DEFD G3 A | (3BAG (3Bcd e3 g | dBAG E2 GA | B2 GA G2 ||
d2 |\
gfg>a f/a/b ag | fef>g f/g/a gf | edef gfed | B2 e2 e3 g/4f/4e/ |
dBAG d2 cB | edef g3 g/4a/4b/ | cBAG E2 GA | B2 G2 G2 |]

X: 12
T: Flowers of Edinburgh
S: "Henry Livingston’s manuscript copybook", late 1700s
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: G Major
|: B/c/d |\
D3 E G3 A | BGdG B2AG | F3 E DEFG | AFdF E3 F |
D3 E G3 A | B2 d2 e2 (3efg | B2 AG A2 GA | B2 G2 G2 :|
|: d2 |\
gfga (3gab ag | fefg (3fga gf | edef gfed | B2 e2 e2 (3efg |
B2 AG d2 Bd | edef (3gab ag | B2 AG A2 GA | B2 G2 G2 :|

Flowers of Edinburgh - A Jig Version

There are a couple of tunes which I believe are related to "Flowers of Edinburgh", although not extremely closely. The first is from Rutherford’s Collection (c1750):

X:017
T:Edinburgh Jigg
S:Gatherer’s Musical Museum
N:A couple of the notes "improved" from
S:Rutherford’s Collection (c1750)
Z:Nigel Gatherer
M:6/8
K:G
L:1/8
B|D2 E G2 A|Bdg dBG|gag efg|dBG A2 B|D2 E G2 A|
ege dBG|g2 e dBG|AGG G2::d|gfg b2 g|fef a2 f|e^de gdB|
Bee e2 f|gfe dcB|ABG FED|GBd gdc|BGG G2:|]

Next is an English variant:

X:018
T:Flowers of Edinburgh
S:from the playing of Dave Swarbrick,
S:from "The Ceilidh Album"
M:2/4
K:G
L:1/8
D|GG BG/B/|dB g>e|dB B/A/G/A/|BG ED|
GG BG/B/|dB g>e|dB B/A/G/A/|BG G:|]
d|g2 f>e|Be e>f|g2 f/g/f/e/|Be eg/e/|
d/B/G/B/ dd|e/d/e/f/ gg/e/|dB B/A/G/A/|BG G:|

Flowers of Edinburgh

J Murdoch Henderson, in his "Flowers of Scottish Melody" (1930) suggests that the "flowers" are actually the magistrates of Edinburgh, but doesn’t elaborate. He also gives alternative titles of "Earl of Hopetoun’s Reel" and the ‘crude song version’ "My Love’s Bonny When he Smiles On Me" from Oswald’s "Curious Collection of Scots Tunes" (1742). The tune first appeared under the "Flowers of Edinburgh" title in 1752, in Oswald’s "Caledonian Pocket Companion" Book 3.

Nigelg ~ how nice to see you…

Of the several folks that came to mind as I rooted through versions of this, and considered transcriptions, Irish, North American and from elsewhere, you were there at the top… I was ready to post an email to you. We still have a certain composer we were considering awhile back, but maybe in the New Year… Thanks for this, great stuff always… :-)

On the origins of FoE

Flowers of Edinburgh is far older than J. Scott Skinner, PaddyCmusic. The earliest version of it I’ve found is in James Oswald’s Caledonian Pocket Companion, published in London in the 1740s. Oswald may well have been the tune’s composer, as he had a penchant for giving his compositions "street cred" by claiming them to be ancient and anonymous.

The Scottish singer Jim Malcolm is going about these days relating that he was told by Irish players that the tune is a much more recent Irish composition, down even to the name of the composer. Clearly, its appearance in the 1740s puts cold water on this claim.

It’s often called a hornpipe, but is in actuality a Scots Measure (the 4/4 hornpipe we think of being a mere glimmer in a Newcastle eye at this early date). So play it as a reel with a little swing, a bit slower than a typical reel. On the three quarter notes ending the phrases, put in a slight crecendo.

The Flower of Edinburgh also appears in Thompson’s Compleat Collection of Country Dances c.1770

Flowers of Edinburgh. Hornpipe or Reel?

I’ve always played Flowers of Edinburgh as a hornpipe. Does anyone else? Also, any suggestions for a good tune to follow?
nednog

Re: Flowers of Edinburgh. Hornpipe or Reel?

Reel - but play it as a hornpipe if you like. I seem to remember the Kilfenora Ceili Band did.

Posted by .

Re: Flowers of Edinburgh. Hornpipe or Reel?

Sorry that was meant (maybe it does for others) to point to a post in the comments about it being played as a reel in Scotland and a hornpipe in Ireland. I think Staten Island is another.

Re: Flowers of Edinburgh. Hornpipe or Reel?

I’ve seen it referred to as either, but only heard it played as a reel.

Re: Flowers of Edinburgh. Hornpipe or Reel?

