Niel Gow’s Wife
Originally written by Niel Gow (and usually played) in G Minor.
d|:"Gm"BB "F"AA|"Eb"BA B>A"Gm/DGm"BB "F"AA|"Ebmaj7"B2 d>B "Bb"FB "Bb/D"f>Bd>B|"F"FF "F/A"c>FA>c|"Bb"B2 d>B "Bb/D"f>Bd>f|"Gm"gg "Gm/D"db|"Bb"ff "F7/A"ee|"Gm"dd "F"cF|"Eb"Gc| "Gm"B>G "Daug"B/2A/2G/2F/2 "Gm"D
Niel Gow’s Wife
Wow! What happened there? System did not like the ABC I TRIED to post above! The chords are about right and the original key comment is correct, else IGNORE the rest. Maybe they didn’t use ABC notation in Niel Gow’s day. Don’t feel a desperate urge to try again immediately, unless there’s any demand.
A classic strathspey irrespective of the key and I’m sure players can transpose it for themselves.
The Irish play a reel version of this one and call it ‘The Watchmaker’; see Karen Tweed’s Irish Choice (Tune Book).
Niel Gow’s Wife
Scottish fiddler Bruce MacGregor recorded a similar tune as Invergary Well: the first part of the tune is almost indentical to that of Niel Gow’s Wife. According to the liner notes, he pick it up from Simon Fraser’s second collection. Does anybody play the tune?
Niel Gow’s Wife / Invergary Well
Until recently slainte - no. As you mentioned, Bruce took the tune from Simon Fraser’s second collection of 49 tunes which was never published. (Fraser’s son Angus planned publication but died before the project was completed) The original mss are housed in Edinburgh University Library.
However, Bruce’s CD "101 Reasons to do Nothing" is very highly regarded, certainly in Scotland. Also when not playing solo or with Blazin’ Fiddles, Bruce is active in many fields not least workshops where he’s often asked about the tunes. That said, most of the tunes played subsequently in sessions and elsewhere tend to be those by his mentor Donald Riddell.
There’s a fairly major project currently underway with Simon Fraser’s collections and tunes - perhaps things will change.
“Neil Gow’s Wife” ~ under the bow of Danny O’Donnell, Donegal fiddler
T: Neil Gow’s Wife
S: Danny O’Donnell, Donegal fiddler
R: highland schottische / fling
K: a minor
c<AA>c B<GG>B | c<AA>B c>de>d |
c<AA>c B<GG>B | (3cBA B>G E<AA>B :|
c2 e>c g>ce>c | G2 B>G d>GB>G |
c2 e>c g>ce>c | e>aa>g e<aa>b |
g<ee>g ^f<dd>f | e<cce d>BG>B |
A>Bc>d e>fe>d | (3cBA BG E<AA>B |]
finished ~ | (3cBA BG E<A A2 |]
Danny O’Donnell, Donegal fiddler & 3 highland schottisches / flings
"Milestone At The Garden: Irish Fiddle Masters From The 78 RPM Era"
track 11.) The Thistle And Shamrock
Note: This is approximately a half step too sharp and fast…the way of 78s…
a.) "Polly Put the Kettle On"
Key signature: D Major
Submitted on February 16th 2008 by ceolachan.
b.) "The Bundoran Highland" (also known as ~)
Key signature: G Major
Submitted on July 9th 2004 by gian marco.
c.) "Neil Gow’s Wife" ~ the transcription offered before this comment…
Neil Gow’s Wife, X:3
Here’s a transcription of this tune in its original key of G minor. Alasdair Fraser does a neat version on Abundance with a real nice touch for the snappiness of it. Anyways, this is my first actual submission here after following along in the background for a number of years, so hopefully it reads right!