Mr And Mrs Alec Ross mazurka

Also known as Mr And Mrs A Ross.

There are 2 recordings of this tune.

Mr And Mrs Alec Ross has been added to 1 tune set.

Mr And Mrs Alec Ross has been added to 11 tunebooks.

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Two settings

X: 1
T: Mr And Mrs Alec Ross
R: mazurka
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:A|f3 f3/2d/2d|c3/2B/2B B3/2e/2f|g3 g2 e|c/2e3/2c B2 A|
|f3 f3/2d/2d|c3/2B/2B B3/2e/2f|g3/2e/2c A3/2a/2a|d3 d2:|
|:g|a3 f2 d|c3/2B/2B B3/2e/2f|g3 e2 d|c/2e3/2c B2 A|
|a3 f2 d|c3/2B/2B B3/2e/2f|g3/2e/2c A3/2a/2a|d3 d2:|
|:f|A3/2d/2d d3|d3/2c/2c c3/2B/2B|B3/2g/2g g2 e|c/2e3/2c B2 A|
|A3/2d/2d d3|d3/2c/2c c3/2B/2B|g3/2e/2c A3/2a/2a|d3 d2:|
|:g|a2 a f3/2d/2a|c3/2B/2B B3/2e/2f|g3/2e/2g g2 e|c/2e3/2c B2 A|
|a2 a f3/2d/2a|c3/2B/2B B3/2e/2f|g3/2e/2c A3/2a/2a|d3 d2:|
X: 2
T: Mr And Mrs Alec Ross
R: mazurka
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
A/d/ | f3 f>dd | c>BB B>ef | g3 g>ee | c<ec B>AA |
f3 f>dd | c>BB B>ef | g>ec A>aa | d3 d2 :|
f/g/ | a3 f2 d | c>BB B>ef | g3 g2 e | c<ec B>AA |
a3 f2 d | c>BB B>ef | g>ec A>aa | d3 d2 :|
f | A>dd d3 | d>cc c>BB | B>gg g>ee | c<ec B>AA |
A>dd d3 | d>cc c>BB | g>ec A>aa | d3 d2 :|
f/g/ | a>fa f<da | c>BB B>ef | g>eg g2 e | c<ec B>AA |
a>fa f<da | c>BB B>ef | g>ec A>aa | d3 d2 :|

Eight comments

Mr And Mrs Alex Ross

Cracking 68, especially played slowly, first heard it played by Lauren McColl (Rant) on the fiddle in Ullapool, she said she’d dug it out of some manuscripts online. It also appears on a CD by ‘Gordon Pattullo and his ceilidh band’, appears to have been written by John McGregor sometime in 19xx for Graham Ross the son of Mr and Mrs Alex Ross. Only reference i can find for it is 1983.

Mr And Mrs Alex Ross

I was at a garden party on Saturday given by John MacGregor, the composer of this piece, who lives just outside Crieff and, egged on by his wife, I played "Mr and Mrs Alec Ross" for him. He told me he’d also heard it by the group Up In the Air, who have recorded it as a slow air. I’ve known the tune for years, having learned it from Edinburgh fiddler Seonaid Lynn, who I think learned it when she was involved with the Borders Reel & Strathspey Society.

John has written a few tunes over the years which have been taken up by dance bands, such as "West Kirkton" (better known as "Ian Powrie’s Farewell to Auchterarder") and "John MacGregor’s Compliments to Gordon Young" (named after his friend the popular drummer who was also at Saturday’s party).

Mr And Mrs Alec Ross

I have added the setting I play (X:2 above) which is only slightly different to Jake’s setting. Thanks for posting it, Jake - it’s a good tune (and perhaps you could change the key to D major when you have a moment? It makes no difference to pipers, I know, but it keeps us mere mortals in line!)

Mr and Mrs Ross

Thanks for the correction Nigel, now D Maj !
I just put everything as Amix now as I get slammed every time i use something else, i’m still a key heathen.
If only K:HP was an option, I have asked, but it’s not going to happen.

