Ruidhle Mo Nighean Donn reel

Also known as The Brown Haired Lass, The Brown Haired Maid, The Brown-haired Daughter, My Brown-haired Lass, Ridhle Ni Nighean Donn, Ruidhleadh Mo Nighean Donn.

There are 20 recordings of a tune by this name.

A tune by this name has been recorded together with My Kindly Sweetheart (a few times), The Cockerel In The Creel (a few times), The Ewe Wi’ The Crookit Horn (a few times), Grant’s Rant (a few times) and Munlochy Bridge (a few times).

Ruidhle Mo Nighean Donn has been added to 29 tunebooks.

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Four settings

X: 1
T: Ruidhle Mo Nighean Donn
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:d2 cd BAFA|BAFE DF A2|d2 cd BAFA|1EBBA B2c2:|2EBBA ~B3 B||
AD (3DDD AD F2|BAFE DF A2|1AD (3DDD AD F2|
EBBA ~B3 B:|2 d2 cd BAFA|EBBA B2c2||
X: 2
T: Ruidhle Mo Nighean Donn
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:g2 fg ed B2|BdBA GABd|g2 fg ed B2|BABd e2 e2:|
dG (3GGG dBAB|BdBA GABd|dG (3GGG dBAB|BABd e2e2|
dG (3GGG dBAB|BdBA GABd|g2 fg ed B2|BABd e2 e2||
X: 3
T: Ruidhle Mo Nighean Donn
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amix
|:a2fa edc2|cecB ABce|1 a2fa edc2|cBce f2f2:|
|2 eAAA ecBc|cBce f2f2|:eAAA ecBc|cecB ABce|
|1 eAAA ecBc|cBce f2f2:|2 a2fa edc2|cBce f2f2||
X: 4
T: Ruidhle Mo Nighean Donn
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
ef | g2fa ed B2 | dBAB GA B2 | g2fa ed B2 | BABd e2 :|]
eg | dG G2 dG B2 | dBAB GA B2 | dG G2 | dG B2 BABd eg |
dG G2 dG B2 | dBAB GA B2 | g2fa ed B2 | BABd e2 |]
# Added by Calum .

Thirteen comments

This melody really sounds familiar to me, but I don’t remember where I heard it. According to my poor knowledge of Gaelic, it means something like "my brown-haird girl." What does the first word mean?

AKA The Brown Haired Maid
Nice tune, but unfortunately incomplete… I know a 6-part version for the Highland pipes.

Just a folk tune, nothing to see…

I think Ridhe or ridhle is just reel, isn’t it?

This didn’t exist in more than two parts up until the early 20th century, AFAIK, when it was just one more gaelic pipe reel in G.

The six-parter in A is just Donald MacLeod showing off how many variations he can write, and I don’t think he did it any favours putting it in A. For a good pipe setting, see GS MacLennan’s…now *that* is a setting for pipes. Eight parts and not a cheesy variation amongst them.

Another good ‘variation’ is Allan MacDonald’s Tar the House.

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on iain morrisons recording…. in A, there is G natural…..so here there would be a C natural

Ridhe Mo Nigheen Donn

When played on Highland Pipes or Smallpipes the 7th is natural because you don’t have a sharp G. The correct version, which can be played on border pipes has the sharpened 7th.

Why would you put a sharpened 7th in it when it’s not meant to be there, that’s just silly…

It’s also a puirt-a-beul (mouth music) with only two parts and "Ruidhle mo Nighean Donn" literally translates as "my brown haired/eyed girl’s reel. Sin agad e! 🙂

Ruidhle Mo Nighean Donn, X:3

I transcribed this version in Amix after listening to several recordings of the song.

Re: Ruidhle Mo Nighean Donn

The title translates to: "Reel My Brown Haired Girl." 🙂

Ruidhle Mo Nighean Donn, X:4

This is what I play - I got it originally from the Vale of Atholl’s recording Live n Well I think but no promises as to accuracy! I have a suspicion it came to them via Gordon Duncan from the playing of the MacDonald brothers, but that’s just a guess.

Posted by .

Re: Ruidhle Mo Nighean Donn

Would that version not be listed with one sharp Calum as it is in G? I know it’s a pipe tune and there are no c’s as is usual with pipe tunes in G but for others it would be in G major.

Going back to greenbutton’s comment, "Why would you put a sharpened 7th in it when it’s not meant to be there, that’s just silly… ", all the usual versions of this tune have a sharpened 7th - which is why it is/it was more commonly played on the pipes in G. It’s the A pipe version that would be unusual to fiddlers etc with the flattened 7th.

Re: Ruidhle Mo Nighean Donn

Thanks Calum, that’s a cracking version of the tune!

Re: Ruidhle Mo Nighean Donn

Aye, quite right, bogman. Bad habit when writing out pipe tunes!

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