Surprised this isn’t here as I’ve heard various versions and fragments of this tune played in ireland, the first part in particular.
This strathspey can be played in a number of ways depending on regional style etc. I don’t have the dots for this but it’s a simple enough tune, although one could spend hours pontificating on how to transcribe it, thats simplicity for you. This is more or less how it’s played with us, depending who’s around. Traditional I think.
Munlochy is a village on the "Black Isle". The Black Isle is neither an island or black. Rather a peninsula sandwiched between the Beauly and Cromarty firths in the far north east of Scotland.
Said to be called "black" because it stays relatively void of snow in the winter. Also, I’ve heard tell, by the ferrymen who used to run the Rosehaugh between North and South Kessock, that the Vikings thought it was an island because it looks like one as you approach it from the Moray Firth.
Rumours, eh? I wonder what Dr John’s maw would think of it?
The tune dates back to around 1700 as a song from Edinburgh, "Leith Wynd" or "I’ll hap ye in my petticoat". It was re-arranged a lot in the early 18th century.
I like the bleak and creepy image Stenhouse (? I think) said was behind it - the narrator is wrapping the body of her outlaw lover in her petticoat to keep him from the cold and wind as he hangs in chains in Calton Hill (beside Leith Wynd, and the usual place where hanging in chains was done).
Surprisingly Burns never used the tune.
The "Munlochy Bridge" title is a 19th century military invention.
Weejie, I’ve heard that explanation for the the Black Isle, black through lack of snow and I recall the irony when around 10 years ago I got the ex’s car stuck on the hill between Munlochy and Culbokie. A farmer pal towed me up the worst of it with his tractor, as I was tying on the rope he said; "aye, she’s nae that black the day"…
Dr Johns maw wouldn’t have approved of some of the choice language in use that day.
The spine of the Black Isle catches quite a bit of snow it must be said.
Jack thats interesting, thanks for posting.
Someone posted a youtube link the other day there in one of the threads featuring an elderly lady playing fiddle, Dublin based I think. Anyway, one tune she played had a very similar part to the first part of this tune. I went to post a link to this for comparison and to see what information I could glean by way of feedback, but I couldn’t find it. Hence the post today.
Thats a great story behind "I’ll hap ye in my petticoat" fantastic, I’ll add those two titles to the title page under.
I used to spend some time in summer in the early 70s in North Kessock. The bridge took off a slice of the front garden of where I used to stay. My only winter experiences were in passing back and forth from far northern climes. Can’t say that it was particularly snow free when other places were covered, but there was more forest in older times.
Munlochy’s shoreline is basically "gutter" as they say up north.
If you met me you wouldn’t immediatey recognise that I am half Scottish and on the Scottish side I am descended from gaelic speaking highlanders some of whom (MacLeods) lived in Munlochy in the early 1800s. I am predisposed to assimilate this tune therefore.I would add that my ancestors became economic migrants who were forced move south (the industry round Coatbridge and Aidrie) for work