This is probably the comment David50 ~

"It’s a reel, not a hornpipe, although the Irish play it as one. It’s just that reels meant for Scottish country dancing have those quarter note hornpipe endings which are so unbearable for Irish tradists. So I’ve come up with a purified version with some fancy twiddly bits and smoothed out endings for all you people who secretly like this tune but daren’t play it in Irish sessions in case people laugh at your quarter notes. Played like this, it shouldn’t be any more offensive than, say, "Sally Gardens":

|:D3E ~G3A|BGBd cBAG|(3FGF EF DEFG|AFdF E2GE|
D3E ~G2A|BGBd efge|dcBA GFGA|1 BGGF GAGE:|2 BGGF GABd||
|:g2gf gbag|f2fe fagf|edef gfed|Beed efge|
dBGB d2Bd|edef g2fe|dcBA GFGA|1 BGGF GABd:|2 BGGF GAGE||"
Posted on June 20th 2004 by Dr. Dow

I remember a few years ago I read Fiddler Companion’s entry for this tune;
http://www.ibiblio.org/fiddlers/FLOW_FLYN.htm#FLOWERS_OF_EDINBURGH_[1]

He mentions James Oswald’s publication with this tune. The books were recently posted on the IMSLP wiki;
http://imslp.org/wiki/The_Caledonian_Pocket_Companion_%28Oswald,_James%29

"The Flower of Edinburgh" is in Book 3, on page 19 (p. 21 of PDF)

"The Lass of Paties Mill" is in Book 2 (later edition as well), on page 14 of original.

Re: Flowers of Edinburgh. Hornpipe or Reel?

I learned it as a hornpipe from the Kilfenora Ceili Band recording ages ago, before I came across it played as a reel in sessions. Never heard anyone in a session, or outside of that recording, play it as a hornpipe.

Re: Flowers of Edinburgh. Hornpipe or Reel?

It was originally a song tune. The lyrics were rather forgettable so it turned into a dance tune fairly quick. I think I’ve heard it as a hornpipe occasionally and I don’t see why not.

A set we do at Sandy Bells: Roslin Castle (Em, very very slow), Bottom of the Punchbowl (D), Flowers of Edinburgh (G), Glenburnie Rant (Em), Old Grey Cat (Em), The Teetotaller (G).

Look at a tune in the Richard Robinson tunebook known as Antwhistle, and one can see a distant yet very apparent similiarity to Flowers of Edinburgh. Antwhistle is in the Neil Brook French Collection on this site, so perhaps Flowers is an ancient tune played under different names in many areas of Europe and North America.

X: 12 “The Irish Reel” - a dance to “The Flowers of Edinburgh” ~ Donegal

B: "Dances of Donegal", collected by Grace Orpen, D.M. Wilkie, London, 1931
The first few pages of this book, and its first tune & dance:
"The Fairy Dance" - http://thesession.org/tunes/424

ITMA: Irish Traditional Music Archive/Taisce Cheol DÚchais Éireann
http://www.itma.ie/
Grace Orpen’s Local Donegal Dances, 1931
http://www.itma.ie/digitallibrary/print-collection/donegal-dances-1931
"Dances of Donegal" collected and edited by Grace Orpen, 1931
Click on ‘32 Pages’ to view them, with Grace Orpen’s ‘Figures’/illustrations…
http://www.itma.ie/digitallibrary/book/dances-of-donegal

Dance: The Irish Reel
T: Gan Ainm? (4/4) = The Flowers Of Edinburgh
http://thesession.org/tunes/2549

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
page 14 - music notation / page 15 - dance description
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Dance: The Irish Reel
Tune: Gan Ainm? (4/4) = The Flowers Of Edinburgh

Four Dancers: 2 Men and 2 Women.

Steps - - - - - - - - - Description - - - - - - - - - Bars (& see ITMA link for figure/illustration 2)

- - - Introduction ending turned to the right, inner hand joined with partner. - - - 8

1 - - - Lead round (ACW) to left and back to right (CW). - - - 8

2 - - - Partners join both hands and turn each other (CW & halfway), ending in opposite place moving to the left (CW). - - - 2
- - - Dance in place. - - - 2
- - - Repeat moving to the right (ACW). - - - 2
- - - Dance in place.

3 - - - Follow around to left (ACW) and back to right (CW). - - - 8

4 - - - Hold partner in waltz grip and all dance four slipping steps obliquely in direction of man’s left shoulder, then four slipping steps across opposite side of set, men’s left shoulder still leading. Fig. 2. - - - 4
- - - Partners swing, working back to original places and completing the triangle. - - - 4

5 - - - "Men’s Chain."
- - - Men link right arms and turn each other, then link left arms with own partner and turn her (4).
- - - Repeat (4). - - - 8

6 - - - Women cross over to each other’s places, passing right shoulders. (2)
- - - Men cross over, passing right shoulders. (2)
- - - Repeat. (4) - - - 8

Repeat whole dance.


Fig. I - O = man / X = woman

2nd couple
X-O

O-X
1st couple
_________
music-stage


<[ NOTES: Another 4-Hand Reel (‘reel’ not tune specific, meaning only a 4-Hand ‘Dance’). These were not uncommon and there are several listed in earlier collections of ‘Irish Dances’, publications from the late 1800s through to the first half of the 20th Century ~ New York, London, and Dublin. ]>

“The Flowers of Edinburgh” ~ country dance / reel / hornpipe / jig / song

On the discussion of reel or hornpipe, I’ve learned "The Flowers" from several different sources and played it several different ways, including as a ‘straight’ hornpipe for dance in North America, and also as a ‘country dance’… But, I’ve never heard it as a song with lyrics…