T: The Breem Dog
A|d/d/d (Ad) fedc|BAGF EDCE|1 D/D/D DF DEFG|AFGE FDD:|2 D/D/D (dA) BGdB|AFGE FDDA||
d/d/d (A=c) BGG^d|e/e/e (B=d) cAAc|dDd=c B^cdB|AFGE FDDA|
dAFA BGG^d|eB^Ge cAA=g|fage dBAG|FAGE FDD||
There are 3 recordings of this tune.
The Breem Dog has been added to 3 tunebooks.
A reel by J Scot Skinner, from the Harp and Claymore Collection.
It was published in 2/4, but to do that here would require it to be submitted as a polka.
You can see Skinner’s hand written manuscript here:
As it says there, a “breem dog” is a farm implement for howkin’ out broom roots.
“An ancient obsolete warlike implement at Kildrummy for removing dwined whin reets. ‘Barrie’s Breem Dog.’”
Or “an ancient, obsolete warlike instrument at Kildrummy for removing withered broom roots.
‘Barrie’s Broom Dog’”.
Kildrummy is a parish in Aberdeenshire, and home to many people with the name ‘Barrie’ - past and present. The inn was run by ‘Barries’.
[Another tool that I seldom saw in use but that was once common everywhere was the breem-dog. This was a heavy iron lever for hauling out broomstocks by the root, so it had to be big and powerful. It was smiddy-made, all of iron, with a handle about five feet long. At the foot were massive jaws the spittin image o’ a crocodile. One jaw was the end of the handle and the other was the end of the hinged head that had a cross-piece with a great block of wood bolted to it, to serve as a pillow for levering in softish ground. The broom was gripped as near the ground as you could get, and since the jaws were anything between seven inches and nearly a foot long (judging by examples I have seen), you could get hold of a fair-sized stem and do a lot of damage, swinging with your full weight on the end of the handle. ]
“J Scott Skinner” - lost a tee there! And I said “instrument” instead of “implement”. Too busy doing other things.
“an ancient, obsolete warlike instrument “-I think that’s my banjo!
No. A banjo is an implement.