Burning Of Auchindoun strathspey

Also known as Burning Of Auchindoon, The Burning Of Auchindoon, The Burning Of Auchindoun, Child 183, Willie MacIntosh, Willie McIntosh.

There are 4 recordings of this tune.

Burning Of Auchindoun has been added to 20 tunebooks.

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One setting

X: 1
T: Burning Of Auchindoun
R: strathspey
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Edor
E/|E>B B>A B<B E2|G>G F2 (ED) B,>E|E2 B<B AA B>A|G>E F>D E2 E2|
B>B d2 c>c B2|E>B B>B (A<F) D>E|E2 B2 A<A B2|G>E F>D E2 E2||
B2 d>d c<A B2|E>B B<B (A<F) D2|E2 B2 A<A B>A|G>E (F<D) E2 E3/2||

Five comments

June Tabor and Maddy Pryor do this one plain

June Tabor and Maddy Pryor (as The Silly Sisters) do this (Child 183) as a plain tune, but Gallowglass added a children’s song to pad it out, as a first verse and again as a final verse.


This is a traditional song from the North East of Scotland which I first heard sung by Mike Whellans around 1970, on an LP record he made with Aly Bain. Quite bizarre, really, because Mike’s probably still one of the best blues players in Scotland, and one of the best blues-harp players I’ve ever heard. He was one of the original “Boys Of The Lough”, but that wasn’t really his thing, so he was very soon replaced by Dick Gaughan. “Ptarmigan” might remember Mike getting up on stage with him at the Thurso Folk Festival in 1978 [ I think ] to join in a few tunes on bodhran, which he could play well enough.
Mike sang the song unaccompanied, and very well too, then it was followed by Aly playing “Cooley’s Reel” - no idea why the 2 pieces of music were put together, but it was the first time I ever heard “Cooley’s” reel. I’ve certainly heard the song sung in sessions, but never heard it played as a strathspey.

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Re: Burning Of Auchindoun

Kenny, absolutely, Maddy Pryor and June Tabor sang it a cappella, but they sang it in this rhythm, a strathspey rhythm, which I thought was pretty cool. I have heard it sung in a more conventional time signature by another (younger) person, but I have some faith in their scholarship on renaissance and ancient music, and the strathspey rhythm seems to fit the song. For instrumental purposes, it’s more of a “song fragment” and would need to be longer to play as a dance. This was the first tune I contributed to this site, and basically I was trying to preserve it because it was so old and so interesting, and wasn’t already here. If it has helped anyone else, I am glad!

Re: Burning Of Auchindoun

Harmony Glen have a nice arrangement of this song on their album Where the Wind Blows.

Re: Burning Of Auchindoun

Thanks, NFldWhistler, that’s the same children’s song pre-pend that Gallowglass attached to the song when they recorded it. It’s the only way to make a full-length song out of it, but also by including lots of instrumentals. The children’s song, it should be noted, was *their addition* to the actual Auchindoun song fragment (of two verses). The Gallowglass version of the lyrics are here: http://celticartscenter.com/Songs/Scottish/TheBurningOfAuchindoun.html