The Sweetness Of Mary strathspey

There are 17 recordings of a tune by this name.

The Sweetness Of Mary has been added to 166 tunebooks.

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Five settings

X: 1
T: The Sweetness Of Mary
R: strathspey
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
D G>A|:B2 (3BAG E2 (3EGA|B/2d c/2e d2 (3def|
g>fe>d d>cB>c|d/2g B/2G A2 (3AGA|
B2 (3BAG E2 (3EGA|B/2d c/2e d2 (3def|
g>fe>d d>cB>c|d/2g BA/2 G2:|
ga/2|:bd/2g/2b ad/2f/2a|gf/2e/2g d2 c/2B|
ed/2c/2e dc/2Bc/2|d/2g B/2G A2 ga/2|
bd/2g/2b ad/2f/2a|gf/2e/2g d2 c/2B|
eG/2c/2e dc/2Bc/2|d/2g B/2A G2:|
ABC
X: 2
T: The Sweetness Of Mary
R: strathspey
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
(3DGA|B2 (3BAG E2 (3EGA|B<d c<e d2 (3def|g>fe>d d>cB>c|d<g B<G A2 (3AGA|
B2 (3BAG E2 (3EGA|B<d c<e d2 (3def|g>fe>d d>cB>c|d<g B<A G2:|
g>a|b>dg<b a>df<a|g>fe<g d2 c<B|e>dc<e d>cB>c|d<g B<G A2 g>a|
b>dg<b a>df<a|g>fe<g d2 c<B|e>Gc<e d>cB>c|d<g B<A G2:|
ABC
X: 3
T: The Sweetness Of Mary
R: strathspey
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
(3EAB|c2 (3cBA F2 (3FAB|c>e d<f e2 (3efg|a>gf>e e>dc>d|e<a c>A B2 A>B|
c2 (3cBA F2 (3FAB|c>e d<f e2 (3efg|a>gf>e e>dc>d|e<a c>B A2:|
a>b|c’>e a<c’ b>e g<b|a>g f<a e2 d>c|f>A d<f e>dc>d|e<a c>A B2 a>b|
c’>e a<c’ b>e e<b|a>g f<a e2 d>c|f>Ad>f e>dc<d|e<a c>B A2a>b|
c’>e a<c’ b>e g<b|a>g f<a e2 d>c|f>A d<f e>dc>d|e<a c>A B>EA>B|
c2 (3cBA F2 (3FAB|c>e d<f e2 f>g|a>gf>e e>dc>d|e<a c>B A2||
ABC
X: 4
T: The Sweetness Of Mary
R: strathspey
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
(3EAB|c2 (3cBA F2 (3FAB|c>e d<f e2 (3efg|a>gf>e e>dc>d|e<a c>A B2 A>B|
c2 (3cBA F2 (3FAB|c>e d<f e2 (3efg|a>gf>e e>dc>d|e<a c>B A2:|
ABC
X: 5
T: The Sweetness Of Mary
R: strathspey
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
(3DGA|B2 (3BAG E2 (3EGA|B<d c<e d2 (3def|g>fe>d d>cB>c|d<g B<G A2 (3AGA|
B2 (3BAG E2 (3EGA|B<d c<e d2 (3def|g>fe>d d>cB>c|d<g B<A G2:|
g>a|b>dg<b a>df<a|g>fe<g d2 c<B|e>dc<e d>cB>c|d<g B<G A2 g>a|
b>dg<b a>df<a|g>fe<g d2 c<B|e>Gc<e d>cB>c|d<g B<A G2:|
ABC

Twelve comments

Composer

Several pages on the web credit Joan MacDonald Boes as the composer. BTW, I was glad to find this tune, I was particularly looking for it. I believe it’s also on Lisa Carthy’s album Red Rice.

Posted by .

Isn’t it a Jerry Holland tune? Eliza Carthy recorded it as a traditional tune, though.

yes, jerry holland plays it. but if you check the notes for his ‘master cape breton fiddler’ album, he attributes it to joan macdonald boes.

sarah in portland

Alternate Version

This also gets played with the last four bars of the A part being substituted for the last four bars of the B part the second time through. Kind of a nice way to bring it to an ending. This is in one of my scottish tunebooks in A, but G is a bit easier for many instruments.

