ok - stupid question - what is ‘The New England Fiddler’s repertoire’ anyhow????
I should have typed “repertoire” as “Repertoire”! It is a small loose-leaf book of fiddle tunes about 20-30 years old. My copy is from a second-hand bookshop and is rather tattered and worn. I haven’t come across the book elsewhere. Many of the tunes do not seem to be in other publications, so are good candidates for posting on The Session; others are sometimes older or unusual versions of well-known tunes, so I like to post these as comments to tunes already on The Session database. I try to be on the look-out for name changes and when in doubt I do a character string search on a typical ABC fragment of the tune. However, for various reasons, these searches are not infallible, and it possible to get caught out.
I hope you enjoy these NE tunes, many of them make excellent session tunes.
is this a highland pipes tune? i’m pretty sure it’s a tune that a flute/scots pipes player used to do in a session a few years ago
It wouldn’t be a highland pipe tune in that key, but could be if you shift it up half an octave. My Scottish history’s very rusty, but I think the song to this tune relates to events around the first Jacobite rising in 1715. It was a great favourite of Scottish folk duo the “Corries”. Incidentally, it is not about the city of Dundee.
I’ll check up on the history and get back to you.
he used to play it either B flat or E flat,Kenny
This is a highland pipe tune, normally played as a 6/8 march, and set in D major (that’s what the music says, but pipes don’t always follow normal key signature/tuning - the “a” on my pipes is actually an e flat.)
yeah,i know - whatever ‘key’ the tune’s in,it sounded b/e flat. i used to have to play the atholl highlanders in b flat with this bloke.but thanks confirming it as a piping thing.
If anyone’s still interested - according to “The Auld Scotch Sangs” - published in 1889, words to “Bonny Dundee” are by Sir Walter Scott. Original tune is titled “The Band At A Distance” (good name for a group !). “Dundee” in the song was Graham Claverhouse, the rebel viscount of Dundee. First version of the song was published in 1719.
This is a great tune.Try this setting in A.It also sounds good if you play it slowly as a waltz. K:Amajor |:e>fe efg|agf e2d|ceA ceA|B>BB B>cd|e>fe efg|agf e2d|ceE BeE| A>AA A3:|A>AA Adc|BEE E3|B>BB Bcd|dcc cBA|cBc dcd|ede fed|ceE BeE| A
“New England Fiddler’s Repertoire” ~ Randy Miller & Jack Perron
Now it it’s second edition, 2003, originally published in 1983.
This is a collection of tunes for New England style square and contra dancing, which happens to be heavy on the Celtic content, Scotch and Irish. The Miller brothers hail from New Hampshire and are damned fine dance musicians. You’ll find some of Randy’s other efforts of compilation here:
To the Lords of Convention `twas Claver`se who spoke.
`Ere the King`s crown shall fall there are crowns to be broke; So let each Cavalier who loves honour and me,
Come follow the bonnet of Bonny Dundee. ’
Come fill up my cup, come fill up my can,
Come saddle your horses, and call up your men;
Come open the West Port and let me gang free,
And it`s room for the bonnets of Bonny Dundee!`
Dundee he is mounted, he rides up the street,
The bells are rung backward, the drums they are beat;
But the Provost, douce man, said, `Just e`en let him be,
The Gude Town is weel quit of that Deil of Dundee.`
As he rode down the sanctified bends of the Bow,
Ilk carline was flyting and shaking her pow;
But the young plants of grace they looked couthie and slee, Thinking luck to thy bonnet, thou Bonny Dundee!
With sour - featured Whigs the Grass - market was crammed,
As if half the West had set tryst to be hanged;
There was spite in each look, there was fear in each e`e,
As they watched for the bonnets of Bonny Dundee.
These cowls of Kilmarnock had spits and had spears,
And lang - hafted gullies to kill cavaliers;
But they shrunk to close - heads and the causeway was free, At the toss of the bonnet of Bonny Dundee.
