The Dying Year strathspey

There are 4 recordings of this tune.

The Dying Year has been added to 5 tunebooks.

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One setting

X: 1
T: The Dying Year
R: strathspey
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Emaj
B2 | E3 G B2 G2 | e3 B G2 E2 | A,3 c c2 ^A,2 | d3 B c2 d2 | e3 B G2 E2 |
c3 A F2 D2 | B,3 A G3 F | GE- E2 E2 :| a2 | g3 e b3 g | f2 d2 B2 =d2 |
c3 A e3 c | B2 G2 E2 FG | A3 B c2 A2 | G3 A B3 G | F3 G F3 E |
D2 B,2 C2 D2 | E3 e g2 b2 | f3 d B2 =c2 | ^C3 c d2 e2 | B3 E E3 z |
c3 d e2 c2 | B3 G E2 G2 | F3 D B,3 A | GE- E2 E2 |]

Four comments

The Dying Year

I’ve heard this tune played by a few Scots fiddlers and it’s a beautiful slow air. Shetland fiddler Willie Hunter credited James Scott Skinner with the composition, but it’s actually by J D Michie of Brechin (1884-1960), who wrote it in 1935 for his one-time pupil and long-term friend Angus Fitchet, the late Dundonian fiddler (who later returned the favour and wrote a popular march called "Mr Michie").

Aptly, my transcription is from the playing of Angus Fitchet.

Re: The Dying Year

Looks beautiful! Thank you for posting this, Nigel.

The Dying Year

I’m interested to see this was written in E major. The version I’ve listened to most is Aly Bain’s on Boys of the Lough’s 1983 album, Open Road, and I think he plays it in Eb. The sleeve notes confirm the composition as being by J D Michie for Angus Fitchet.

I think all the currently-listed recordings on this website are in Eb. I think it sits well on the fiddle in Eb.

Is there an available recording of Angus Fitchet playing this, as I would be very interested to hear it?


Re: The Dying Year

I’d imagine the original was composed in Eb - it sounds like a perfect Eb tune. As you know, I transcribed it from a recording of Angus Fitchet. With one semitone difference between E and Eb,, it could have been my turntable was slightly fast, or the original recording. Who knows?