The Braes Of Mellinish jig

Also known as The Braes Of Melinish, The Braes Of Mellinish, Bruachan Mhealanais, Bruachun Mhelinis.

There are 14 recordings of this tune.

The Braes Of Mellinish has been added to 3 tune sets.

The Braes Of Mellinish has been added to 43 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Two settings

X: 1
T: The Braes Of Mellinish
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Amix
|:ABA ABA|d2c BGB|ABA ABA|g2f e2a|
ABA ABA|d2c BGB|ABA e2e|dBG A3:|
|:e2d cAc|d2c BGB|e2d cAc|eae cAc|
e2d cAc|d2c BGB|ABA e2e|dBG A3:|
|:A2e ece|dcd BGB|A2e ece|fdf ece|
fdf ece|dcd BGB|ABA e2e|dBG A3:|
|:e2a aga|g2g edB|A2a aga|g2a aga|
g2a aga|g2g edB|ABA e2e|dBG A3:|
X: 2
T: The Braes Of Mellinish
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Amix
A>AA AAA|d2c BGB|A>AA AAA|g2f eea|
A>AA AAA|d2c BGB|A2a eAe|dGB A2c:|
e2d cAc|d2c BGB|e2d cAc|cae cAc|e2d cAc|
d2c BGB|A2a eAe|1 dGB A2c:|2 dGB A2e||
A2e eAe|dGd BGB|A2e eAe|fAf eAe|fAf eAe|
dGd BGB|A2a eAe|1 dGB A2e:|2 dGB A2c||
Aaa aAa|gAg BGB|A2 a aAa|gAa aAa|gAa aAa|
gAg BGB|A2a eAe|1 dGB A2c:|2 dGB A3||

Twelve comments

Braes Of Mellinish

Correct title is “The Braes Of Mellinish”.

Posted by .

Kentigern’s Jig

Thanks for the info.I recorded the tune at a session and Kentigern’s Jig was the name I was given.

Braes Of Mellinish

You’re welcome, jocklet. Could I ask that you “edit details” to give it it’s proper title? It doesn’t really need any other name, does it?

Posted by .

The Braes of Mellinish

Not sure where Kentigern’s Jig came from as a title but here’s a link to a page on Nigel Gatherer’s site which may hold a clue ;

Kentigern was of course the patron saint of Glasgow better known to posterity as “Mungo”.

I’ll always associate this tune with Andy Thorburn and his piano key accordion that he’d trot about with back in the early 90’s, being much more mobile than his piano. Once when traveling back from the Orkney folk fest I was determined to get home get on with some work and save what I had left of my money. I opted for the train from Thurso to Dingwall and my car, rather than travel in Andy’s bat buggy which came complete with a wild session posse. That situation had an additional 3 days in the same clothes written all over it so I thought it best to avoid.

So there’s me sat on the train having just explained to the good folks in the seat next to me that I was a sensible chap hence why I was on the train and had also avoided the mega tune on the crossing. Much to the delight of the passengers and the guard, when we pulled into Brora station who should be there to greet us? None other than the whole session posse having just raced to Brora from Scrabster to catch me now pumping out the braes on the platform right out side my window.

It was the guard that finally shifted me by saying that he couldn’t hold he train any longer. Bit of a red face that and the resulting hangover was every bit as bad as I thought it would be. But then again, we did get very very drunk.

Anyway I here’s a simpler version of the tune;

T: The Braes of Mellinish
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
R: jig
K: Amix
A>AA AAA | d2c BGB | A>AA AAA | g2f eea |
A>AA AAA | d2c BGB | A2a eAe | dGB A2c :|
e2d cAc | d2c BGB | e2d cAc | cae cAc | e2d cAc |
d2c BGB | A2a eAe |[1 dGB A2c :|[2 dGB A2e ||
A2e eAe | dGd BGB | A2e eAe | fAf eAe | fAf eAe |
dGd BGB | A2a eAe | [1 dGB A2e :| [2 dGB A2c ||
Aaa aAa | gAg BGB | A2 a aAa | gAa aAa | gAa aAa |
gAg BGB | A2a eAe |[1 dGB A2c :| [2 dGB A3 ||


“Kentigern” were a Glasgow band, in the early 80s which included Jim & Sylvia Barnes, and a young Dougie Pincock on pipes and whistles. They recorded “The Braes Of Mellinish” on an LP record for the “Topic” label, I seem to remember.
I should have looked at the dots for this earlier. The original transcription is so full of mistakes, it’s virtually useless.
“Solidmahog”’s abcs are much more accurate.

Posted by .


I’ve just found another setting of this tune attributed to a “Captain McKay”, and listed as a quickstep. Unfortunately it’s on a photocopied page, and I’ve no idea where it came from. “Melinish” is spelled with 1 “l”, not 2.

Posted by .

“Melinish” is right enough Kenny and thanks for the vote of confidence regarding the above.

I have come across this tune as a 6/8 march before, in some collection or other, I’ll see if I can’t dig it out. Always played as Jig in my experience but a good march setting would work quite well I’d think it may well have started out that way.

The tune appears as a jig in William Gunn’s “Caledonian Repository of Music Adapted for the Bagpipes”, 1848, and is attributed to a “Captain MacKay”. It has been attributed to Pipe Major John D MacDonald of Melness (Melinish) - a Scots Guards piper, but the date of Gunn’s publication would rule that out (MacDonald was PM in 2nd Batallion Scots Guards from 1921-1927).
Given the amount of MacKays in the region where Melness is situated, it might be difficult to identify the actual composer.

Interestingly, there was another piper called John MacDonald from Craignish, Argyll (1752-1832), who served with a Captain MacKay of Bighouse, in the ‘North Fencibles’ as Pipe Major, (later joining Lord Macleod’s Highlanders) and became a schoolmaster in the Melness area.
Could be something in that.

“”Melinish“ is spelled with 1 ”l“, not 2.”

Either really, as it’s a transliteration of ‘Mealanais’, but either would be a poor transliteration.
Apparently Mealanais (Melness) = Meala-bhaig. Bent-grass Bay.