He spurred to the foot of the proud Castle rock,
And with the gay Gordon he gallantly spoke;
`Let Mons Meg and her marrows speak twa words or three,
For the love of the bonnet of Bonny Dundee.`
The Gordon demands of him which way he goes -
`Where`er shall direct me the shade of Montrose!
Your Grace in short space shall hear tidings of me,
Or that low lies the bonnet of Bonny Dundee. ’
There are hills beyond Pentland and lands beyond Forth,
If there`s lords in the Lowlands, there`s chiefs in the North; There are wild Duniewassals three thousand times three,
Will cry hoigh! for the bonnet of Bonny Dundee.
There`s brass on the target of barkened bull - hide;
There`s steel in the scabbard that dangles beside;
The brass shall be burnished, the steel shall flash free,
At the toss of the bonnet of Bonny Dundee.
’Away to the hills, to the caves, to the rocks -
Ere I own an usurper, I`ll couch with the fox;
And tremble, false Whigs, in the midst of your glee,
You have not seen the last of my bonnet and me!’
He waved his proud hand, the trumpets were blown,
The kettle - drums clashed and the horsemen rode on,
Till on Ravelston`s cliffs and on Clermiston`s lee
Died away the wild war - notes of Bonny Dundee.
Come fill up my cup, come fill up my can,
Come saddle the horses, and call up the men,
Come open your gates, and let me gae free,
For it`s up with the bonnets of Bonny Dundee!
The Bonnets of Bonny Dundee
Words by Walter Scott, as has been mentioned already. The chorus, “Come fill up my cup, &c…” was based on an older song, “Jocky’s Escape from Dundee”:
"Come fill up my cup, come fill up my can,
Come saddle my horse and call up my man,
Come open the gates and let me go free,
And shew me the way from bonny Dundee."
…which in turn is based on an older broadside song famed for its vulgarity:
"Open your ports and let me gang free,
I maun stay nae longer in bonny Dundee."
(although neither of these songs were sung to the tune here in question.)
As to the historical scene, it refers to an real incident during a particularly eventful period in Scotland’s history. During the 1680s Edinburgh was filling up with supporters of Presbyterian William of Orange, in opposition to Catholic King James. William called a Convention to rule that James had abdicated. Claverhouse (also known as “Bonnie Dundee”) was loyal to James, tried to disrupt the Convention, but when he heard that there were those out to assassinate him, he decided to exit, and galloped through Edinburgh with fifty supporters on horseback. They reached the West Port, one of the gates of the city near the Grassmarket, where crowds gathered round them. Rumours streaked through the city that Claverhouse was coming the other way, and was ready to invade the capital with an army. There was great alarm and excitement before Claverhouse and his men rode north and gathered an army in the highlands. Soon afterwards the Conventioned ruled that James had forefaulted the crown by being a “professed papist”, and William was proclaimed king.
Claverhouse started a series of guerilla attacks against William’s authority, one incident being the setting of the Hilltown in Dundee ablaze. His adversary, General Mackay, led his Dutch regiments to Highland Perthshire to put an end to Claverhouse and his deeds. Reaching the pass of Killiecrankie, he realised that he was surrounded by Claverhouse’s army, and trapped. Although his Dutch troops outnumbered their opponents, the Highlanders were more used to the steep slopes, and by the end of the battle, Mackay had lost more than 2,000 men, and knew he was defeated. Claverhouse may have won the battle, but he himself was slain, and his army lost their dynamic leader, and the impetus to carry on. King William, when asked for reinforcements in Scotland, saw no need: “the war is over with Dundee’s life.”
Re: Bonnie Dundee
There’s a pretty nice fiddle rendition of this as the theme music for Scotland in the new expansion for “Sid Meier’s Civilization 6” (a video game): https://youtu.be/I9JqCMpBaLY?t=1m44s (starts at 1:44 in this video)
Read a book recently part of which mentioned John Claverhouse, Bonnie Dundee, and the Battle of Killiecrankie. Rumour had it he was killed by a bullet from one of his own men whom he had “disciplined” not very long before the battle.