P/M John MacGregor

One of the tunes played on "Take The Floor" tonight is this tune and it mentions on the playlist that the composer was P/M John MacGregor. Is this correct and in which Pipe Band was/is John MacGregor the Pipe Major?

Mr And Mrs Alec Ross

That statement on Take the Floor was incorrect, aad boode. John MacGregor, the composer of "Mr and Mrs Alec Ross" doesn’t even play the bagpipe.

mr and mrs Alec Ross

there was a cracking recording of this jig by the Border Shepherds Willy Taylor Will Atkinson and Joe Hutton
back in the ’80s - unfortunately like much of my vinyl collection its been mislaid over the years but I’d love to hear it again if anyone can post it

Re: Mr And Mrs Alec Ross

My first memory of this tune is of Graham Mitchell playing it at the local Fiddle & Accordion club in the late seventies. Somewhere I also got dots for it, probably from Elgin S&R. Anyway, the name I have for the tune is Mr & Mrs Alec C Ross. The box and fiddle archive have the following information on the tune here

The same information is copied into this post in case there are any problems with the link.

The Story Behind the Tune Title
Mr and Mrs Alec Ross (6/8 March) composed by John MacGregor
by Charlie Todd
It was during a visit to Livingston A&F Club last year where 3 Row Shand Morino accordionist Graham Ross was in attendance that I finally remembered to ask him for the story behind John MacGregor’s fine 6/8 march. Bob McMath from Silverburn had mentioned to me years ago that Alec was Graham’s dad so I knew that part of the story but I knew nothing of Alec or why John wrote the tune. It transpires that the story involves a body of men we’re all familiar with – the 51st Highland Division – but the reality of their situation this time, not the dance.

Alec Ross, or Ackie as he was known in his native Tain, had enlisted in the 4th Battalion Seaforth Highlanders at the outbreak of war in 1939. They were part of the famous 51st Highland Division who, as we all know, suffered the misfortune of having to surrender at St Valery-en-Caux in 1940. These POW’s were to spend a miserable five years in captivity, in Ackie’s case in a Stalag in Poland. As the Russians advanced through Poland in the opening months of 1945 the Germans subjected the prisoners to a series of ‘forced marches’ over many hundreds of miles back into Germany where the survivors were liberated by the Americans.

But the years of captivity, the poor nutrition and particularly the 30-mile-a-day forced marches were to have a disastrous effect on Ackie’s health immediately after the war as his eyesight began to fail. Back in Tain after the war Alec formed the Tain Scottish Dance Band with himself and Ali MacGregor on accordions, Peggy McLeod on fiddle, Annie Kneafsey on piano and Sandy Ross on drums. Sadly by 1948 Ackie had to stand down from the band as he was completely blind. It took the Tain Branch of the Royal British Legion almost 20 years to get the MOD to recognize his plight as a war disability and for him to get a pension.

In 1965 the family moved from Tain to Sighthill in Edinburgh in preparation for a move, about a year later, to the Linburn War Blinded houses at Wilkieston, West Lothian where Alec and Isie (Isabella) lived until his death in 1975.

Although Alec had given up the band he continued to play the 3 row, initially on a Hohner Gaelic then a chance meeting with a ‘Forbes of Dundee’ salesman who stayed nearby in Sighthill and worked from their Causewayside Shop lead to him acquiring a 40 button Shand Morino. He had a marvellous memory for tunes and after hearing 4 part pipe tunes played over a few times could reproduce them faithfully thereafter.

The other hobby which he continued was cycling. We have the following from his obituary in the Ross-shire Journal “Ackie was a great favourite wherever he went on the Games circuit, and was one of the ‘Three Musketeers’ of Ross-shire cycling in these halcyon days, completing the triumvirate of Sandy Bartlett, Contin; Peter Cameron, Conon and Ackie Ross, Tain. They were an invincible team and brought honour and fame to their native county in the sporting world. Ackie’s cycling prowess continued into post war years, and the writer recalls at the beginning of his own Games career witnessing these three protagonists in action, and welcoming the advice and comfort they gave to a mere fledgling. It was always a pleasure to be in Ackie’s company and learn something from him”.

