Sow’s Lament For The Tatties reel

Also known as The Glenora Falls Strathspey, Glenoral Falls, Glenoral Falls Strathspey, The Glenoral Falls Strathspey, The Soo’s Lament For The Tatties, Sow’s Tail, The Sow’s Tail To Geordie, The Sow’s Tail.

There are 5 recordings of this tune.

Sow’s Lament For The Tatties has been added to 7 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Two settings

Sheet Music
Sheet Music
Sheet Music
Sheet Music12
Sheet Music3
Sheet Music

Four comments

Sow’s Lament For The Tatties

1st,3rd,5th measures of B part are the sound of a squealing pig.
In the real playing, fiddlers play the bow behind the bridge of fiddle at them.

Original version’s title is “The Sow’s Tail to Geordie.”(18th century)

Re: Sow’s Lament For The Tatties

What an interesting tune. 🙂

Re: Sow’s Lament For The Tatties

Hello Akira, thanks for the tune - perhaps you could tell us where your setting comes from?

“The Sow’s Tail” seems to have been popular in the 18th century, having been published in a few of the important collections (e.g. Gow’s 2nd coll 1788; McGlashan’s 2nd coll. 1781; Aird Bk.2 1788; John Clark 1773). It appears to have been a fiddler’s show-off tune with a simple air and then intricate variations. The tune in its simple form was known in the U.S. (Howe’s Caledonian Collection 1860) and later became known in Canada, with settings being recorded in Prince Edward Island (George McPhee) and several in Cape Breton as simply “Traditional Strathspey” or “The Glenora Falls Strathspey”.

The origins of the name date to the early 18th century when it was a song concerning Madame Kilmansegge, a large mistress of King George I, whose nickname was ‘The Sow’: “It’s Geordie’s now come hereabout, O wae light on his sulky snout! A pawky sow has found him out, And turned her tail to Geordie, The sow’s tail is till him yet, A sow’s birse will kill him yet, The sow’s tail is till him yet, The sow’s tail to Geordie!”)

Later Burns used the melody for his song “O Philly”, being expressions of love between Philly and Willy. Mmm.

I hope you don’t mind if I post a setting of the original melody, Akira, to give context to your setting.

Sow’s Lament For The Tatties, X:2

This setting is the one in McGlashan’s second collection of 1781.

I’ve just listened to a recording of Shetland fiddler Tom Anderson playing a version of this tune which he called “Soo’s Lament for Tatties” - great stuff, and obviously the setting on which Akira’s transcription is based.