Waverley Steps reel

Also known as Holyrood House.

There are 3 recordings of this tune.

Waverley Steps has been added to 7 tunebooks.

Download ABC

One setting

X: 1
T: Waverley Steps
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
A2|d2 de dcBA|B2 Bc BAGF|A2 AB AGFA|G2 E2 E2 A2|
d2 de dcBA|B2 Bc BAGF|A2 Bc d2 AG|F2 D2 D2:|
A,2|D2 d2 d2 cB|c2 e2 e2 de|f2 d2 d2 f2|edcB AGFE|
D2 d2 d2 cB|c2 e2 e2 dc|BABc dBAG|F2 D2 D2 A,2|
D2 d2 d2 cB|c2 e2 e2 de|f2 d2 d2 f2|edcB AGFE|
DEFG A2de|fedB A2 GF|DEFG ABde|f2 d2 d2||

Eighteen comments

Circassian circle (reel) n.2 (Scotland)

Reel or polka?
I have found it in a set after “The Circassian Circle” (reel)(aka Hill’s fancy)
I look for a right title.

“Holyrood House”

“Holyrood House”

Jack Campin - resources courtesy of a valued website and member

Jack Campin’s homepage

Embro, Embro: the hidden history of Edinburgh in its music - Jack Campin

The Oldest Cheeses have the Most Mites: great families and big houses

“Holyrood Abbey is one of the oldest buildings still above ground in Edinburgh. It predates any idea of a royal palace in Scotland by centuries; the earlier Scottish kings had no fixed residence and Scotland’s capital was wherever they happened to be. This changed in the reign of James IV, who tried to emulate the increasingly settled courts of England and continental Europe. The palace of Holyrood was built beside the abbey on his orders in 1501. There are two tunes named after Holyrood House. The country dance Holyrood House comes from David Muir of the New Cavendish Dance Band, but he seems to have been unsure about whether he wrote it himself from scratch or adapted something older; Angus Fitchet claimed an almost identical tune, Waverley Steps, as his own composition.”

“Holyrood House” - ABCs

T:Holyrood House
Z:Jack Campin: “Embro, Embro”, transcription (c) 2001
S:Cavendish Collection
|: A |\
d2 de dcBA | B2 Bc BAGF | A2 AB AGFA | G2 E2 E3 A |
d2 de dcBA | B2 Bc BAGF | A2 Bc d3 G | F2 D2 D2 z :|
|: E |\
F2 d2 d2 cB | c2 e2 e2 de | f2 d2 f2cd | edcB AGFE |
DEFG A2 de | fedB A2 GF | EFGA Bcde | f2 d2 d2 z :|

“Holyrood House” - GIF

!DEFG A2de|

P.S. (!) Exclamation marks are not required here… 😀 !!!

Nice work Jack, much appreciated!!!

“The Auld Reekie Scottish Dance Band: More Capital Reels” - 1997

~ did a recording for the dance ‘The Eightsome Reel’ (4/4) which includes this tune…

“Waverley Steps” ~ really the same tune by another name

Three different composers have been suggested for this melody ~ David Muir, Angus Fitchet, and an R. Black!? Here’s another transcription from another valued member here, Nigel Gatherer, who lists this as C:R. Black. I’ve adjusted the transcription just slightly, to help with comparing transcriptions here:

X: 3
T: Waverley Steps
C: R. Black
S: Radio Scotland, Dec 1991
N: As played by the Iain MacPhail Band
Z: Transcribed by Nigel Gatherer
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: DMaj
|: (3ABc |\
d2 de dcBA | B3 c BAGF | A3 B AGFA | G2 E2 E2 (3ABc |
d2 de dcBA | B3 c BAGF | A2 Bc d2 AG | F2 D2 D2 :|
|: FE |\
D2 d2 d2 cB | c2 e2 e2 de | f2 d2 d2 f2 | edcB AGFE |
[1 D2 d2 d2 cB | c2 e2 e2 dc | BABc dBAG | F2 D2 DG :|
[2 DEFG A2 de | fedB A2 GF | EFGA Bcde | f2 d2 d2 |]

Origins? ~ “Jim McLeod: Welcome to My World”

Bonus Tracks:

Circassian Circle (the dance): “Circassian Circle” / “Waverley Steps” / “The Breakdown”

“Waverley Steps”

T: Waverley Steps - also a Scottish Country Dance by that name, devised by John W. Mitchell…
C: Robert Black - or - ‘traditional’?


Another transcription ~

Waverley Steps

Scottish Screen Archive: Full record for ‘WAVERLEY STEPS’

The Waverley Steps, Edinburgh
Waverley Steps 1/5

Waverley Steps 2/5

Waverley Steps 3/5

Waverley Steps 4/5

Waverley Steps 5/5

Origins, transcript - “Jim McLeod: Welcome to My World”

Bonus Tracks:

Circassian Circle (the dance): “Circassian Circle” / “Waverley Steps” / “The Breakdown”

1. ) “Hill’s Fancy” / “Circassian Circle”
Submitted on September 26th 2007 by Dr. Dow.

2. ) “Holyrood House” / “Waverley Steps” - this tune

3. ) “Breakdown”
Submitted on February 5th 2004 by rog.

Thanks everybody

I thank everybody for knowing me the right titles. I can confirm my recording comes from Jim MacLeod. So I prefer this title gerarchy:
“Waverley steps” (main title)
“Holyrood house” (secondary title)

‘Everybody’?! 😀 I have written Nigel and hope he’ll show at some point and add his clarity to this ramble of mine…

Maybe Jack too? 😉

maybe not ~ 😏

# Posted on ~ by Jack Campin (former participant)

Waverley Steps

I can’t add very much to this, I’m afraid. I notated it from Radio Scotland circa 1990, where it was played by the Iain MacPhail Band. I don’t have The Cavendish Collection, but I don’t think it’s a very old collection. It could be that “Holyrood House” is the name of the dance, while “Waverley Steps” is the tune (or one of the tunes) used for it.

The Waverley Steps used to be steep set of steps which joined Waverley Station in Edinburgh to the East End of Princes Street. Central Edinburgh has been such a mess in recent years that I have not been in that area for a while.