Tam Bain’s Lum hornpipe

Also known as Tam Bain’s Slum.

There are 7 recordings of a tune by this name.

Tam Bain's Lum has been added to 20 tunebooks.

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One setting

X: 1
T: Tam Bain's Lum
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
A3/2B/2|d2f/2a3/2 A3/2d/2d/2d3/2|A3/2B/2d3/2e/2 f3/2d/2f/2a3/2|e2c/2e3/2 A3/2c/2c/2c3/2|A3/2c/2e3/2c/2 a3/2g/2f3/2e/2|
d2f/2a3/2 A3/2d/2d/2d3/2|A3/2B/2d3/2e/2 f3/2d/2f/2a3/2|A3/2c/2c/2c3/2 A3/2c/2e3/2c/2|a3/2g/2f3/2e/2 d2:|
|:f3/2g/2|a2f3/2d/2 A3/2d/2d/2d3/2|A3/2d/2f3/2d/2 a3/2d/2f3/2d/2|g2e3/2c/2 A3/2c/2c/2c3/2|A3/2c/2e3/2c/2 g2f3/2g/2|
a2f3/2d/2 A3/2d/2d/2d3/2|A3/2d/2f3/2d/2 a3/2d/2d/2d3/2|G3/2B/2B/2B3/2 A3/2c/2e3/2c/2|a3/2g/2f3/2e/2 d2:|
|:A3/2B/2|d/2d3/2d3/2e/2 f3/2A/2A3/2e/2|f3/2e/2d3/2e/2 f2A3/2B/2|c/2c3/2c3/2d/2 e3/2c/2A3/2c/2|a3/2g/2f3/2e/2 d2A3/2B/2|
d/2d3/2d3/2e/2 f3/2A/2A3/2e/2|f3/2e/2d3/2e/2 f2A3/2B/2|G3/2B/2B/2B3/2 A3/2c/2e3/2c/2|a3/2g/2f3/2e/2 d2:|
|:d3/2B/2|A3/2d/2d/2d3/2 A3/2d/2d/2d3/2|G3/2B/2B/2B3/2 B4|A3/2c/2c/2c3/2 c3/2B/2A3/2c/2|A3/2c/2e3/2c/2 d2d3/2B/2|
A3/2d/2d/2d3/2 A3/2d/2d/2d3/2|G3/2B/2B/2B3/2 g3/2f/2e3/2c/2|A3/2c/2c/2c3/2 A3/2c/2e3/2c/2|a3/2g/2f3/2e/2 d2:|

Twelve comments

A very well known pipe hornpipe by PM Donald Shaw Ramsay (1919-1998) of Torpichen.


This is a fiddle setting, in common time. It was written in 2/4, but I’d rather have it as a hornpipe here than a polka.

There are various accounts of how the name came to be, but a likely one relates to when the composer was Pipe Major with the Edinburgh City Police Pipe Band in the 50s, and he used to travel through Laurieston, near Falkirk. He came upon a row of tenements, and at the end of one of them was a srange looking lum (chimney) shaped like Abraham Lincoln’s tile hat. The tenement was the abode of Tam Bain. The building is no longer there, but there is a pub across the road from where it stood, bearing the name "Tam Bain" and the old lum is housed in a glass case there. Apparently there is a photo of the lum in its original place in the archives of Falkirk museum.
The story goes that Tam wasn’t allowed to smoke in the house, so he built an effigy on his lum so that he got to smoke there after all.
Some sources claim that the tune was named after the pub, but the gist is the same.

Here is the tune with gracing:

T:Tam Bain’s Lum
C:PM Donald Shaw Ramsay
{g}A3/2B/2|{Gdc}d2{g}f/2a3/2 A3/2d/2{gdedG}d2|{g}A3/2B/2{g}d3/2e/2 {g}f3/2d/2{g}f/2a3/2|
{ef}e2{g}c/2e3/2 {g}A3/2{d}c/2{gcecG}c2|{g}A3/2{d}c/2{gef}e3/2c/2 a3/2g/2{a}f3/2e/2|
{Gdc}d2{g}f/2a3/2 A3/2d/2{gdedG}d2|{g}A3/2B/2{g}d3/2e/2 {g}f3/2d/2{g}f/2a3/2|
A3/2{d}c/2{gcecG}c2 {g}A3/2{d}c/2{gef}e3/2c/2|a3/2g/2{a}f3/2e/2 {Gdc}d2:|
|:{g}f3/2g/2|{ag}a2{fg}f3/2d/2 {g}A3/2d/2{gdedG}d2|{g}A3/2d/2{g}f3/2d/2 a3/2d/2{g}f3/2d/2|
{gf}g2{a}e3/2c/2 {g}A3/2{d}c/2{gcecG}c2|{g}A3/2{d}c/2{gef}e3/2c/2 {gf}g2{a}f3/2g/2|
{ag}a2{fg}f3/2d/2 {g}A3/2d/2{gdedG}d2|{g}A3/2d/2{g}f3/2d/2 a3/2d/2{gdedG}d2|
{g}G3/2{d}B/2{gBeBG}B2 {g}A3/2{d}c/2{gef}e3/2c/2|a3/2g/2{a}f3/2e/2 {Gdc}d2:|
|:{g}A3/2B/2|{gdedG}d2{g}d3/2e/2 {g}f3/2A/2{g}A3/2e/2|{g}f3/2e/2{g}d3/2e/2 {gfg}f2{g}A3/2B/2|
{gcecG}c2{g}c3/2d/2 {gef}e3/2c/2{g}A3/2{d}c/2|a3/2g/2{a}f3/2e/2 {Gdc}d2{g}A3/2B/2|
{gdedG}d2{g}d3/2e/2 {g}f3/2A/2{g}A3/2e/2|{g}f3/2e/2{g}d3/2e/2 {gfg}f2{g}A3/2{d}B/2|
{g}G3/2{d}B/2{gBeBG}B2 {g}A3/2{d}c/2{gef}e3/2c/2|a3/2g/2{a}f3/2e/2 {Gdc}d2:|
|:{g}d3/2B/2|{g}A3/2d/2{gdedG}d2 {g}A3/2d/2{gdedG}d2|{g}G3/2{d}B/2{gBeBG}B2 {g}B4|
{g}A3/2{d}c/2{gcecG}c2 {g}c3/2B/2{g}A3/2{d}c/2|{g}A3/2{d}c/2{gef}e3/2c/2 {Gdc}d2{g}d3/2B/2|
{g}A3/2d/2{gdedG}d2 {g}A3/2d/2{gdedG}d2|{g}G3/2{d}B/2{gBeBG}B2 {a}g3/2f/2{g}e3/2c/2|
{g}A3/2{d}c/2{gcecG}c2 {g}A3/2{d}c/2{gef}e3/2c/2|a3/2g/2{a}f3/2e/2 {Gdc}d2:|