The onset of blindness had ended Alec’s competitive career by 1948 but after his return he and Isie acquired a tandem and for the remainder of his life spent many a happy hours on the road with Isie in the driving seat and Alec providing the power.

After his dad’s death Graham left the accordion in his mum’s house for many years before eventually reviving his own interest and starting playing again. He did four broadcasts between 1982 and 85 with his own ‘Strathalmond SDB’ before hand problems put paid to his professional playing career. A year later he sold the accordion but always had a hankering to get it back but it wasn’t until 2012 that friend Bill Black of Stanley phoned him to say he knew of its whereabouts and they were reunited. Graham, together with fiddler Derek MacLeod, currently do a few retirement homes to keep their hand in.

Memories of Alex Ross by John MacGregor

I first met Alec and Isie at Chrissie Leatham’s Accordion Club which was held in the Masonic Hall, Broughton Street, Edinburgh in 1965/66.

I was introduced to them by either Chrissie or Bill Hamilton. We had a good long blether about accordionists, Scottish Dance Bands and tunes.

At the end of the evening Alec asked me if I would like to come to his house in Sighthill for a tune sometime, which I did. This was the start of a long and memorable relationship with the Ross Family. I would call on Alec on a weekly basis to practice new tunes that he had heard on the Scottish Dance Music the previous Saturday. Of course, Alec had it recorded.

One of the accordions that Alec played was the smaller version of the Shand Morino, which he played to a very high standard. He had an excellent memory for tunes and was a very accurate player indeed. Alec had a healthy respect for many accordionists and Scottish Dance Bands, such as Jimmy Blue, Jimmy Lindsay, Will Starr and Jimmy Shand, but his favourite was Fraser McGlynn. Alec loved the way Fraser played 2/4 pipe tunes - competition marches, as he would call them. Tunes such as, The Clan McColl, Morag Ramsay, Brigadier General Ronald Cheape of Tiroran, Kantara to El Arish and many more.

I am almost sure that Alec was the founder member of the Tain Scottish Dance Band although due to circumstances he never broadcast with the band.

Alex and Isie would go on holiday to a little village just outside Tain called Hill of Fearn and stay with Isie’s sister, Mrs Hardie (Emma). I was also invited for a few days holiday. We would play morning, noon and night. Sometimes we would go to Ali MacGregor’s house in Tain and sometimes Ali came to Hill of Fearn. Looking back, I don’t know how the families put up with us – special times, indeed!

Mr & Mrs Alec Ross (6/8 march)

This was one of those tunes that came to me almost instantly. I started and finished it in a very short period of time. I let Alec hear it and he thought it was a good tune so I played it at the Perth Accordion Festival in 1971. It won the Jimmy Blue Trophy for the Best Original Composition. The pleasing thing for me that night was that Alec and Isie were in the audience.

Jimmy Blue took a liking to the tune and played it on the TV show Scotch Corner. It was also recorded by The Edinburgh City Police Pipe Band on an LP. They were the reigning World Champions at that time.

Alec and Isie were very pleased about that and it has become very popular with dance bands over the years, which is very pleasing for me!

To finish, I would like to mention - at Alec’s funeral, who was I sitting next to? The one and only Jimmy Shand Snr, who had travelled over from Fife to be there, such was the respect Alec got from fellow musicians.

Thanks Alec, Isie and Emma for being such a special part of my life.

In their younger days, when they lived up in Ross-shire, I believe it was quite a common sight to see Alex and Isie travelling on the country roads on their tandem, Isie steering and Alex the powerhouse at the rear.

My thanks to Graham Ross of Livingston and John MacGregor of Comrie for taking the time to provide all of the above.