Bodaich Bheaga Abriachan strathspey

Also known as Bodaich Bheag Abriatheachain, Ca’ The Stirks Frae Out The Corn, Little Old Men Of Abriachan, The Little Old Men Of Abriachan, Old Men Of Abriachan.

There are 2 recordings of this tune.

Bodaich Bheaga Abriachan has been added to 17 tunebooks.

Download ABC

One setting

1
X: 1
T: Bodaich Bheaga Abriachan
R: strathspey
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Ador
A<A A2 B<d e2|d>e g>d B>A G>D|G>A B>A G>A G>E|D>E G>A B<A A2:|
A<a a>g a<b a2|g>a b>a g<e e>f|g>a g/f/e d>e g>f|e<g G>A B<A A2:|

Eleven comments

Tune from Blazin’ Fiddles

On Blazin’ Fiddles’ Fire On album as part of the Donald Riddell set. Our Rochester, NY, Scots session is going to work on this set.

Cheers for posting!

I hear something more like this for the B part:

X: 1
T: Bodaich Bheaga Abriachan
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: strathspey
S: Blazin’ Fiddles - Fire On!
K: Ador
A<A A2 B<d e>B|d>e g>d B>A G>D|G>A B>A G>A G>E|D>E G>A B<A A2:|
|: A<a a>g a<b a2|g>a b>a g<e e>f|g>a g/f/e d>e g>f|e<g G>A B<A A2:|

Cool — updated with those snaps.

Bodaich Bheaga Abriachan

Donald Riddell included this tune in his "Clunes Collection of Scots Fiddle Music" (Inverness 1986) and said, "A very old tune, previously unpublished, and therefore known only to the Abriachan district and also in Kintail. No doubt it was taken there when the Clan MacRae left Clunes to become custodians of Eilean Donan Castle on behalf of the Clan MacKenzie."

It would probably have come to Blazin’ Fiddles through Duncan Chisholm, who was taught by Riddell. The translation of the title is "The Little Old Men of Abriachan", while Riddell’s main title is given as "Bodaich Bheag Abriatheachain".

Surely I can’t be the only one who hears the Sligo Maid in this tune! I don’t see any online references to this tune as being the ancestor of the Sligo Maid, but I bet it was!

I see where you’re coming from Dow!

Bodaich Bheaga Abriachan

Yes, Dr. Dow, it’s there, all right! The tune is also very reminiscent of an old tune found in the Gow Collections:

X:985
T:Wat Ye Wha I Met Yestreen
T:Lord Haddo’s Favourite
S:LP-Dave Swarbrick, Smiddyburn (1981)
N:Transposed from Bdor for comparison
Z:Nigel Gatherer
L:1/8
M:4/4
K:Ador
A2 BA Bd e2 | dBgB B>AGE | G>AB>A GAB<d | D>D EG BA A2 :|
a2 ag a/b/c’/b/ a2 | g>a g/a/b/a/ g/a/g/e/ dg | e2 dB e/d/e/f/ g<G | D>D EG BA A2 :|

"It would probably have come to Blazin’ Fiddles through Duncan Chisholm, who was taught by Riddell"

Nigel Gatherer

As was big blazer Bruce MacGregor.

This tune sounds familiar to me also, interesting the mention by Donald Riddell of the popularity of this tune in Kintail, unlikely to have been transported with MacRae’s heading west to serve the MacKenzie’s, that was some time ago ;~)

More likely it is the close connection Kintail has with Strathglass, just down the brae north from Abriachan. The hill ground east of Kintail and west of Strathglass, east & west Benula, was populated with working people from both areas from the mid 1800’s to the mid 1900’s.

To this day the family connections between the two areas are still very strong, no big surprise to find Kintail MacRae’s or other west coast families settled in the east, or Frasers, Munros, Chisholms and others settled in the west.

Iain R Thompson, in his books "Isolation Shepherd" and "The Long Horizon" explains much of the old connections of this now empty part of the north highlands, great reads.

Wasn’t Iain also taught by Donald Riddell? So it could have been any of them…

Bodaich Bheaga Abriachan

"… it could have been any of them…"

Yes, it could. Silly me!