Corrections of ABC and an A transcription

I was just copying over the abc from the site into Navigator, and discovered a load of miscodings in the dots. From extrapolation from the original notes posted by Geoff back in ‘02, here’s some ABC that should work:

X: 802
T: Sweetness Of Mary, The
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: strathspey
K: Gmaj
(3DGA|B2 (3BAG E2 (3EGA|B<d c<e d2 (3def|g>fe>d d>cB>c|d<g B<G A2 (3AGA|
B2 (3BAG E2 (3EGA|B<d c<e d2 (3def|g>fe>d d>cB>c|d<g B<A G2:|
g>a|b>dg<b a>df<a|g>fe<g d2 c<B|e>dc<e d>cB>c|d<g B<G A2 g>a|
b>dg<b a>df<a|g>fe<g d2 c<B|e>Gc<e d>cB>c|d<g B<A G2:|

It’s also in the Ho-Ro Gheallaidh book in A:

X: 1
T: Sweetness Of Mary, The
C: Joan MacDonald Boes
S: Ho-Ro Gheallaidh Scottish Fiddlers’ Session Tunebook, v. 1&2, p. 84.
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: strathspey
N: Moderately slow
K: Amaj
(3EAB|:c2 (3cBA F2 (3FAB|c>e d<f e2 (3efg|a>gf>e e>dc>d
|1 e<a c>A B2 A>B:|2 e<a c>B A2||:a>b|c’>e a<c’ b>e g<b|
a>g f<a e2 d>c|f>A d<f e>dc>d|1 e<a c>A B2 a>b|c’>e a<c’ b>e e<b|
a>g f<a e2 d>c|f>Ad>f e>dc<d|e<a c>B A2:|2 e<a c>A B>EA>B|
c2 (3cBA F2 (3FAB|c>e d<f e2 f>g|a>gf>e e>dc>d|e<a c>B A2||

This is pretty close to the way Alasdair Fraser plays it — the Saltfishforty version is played with much more of a slow Shetland swing, with dotted crotchet pairs instead of some of the triplets.

All that said, what a lovely tune!

Actually, the transcription in that Session Tunebook has another oddity — the first part is single, and the second part doubled. The way Alasdair Fraser plays the first part is evened out to an 8-bar doubling something like:
(3EAB|:c2 (3cBA F2 (3FAB|c>e d<f e2 (3efg|a>gf>e e>dc>d|e<a c>A B2 A>B
(3EAB|:c2 (3cBA F2 (3FAB|c>e d<f e2 (3efg|a>gf>e e>dc>d|e<a c>B A2:|

Sorry ‘bout that.

And everyone can see where I messed up that correction. Oy.

One last time, with the repeat bars fixed:
(3EAB|c2 (3cBA F2 (3FAB|c>e d<f e2 (3efg|a>gf>e e>dc>d|e<a c>A B2 A>B|
c2 (3cBA F2 (3FAB|c>e d<f e2 (3efg|a>gf>e e>dc>d|e<a c>B A2:|

G or A?

I’ve played it through roughly in G and then A; it really sounds great in both, and I may practise it playing twice through in G then once through in A. I play two or three tunes this way, changing key on the same tune; as an example, Bill Harty’s Jig, going from D to A. (a simple change for fiddle/banjo/mandolin, just going across one string higher.)

Whatever happened to Geoff? :-/

Edits posted to auto-ABC above

I noticed that when the automatic "setting from comments" feature was enabled on the site, the two transcriptions I left in one comment were combined into one monster of a transcription, in the wrong key. These are fixed. Also, I apologize for the tone of my first comment from years ago— lambasting someone’s ABC was very rude, especially when I responded with some poorly-formatted ABC in kind.

Credit: MarcusDisessa appears to have pieced the G major transcription out of the combined posting, so this is now listed as both settings #2 and #5. His post showed up on the home page, which got me looking at this in the first place. :)