The Dreary Plains Of Toil strathspey

By Will Harmon

Also known as The Morpeth Lasses.

The Dreary Plains Of Toil has been added to 28 tunebooks.

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Three settings

X: 1
T: The Dreary Plains Of Toil
R: strathspey
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gdor
GF|:D<GG>A B>GB<d|c>BA>G F>GA<F|D<GG>A B>GB<d|
g>fd<f f<gba|g>ag>f d>ef<d|c>BA>G F>GA<F|D<GG>A B>GB<d|
[1 c>AF<A G2 GF:|2 c>AF<A G2 A<c||
|:d<GG>F D<GG>F|D<GF<A B>GB<d|c>AG>F D<FF>G|
A>FA>B c>AB<c|d<GG>F D<GG>F|D<GF<A B>GB<c|
d<g f/g/a g>fdB|1 c>AF<A G2 A<c:|2 c>AF<A G4||
# Added .
X: 2
T: The Dreary Plains Of Toil
R: strathspey
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gdor
AG"^em"|:E/A3/2A3/2B/ c3/2A/c/e3/2|"G"d3/2c/B3/2A/ G3/2A/B/G3/2|"^em"E/A3/2A3/2B/ c3/2A/c/e3/2|
a3/2g/e/g3/2"C" g/a3/2c’b|"^em"a3/2b/a3/2g/ e3/2f/g/e3/2|"G"d3/2c/B3/2A/ G3/2A/B/G3/2|
"^em"E/A3/2A3/2B/ c3/2A/c/e3/2|1 "G"d3/2B/G/B3/2"^em"A2AG:|2 "G"d3/2B/G/B3/2"^em"A2B/d3/2||
|:e/A3/2A3/2G/ E/A3/2A3/2G/|E/A3/2G/B3/2 c3/2A/c/e3/2|"G"d3/2B/A3/2G/ E/G3/2G3/2A/|
B3/2G/B3/2c/ d3/2B/c/d3/2|"^em"e/A3/2A3/2G/ E/A3/2A3/2G/|E/A3/2G/B3/2 c3/2A/c/d3/2|
e/a3/2g/a/b a3/2g/ec|1 "G"d3/2B/G/B3/2"^em"A2B/d3/2:|2 "G"d3/2B/G/B3/2"^em"A2||
X: 3
T: The Dreary Plains Of Toil
R: strathspey
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Ador
AG|E<A A>B c>A c<e|d>c B>A G>A B<G|E<A A>B c>A c<e|a>g e<g a>b c'b|
a>b a>g e>f g<e|d>c B>A G>A B<G|E<A A>B c>A c<e|d>B G<B A2 B<d||
e<A A>G E<A A>G|E<A G<B c>A c<e|d>B A>G E<G G>A|B>G B>c d>B c<d|
e<A A>G E<A A>G|E<A G<B c>A c<d|e<a ga/b/ a>g ec|d>B G<B A2 AG||

Twelve comments

The Dreary Plains of Toil

I’m still hoping that the tune titles I proposed in the "learning styles" discussion will inspire the composers among us. The above title just begged for a morose little strathspey, so here we go. Play it not too fast, and (if you play like I do) overwrought with more despair (at being unable to correctly do the "Scottish Snap") than the tune (and listener) can bear.

Posted .

Okay, so I don’t know anything about Scottish music (well, that’s not quite right, I DO know what a strathspey is). What’s a Scottish Snap, Will?



Must be the source of inspiration for these tunes, but I’ve goffed again, in the first measure of Part B. Should be |dF DF|

Zina—the snap is that wrist flick the Scot’s use to dislocate dancer’s hips when playing strathspeys…to get the peculiar rhythm spot on. It’s what gives you the snap from a 16th note to an eighth in the usual strathspey timing.

Jeremy, I promise not to type in anymore tunes until my fingers heal….apologies for the corrections.

Posted .

Will, I LOVE this tune! Nice work. A perfect little angry strathspey. A work of art. I was playing it last night and it sounds great, especially when I get frustrated.

Thanks, Kerri, high praise indeed coming from a clearly talented composer yourself. The "keepers" always seem to almost write themselves, as this one did.

Thanks, too to Jeremy for correcting the sheet music and midi after my blundering broken fingers smeared the posting.

Posted .

The Dreary Plains Of Toil in A min.

In this way it woks better on the flute.

AG"^em"|:E/A3/2A3/2B/ c3/2A/c/e3/2|
"G"d3/2c/B3/2A/ G3/2A/B/G3/2|"^em"E/A3/2A3/2B/ c3/2A/c/e3/2|
a3/2g/e/g3/2"C" g/a3/2c’b|"^em"a3/2b/a3/2g/ e3/2f/g/e3/2|
"G"d3/2c/B3/2A/ G3/2A/B/G3/2|"^em"E/A3/2A3/2B/ c3/2A/c/e3/2[1|
|:e/A3/2A3/2G/ E/A3/2A3/2G/|E/A3/2G/B3/2 c3/2A/c/e3/2|
"G"d3/2B/A3/2G/ E/G3/2G3/2A/|
B3/2G/B3/2c/ d3/2B/c/d3/2|"^em"e/A3/2A3/2G/ E/A3/2A3/2G/|
E/A3/2G/B3/2 c3/2A/c/d3/2|e/a3/2g/a/b a3/2g/ec|

"woks" means "works"

Will, more I play this tune ( in A min ) more I like it.
I have to confess I have changed a little the 4th bar.

"The Dreary Plains of Toil" gan Wilhelm das Burgemeester

From G Dorian to A Dorian to ~

Key signature: E Dorian
Submitted on October 8th 2003 by fiel.

~ A duplication that survived for a reason ~ see comments, including the link to the ‘discussion’…

Re: The Dreary Plains Of Toil

The first three bars of this tune are a totall recall (unconscious recollection or total fluke?) of the reel ‘I wish you would mary me now’
(Preston, 1768) which appears in the key of A and E at;
(Check the third submission for the 1768 version)
The E version makes it easier to compare to the duplicate /2042 above…

Re: The Dreary Plains Of Toil

… (a.k.a. Morpeth lasses)