The Bonnie Lass O’ Bon Accord strathspey

Also known as The Bonnie Lass Of Bon Accord, The Bonny Lass Of Bon Accord, Lass Of Bon-Accord, The Lass Of Bon-Accord.

There are 11 recordings of a tune by this name.

The Bonnie Lass O' Bon Accord has been added to 29 tunebooks.

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Three settings

X: 1
T: The Bonnie Lass O' Bon Accord
R: strathspey
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
E | A>Bc>B AA,CE | A/G/A/f/ e/c/B/A/ B3 c | A>Bc>B ACE=G | F/D/F/A/ G/E/G/B/ A3 :|
(3e/f/g/ | a>cde eAag/f/ | eA f/e/d/c/ B3 (3e/f/g/ | a>cde eAa>=G | F/D/F/A/ G/E/G/B/ A3(3e/f/g/ |
a>cde eAag/f/ | eA f/e/d/c/ B3 c | A,/C/E/A/ c>B ACE=G | F/D/F/A/ G/E/G/B/ A3 |]
X: 2
T: The Bonnie Lass O' Bon Accord
R: strathspey
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
A | d>ef>e dDFA | d/c/d/b/ a/f/d/f/ e3 A | d>ef>e dFA=c | B/G/B/d/ c/A/c/e/ d3 :|
(3a/b/c'/ | d'>fga add'c'/b/ | ad b/a/g/f/ e3 (3a/b/c'/ | d'>fga add'=c | B/G/B/d/ c/A/c/e/ d3 |
(3a/b/c'/ | d'>fga add'c'/b/ | ad b/a/g/f/ e3 f | D/F/A/d/ f>e dFA=c | B/G/B/d/ c/A/c/e/ d3 |]
X: 3
T: The Bonnie Lass O' Bon Accord
R: strathspey
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amin
E | A>Bc>B AA,CE | A/^G/A/B/ c/A/d/c/ B3 E | A>B {A/B/}c>B ACDF | {E/F/}E/D/E/F/ E/D/C/B,/ A,3 E|
A>B {A/B/}c>B AA,CE | A/^G/A/B/ c/A/d/c/ B3 E | A>B {A/B/}c>B Ac df| e/d/e/f/ e^G A3||
{e/^f/^g/}a>=gfe fedc| c/B/A/B/ c/A/d/c/ B3 (3e/^f/^g/ |a>gfe d/c/B/c/ d/e/f/d/ |e/d/e/f/ e^G A3|
{e/^f/^g/}a>=gfe fedc| c/B/A/B/ c/A/d/c/ B3 c|,A/C/E/A/ c>B ACDF|{E/F/}E/D/E/F/ EG, A,3||

Ten comments

Bon Accord being, of course, the fair city of Aberdeen

This is a fiddle tune by James Scott Skinner. I have sheet music for this in the key of A, but I’ve submitted this in D because that’s the key I play it in. What can I say, I’m a whistle player, playing everything in the key of D is what we do :-)

You should have posted it in "A", as it was composed, with your "D" setting in "Comments". I’m a whistle player too, and I can play in more than 1 key.

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Now in A

As suggested, I have now submitted in A. Setting in D below:

X:1
T:Bonnie Lass o’ Bon Accord
C:James Scott Skinner
M:4/4
L:1/8
K:D
A | d>ef>e dDFA | d/c/d/b/ a/f/d/f/ e3 A | d>ef>e dFA=c | B/G/B/d/ c/A/c/e/ d3 :|
(3a/b/c’/ | d’>fga add’c’/b/ | ad b/a/g/f/ e3 (3a/b/c’/ | d’>fga add’=c | B/G/B/d/ c/A/c/e/ d3 |
(3a/b/c’/ | d’>fga add’c’/b/ | ad b/a/g/f/ e3 f | D/F/A/d/ f>e dFA=c | B/G/B/d/ c/A/c/e/ d3 |]

There was a reason I submitted it in D. Of course I play in more than one key, even on the same whistle sometimes. You can’t actually play this tune as composed on your bog standard D whistle as it goes too low. Even in D, this tune uses your full 2 octaves from D to d’ so it really is the only key you can play it in without picking up a different instrument.

I shall be sure to use more than one smiley face next time!

The Bonnie Lass O’ Bon Accord

“The Bonnie Lass” contained within the title is a reference to the late Mina Bell.

An inscription on gravestone Fetteresso Cemetery, Stonehaven reads:

"In loving memory of Mina Bell, who died 8th June, 1938, aged 72 years, immortalised in James Scott Skinner’s masterpiece The Bonnie Lass o’ Bon-Accord.”

“Bon Accord” is of course the motto on the City of Aberdeen’s coat-of-arms, rather than being another name for the city itself.

Indeed so, Mix O’Lydian. Being an Aberdeenshire lass myself, I am well acquainted with the silver city and have more than one filling in my rotten doric teeth brought on my swigging Bon Accord Red Kola :-)

Minor Mode Variation

Skinner also wrote a minor mode variation of the tune:

X: 2
T: Bonnie Lass O’ Bon Accord, The
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: strathspey
K: Amin
E | A>Bc>B AA,CE | A/^G/A/B/ c/A/d/c/ B3 E | A>B {A/B/}c>B ACDF | {E/F/}E/D/E/F/ E/D/C/B,/ A,3 E|
A>B {A/B/}c>B AA,CE | A/^G/A/B/ c/A/d/c/ B3 E | A>B {A/B/}c>B Ac df| e/d/e/f/ e^G A3||
{e/^f/^g/}a>=gfe fedc| c/B/A/B/ c/A/d/c/ B3 (3e/^f/^g/ |a>gfe d/c/B/c/ d/e/f/d/ |e/d/e/f/ e^G A3|
{e/^f/^g/}a>=gfe fedc| c/B/A/B/ c/A/d/c/ B3 c|,A/C/E/A/ c>B ACDF|{E/F/}E/D/E/F/ EG, A,3||

You can see the manuscript version of this variation here:
http://www.abdn.ac.uk/scottskinner/display.php?ID=JSS0018

Re: The Bonnie Lass O’ Bon Accord

I’ve been playing it a bit on the metal flute, requires some creative octave work - imho best not to just jump individual low notes, but to take the whole melody line up when necessary. With my new keyed wooden flute, I am going to have to work on being able to play it there. As I know the tune, the major and the minor variations belong together and I would endeavour to play it like that - hence needing the keys… I also need to work on getting it a bit more solid off by heart.

Thank you for posting the link above, Kenny.

Re: The Bonnie Lass O’ Bon Accord

I am working on learning this tune, nearly all of the versions I have listened to include the Am variations, usually on the 3rd repeat. I highly recommend The Celtic Fiddle Festival’s version, with the late great Johnny Cunningham, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRVj4q-vlLM


If I can manage to work out something close on they variations the play on the 2nd repeat (still working on that), I will post it.

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