I’m quite surprised it’s not here already.

Oh, yes….there is a rumour of the existence of an Edinburgh street rhyme about Tam Bain and his lum. I’ve never heard it and if anyone can shed light on it I would be grateful.

Tam Bain’s Lum abcs

Weejie, thanks for the tune.
I would have transcribed it with > < . This works with my current version of abcm2ps. I’m not sure about older versions.

Beg pardon in advance if I’ve made any mistakes from your version.

T:Tam Bain’s Lum
A>B|d2 f<a A>dd<d|A>Bd>e f>df>a|e2 c<e A>cc<c|A>ce>c a>gf>e|

Another possible shorthand below; again I cannot say if it works on all abc applications …

T:Tam Bain’s Lum
A3/B/|d2 f/a3/ A3/d/d/d3/|A3/B/d3/e/ f3/d/f/a3/|

I do know it is allowed, (on this site) to change Metre & note length in the body of the abc. Just not sure if it’s allowed at the very beginning. My guess ~ it probably works.

T:Tam Bain’s Lum
[M:2/4] [L:1/16] A3/2B/2|d2f/2a3/2 A3/2d/2d2|

Posted by .

Yep, I’m sure there are much neater ways of notating in ABC.
I use ABCNavigator along with abc2nwc - simply because I write staff notation a lot quicker than ABC. It is somewhat ancient in its conversion, hence the antiquated notation.
The sneaky way of changing the metre looks interesting.
The gracing makes the staff notation somewhat ugly - not as bad when viewed in Barfly but it would be nice if it was possible to make it look like GHB music.

GHB music :-D

I’m 99.9% certain Jeremy won’t grumble too much if you insert helpful info fields (M:, L:, et.al.) into the beginning of your abcs. I realize he’s said, in the past, these belong in the comments. Still, I cannot help but think if your aim is to produce relatively useful sheet music the webmaster might appreciate the effort for quality control.

I got a kick out of the reference to your notation as antiquated. I use *old-style* abcs which has no time signature, nor broken rhythms, & nary a number; but of course no gracings either.

If you ever do want to simplify any abcs by using < > that shouldn’t be a problem, if it’s L:1/8. It’s been written into the abc standard since at least 1996. The most recent draft standard is exactly as written in v1.6 <http://abcnotation.com/wiki/abc:standard:v2.1?&#broken_rhythm>
But, if you go with L:1/16 then I’m not sure if you can remove all the 2s after the backslash(older software (?) … Abc2WIN; as I did here using L:1/8
A3/B/|d2 f/a3/ A3/d/d/d3/|A3/B/d3/e/ f3/d/f/a3/|

Posted by .


Tough luck, eh? Anyway; the link is supposed to go to section 4.4 Broken Rhythms

Posted by .

I wasn’t particularly referring to the greater than or smaller than as being antiquated, just that the tunes are written in Noteworthy and the conversion process is done via abc2nwc - which is getting a bit long in the tooth - and any editing is done in ABCNavigator which does not seem to accept relatively recent innovations (whatever they may be- some things get marked as errors, even when they are accepted by other programmes).
I normally use Sibelius for notation, but used Noteworthy almost since it first came on to the market. It’s kind of good to be reminded of how fast it is to notate with just the numeric keyboard (except for those pesky grace notes) - but abc2nwc doesn’t work with the current version of noteworthy, so I’m stuck in the time warp of the software, and generally put up with the way it is converted.

Thanks for the tips though. If I find more time I’ll make the effort to neaten things up. I’m not sure if I want to be the one to ‘test’ the system by presenting the tunes with tweaked metre - given that it is easy to present the tunes written in the metre of choice in the comments - along with the composer and other relevant matters.

I meant to say "I wasn’t particularly referring to the greater than or smaller than as being modern".

For those who are interested in this sort of thing, you can hear the pipe version (A pitched) played through AbcNavigator and pipe software c/o Dennis Burns at Bolder Sounds here:


Theresa and Marie MacLellan play this tune

Theresa and Marie MacLellan play this tune on their magnificent Rounder LP A Trip to Mabou Ridge (Rounder Records 7006), Side A, track 6. Thay call it Tam Bain’s Slum. To my ear, this LP is one of the top 3 recordings of Cape Breton Scottish music (I dunno what are the other two, but there might be a couple that are in the same league as this one). An essential collection of Cape Breton tunes and fabulous style. Marie MacLellan’s piano accompaniment is two levels above the usual standard for contradance piano.

In Early December 2011 I found a copy of the LP on eBay, still sealed in the original plastic! Thanks to the miracle of Audacity, I can now listen to it on my computer and do all those Audacious tricks to learn tunes more easily by ear.