General Stewart reel

By Malcolm MacDonald

Also known as Captain David Stewart, Captain David Stewart 42nd Royal Highlanders, Captain David Stewart 42nd Royal Highlanders, Captain David Stewart’s, General Stuart, Lady Mair MacKenzie, Lady Muir MacKenzie, Lady Muir MacKenzie’s, Mrs. Muir MacKenzie, Mrs. Muir McKenzie.

There are 24 recordings of this tune.

This tune has been recorded together with

General Stewart has been added to 3 tune sets.

General Stewart has been added to 14 tunebooks.

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Two settings

X: 1
T: General Stewart
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
E|DddA FDAF|E=ccG ECEG|DddA FGAg|fdef d/d/d d:|
g|f>eda fdaf|ge=cg ecge|f>eda dfaf|ecge d/d/d dg|
f>eda fdaf|ge=cg ecge|dfeg fagb|afge d/d/d d||
X: 2
T: General Stewart
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmix
c|A<dd>A FDDF|EcGc ECCE|D<dd>A F[DA][DA]g|fde^c d/d/d d:|
g|fddf a<daf|gcca g<cge|fddf a<dag|e<cge d2 dc|
d2 db a<daf|gcca g<cge|dfeg fagb|afge [df]/[df]/d d||

Three comments

Major-General David Stewart of Garth

From the Athole Collection, where it goes by the title of “Captain David Stewart 42nd Royal Highlanders-Afterwards General Stewart”, having been printed earlier without the “afterwards General Stewart” part.

The subject is Major-General David Stewart of Garth (1768-1829), from Garth, Perthshire. Stewart joined the 42nd regiment as an ensign when he was 17, and steadily made his way through the ranks, becoming Major-General in 1825. He wrote a two volume book about the Highlanders entitled “Sketches of the Character, Manners, and Present State of the Highlanders of Scotland, with details of the Military services of the Highland Regiments” (1822). He saw a lot of action during his career.

General Stewart

I have added a setting above which was published by Kate Dunlay and David Greenberg in their “Traditional Celtic Violin Music of Cape Breton” collection (1997 edition). They notated it from the playing of Buddy MacMaster, who called the tune “Lady Muir MacKenzie” (on his 1993 album ‘Traditional Music from Cape Breton Island’). Kate and David write:

“In the Skye Collection “Lady Muir MacKenzie” is written in C-mixolydian and is attributed to William Gow (1751-1791), Niel Gow’s eldest son. In Niel Gow’s Second Collection…the title is “Mrs Muir MacKenzies”… Traditional Cape Breton settings on D are fairly different from book versions.”

It’s interesting that a lot of these tunes are kept alive more in Canada than Scotland. I submitted it here because I was trying to fill in some of the gaps on the Michael Anthony MacLean CD entry in the recordings section.

“ is attributed to William Gow (1751-1791),“

This is also interesting, because the title “Lady Muir MacKenzie” wouldn’t likely have existed during William Gow’s lifetime (the Baronetcy was created in 1805), so the “Mrs Muir Mackenzie” might have been the relatively newly wed Jane née Murray: