Tame Her When Da Snaw Comes reel

Tame Her When Da Snaw Comes has been added to 46 tunebooks.

Three comments

I heard this fine Shetland reel for the first time a few days ago on the BBC radio programme "Desert Island Discs", a long-standing programme where a well-known person is gently interviewed about their life/interests/work and chooses their favourite 8 gramophone records they would like to take with them if they were stranded on a desert island.

Robin Cook was the "castaway" to be stranded on this occasion and chose this particular Shetland reel because of his keen interest in horse-riding. I can do no better than to quote his introduction just before the reel was played on the radio. (The recording he chose was by Aly Bain).

"Aly Bain is the great master of Scottish fiddle music. There’s a piece ‘Tame Her When The Snow Comes’ which is about the taming of the Shetland ponies and how they are first broken in. If you listen carefully you can just about see the pony kicking up. If you’ve ever watched a young horse the first time you put him on a long running rein, he’s utterly insulted and bucking at it. You can just see this captured in the music."

The version I’ve submitted is from J-C’s site and of course is less developed than Aly Bain’s version.

In order to give more drive to the tune I suggest this alternative version with double-stopping on the open G in various places:

gfed egB2|AGAB AGAB|gfed egB2|AGAB G2G2:|
|:[G2G,2][G2G,2] EGDE|G2G2 AcBA|[G2G,2][G2G,2] EGDE|GBAF G2G2:|
|:gfed egB2|AGAB AGAB|gfed egB2|AGAB G2G2:|
|:[EG,][GG,][DG,][GG,] [EG,][GG,][D2G,2]|[DG,]GAB cBAG|
[EG,][GG,][DG,][GG,] [EG,][GG,][D2G,2]|1 [GG,]BAF G2G2:|2 [GG,]BAF [G2G,2][G2G,2]||

In part D in particular it’s a good idea to attack the double stopping strongly using the heel of the bow.


Part A somehow mysteriously got left out of the first posting. I’ve reinstated it; anyway, it is identical to part C.

Aly Bain’s version


Aly Bain does a spectacular version of this on the must-have CD Fully Rigged.