Miss Forbes’ Farewell To Banff reel

Also known as Bill Hall’s No 2, The Green Cockade, Miss Forbes’ Return, Miss Herries Forbes’ Farewell To Banff, Mrs. Forbes’ Farewell To Banff.

There are 8 recordings of this tune.

Miss Forbes' Farewell To Banff has been added to 27 tunebooks.

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Two settings

X: 1
T: Miss Forbes' Farewell To Banff
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:G/A/|Bd c/B/A/G/ Bd e/f/g/e/|d>e d/B/A/G/ BA AG/A/|
Bd c/B/A/G/ Bd e/f/g/e/|d>e d/B/A/G/ BG G:|
d|g>a g/f/e/d/ e/d/e/f/ gb|d>e d/B/A/G/ BA Ad|
g/f/g/a/ g/f/e/d/ e/d/e/f/ gf/e/|d>e d/B/A/G/ BG Gd|
g>a g/f/e/d/ e/d/e/f/ gb|d>e d/B/A/G/ BA Ad|
Bd c/B/A/G/ Bd e/f/g/e/|d>e d/B/A/G/ BG G||
X: 2
T: Miss Forbes' Farewell To Banff
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
GA|B2Bd cBAG|B2d2 efge|d2de dBAG|B2A2 A2GA|
B2Bd cBAG|B2d2 efge|d2de dBGA|B2G2 G2:|
(3def|gfga gfed|edef g2fe|d2de dBAG|
B2A2 A2(3def|gfga gfed|edef g2fe|d2de dBGA|
B2G2 G2(3def|gfga gfed|edef g2fe|d2de dBAG|
B2A2 A2GA|B2Bd cBAG|B2d2 efge|d2de dBGA|B2G2 G2||
d2de dBGA|B2G2 G2||

Seven comments

Miss Forbes Farewell To Banff - the tune

A reel, but is has a march/polka feel to it. It sets well with the tune: "Scotland is my Ain Hame".

Banff is a town in Aberdeenshire, Scotand - but who was Miss Forbes? Presumably a "society" lady of some importance.

Miss Forbes Farewell To Banff - the song

The tune is associated with a song that was written by John Hamilton (1761-1814).


Farewell, ye fields an’ meadows green!
The blest retreats of peace an’ love;
Aft have I, silent, stolen from hence,
With my young swain a while to rove.

Sweet was our walk, more sweet our talk,
Among the beauties of the spring;
An’ aft we ‘d lean us on a bank,
To hear the feather’d warblers sing.

The azure sky, the hills around,
Gave double beauty to the scene;
The lofty spires of Banff in view —
On every side the waving grain.

The tales of love my Jamie told,
In such a saft an’ moving strain,
Have so engaged my tender heart,
I’m loth to leave the place again.

But if the Fates will be sae kind
As favour my return once more,
For to enjoy the peace of mind
In those retreats I had before:

Now, farewell, Banff! the nimble steeds
Do bear me hence — I must away;
Yet time, perhaps, may bring me back,
To part nae mair from scenes so gay.

The tune was composed by Isaac Cooper of Banff and was first published in his snappily titled book "Collection of Strathspeys, Reels and Irish Jigs for the Pianoforte & Violin to which are added Scots, Irish & Welch Airs" of 1806/07.
Miss Forbes married James Urquart of Meldrum in 1788 so perhaps the tune was written at or before that date.
Cooper died suddenly in 1811 (or possibly 1820) while playing his favourite tune, "Robin Adair".
Information from Highland Music Trust.


Astonishing - I noticed this tune was not listed as being on an album I know it is on, added the apostrophe, submitted as ‘another name’, and it was suddenly listed on 6 albums rather than one.

Played as a Rant in Northumberland, in which guise it makes better sense with double the note values.

An Irish version called The Green Cockade (there is also another tune under that name) was recorded by Boys of the Lough.

Miss Forbes’ return

In "O’Neill: Wayfs and strays of Gaelic melody, n.73" is titled as "Miss Forbes’ return".

Miss Forbes Farewell To Banff

A march setting close to what Mike MacDougall played.

Is this not the same tune, more or less, as Brechin Brig, recorded by the Cameron Brothers in the 30s?