An old tune which is also played as a march without the dotted rhythms, and often goes by the title of "Buttered Peas", especially in England. In English settings, the parts are usually (but not always) swapped round.
Over the border in Northumberland, there’s a great daggy march setting in G that everyone plays called "Border Fray". It’s essentially the same as the strathspey but played in a march rhythm, and transcribed either in 4/4 or (Scottish-style) 2/4 like a polka. It’s written in 4/4 here:
|:dc|B2d2 d2cB|c2e2 e2dc|B2d2 d2cB|c2A2 A2dc|
B2d2 d2cB|c2e2 e2dc|B2g2 A2dc|B2G2 G2:|
|:dc|B2d2 g3a|gfed g2dc|B2d2 g2fg|a2A2 A2dc|
B2d2 g3a|gfed g2dc|B2d2 A2dc|B2G2 G2:|
However, some people play the Peacock setting which is slightly different, and the parts come in the Scottish order:
S:John Peacock (c.1800)
|:c2|B2d2 d2ef|gfed g4|B2d2 edcB|c2A2 A2c2|
B2d2 d2ef|gfed g4|BcdB ABcA|B2G2 G2:|
|:c2|B2d2 edcB|c2e2 fedc|B2d2 edcB|c2A2 A2c2|
B2d2 edcB|c2e2 fedc|BcdB ABcA|B2G2 G2:|
I quite like the version that appears in William Vickers (1770) which works nicely if you speed it up and play it as a reel:
S:William Vickers (1770)
|:Bdg2 afgd|Bdg2 aAAc|Bdg2 aggd|BdAc BGGc:|
|:BddB ceec|BddB cAAc|BddB ceec|BdAc BGGc:|
There’s a very different Donegal version of this tune on Altan’s "Harvest Storm" https://thesession.org/tunes/1633.
I like the choice of name. I’m surprised it hasn’t found its way on site sooner, except for Altan’s variant. I’ve a number of variants and versions of this too. I’ll have to see if I can find one different enough. As well as being recorded in dusty old tomes, this was also given life as a standard Highland Fling amongst fiddlers all over the North/Ulster where I had the fortune to travel. The only county I can’t say anything about, that I’ve yet to have the pleasure of time with, is Down, except in song…
I know the Border Fray setting in G that you have posted, but have always known it as Buttered Peas. We often used to play it alongside tunes like Jamie Allen and Salmon Tails up the Water. Pretty daggy tunes but handy and very clear for ceilidhs and other dances. Also good with these tunes is Kevin Burke’s - a polka/march like tune in A. I’ll post it some time.
Woke up in the middle of the night singing "Walter Sammon’s Grandmother" to myself and wondered whether she might be related… https://thesession.org/tunes/1701
A reel version I started playing, based on ideas from Vickers and the Donegal setting:
|:Bdgb afgd|Bdgb aAAc|Bdgb afge|dBAc BGGc:|
|:BddB c2ec|BddB cAAc|BddB c2ec|BdAc BGGc:|
This is a great strathspey … I probably would’ve transcribed it in a different key for Irish instruments, but that’s just me.
As it stands, the G should be natural, not sharp. It’s an A-mixolydian tune, in its original context.
I suppose I ought to say that it’s G should be natural in MY OPINION. But, coming from the highland tradition (and transcribed as it is in GHB key), the G’s would all be natural.
“The Stumpie Highland Fling”
A Mixolydian is how Dow has transcribed it in ABC here and A Mixolydian is just two sharps (##), however he must have first had it in A Major as the sheet music shows three sharps (###)… It works well in either key. Here follows a direct transposition of Dow’s transcription, dropped down a step… As with the previous, it works in either G Major, one sharp (#), or G Mixolydian, no sharps (-)… The only addition I’ve given it is one of several possible second endings, which is usual for a highland fling…
|: B>d g2 g/f/e/d/ g2 | B>d g2 a*AA>c | B>d g2 g/f/e/d/ g2 | B>dA>c B*G G2 :|
|: B>dd>B c>ee>c | B>dd>B c*AA>c |1 B>dd>B c>ee>c | B>dA>c B*G G2 :|
2 B>dd>B c>ee>f | (3gfe d>c B*G G2 ||
The asterisk = ‘snap’, as the ‘less than’ sign is taken as an HTML tag in this area and would delete everything after it until the next ‘>’…
Just because it’s Scottish doesn’t automatically mean it’s a GHB tune. It could have been written for fiddle.
The presence of that top B in the 1st strain suggests that it’s not a GHB tune, in which case the G# is fine. I’m leaving it as I originally transcribed it.
You tell em kid, spit in your palms and put your dukes up…
“Pwt ar y Bys” ~ Welsh relations
Key signature: A , D, G Major
Submitted on November 8th 2006 by ceolachan.
I just learnt a slightly different version of this from a compilation cd of bothy ballads from Aberdeen. It’s a major version "diddled" (sic.) in D major. Very lovely version actually… But I like in A major too. I think I prefer it major than mix too.
An old tune with many branchings.
It’s a late addition to GHB repertoire, it has sharp 7 in the older settings for fiddle. The 6-part GHB ‘Highland Wedding’ march version is a direct adaptation of the 6-part Gow fiddle setting, described as a strathspey.
Thanks for clearing that up, Matt.
Buttered Peas appears in James Ralph’s Fashionable Lady (1730). It became so popular that it was transported to the Continent in the 18th century and it became known as, "Piselli al Burro" in Italy. It is known in Scotland as a strathspey and the title is, "Stumpie". The tune didn’t just travel to Italy, it even made it’s way over to Canada too.
We’ve added a walkthough of the tune here if anyone is interested?
There’s a song to this tune as well - "Hap An’ Row" . Used to be sung by both Tom Spiers and Alan Carr of Aberdeen. I don’t recall ever hearing anyone else singing it.
Gordeanna McCulloch sings a great version of it on The Complete Songs of Robert Burns, vol 2. It’s listed as ‘The Reel o’ Stumpie’ although the tempo is more that of a strathspey.
Here’s the version sung by Gordeanna McCulloch. I like the timing of high A in the first bar, it’s a little different to the other versions.
T:Reel o’ Stumpie, The
D:The Complete Songs of Robert Burns, vol 2
B<da2 g<f g2 | B<d g>b a<A A>c | B>d g>a g<f g2 | B<d A>d B<G G>d ||
B>c d>B c>d e>c | B>c d>B c<A A>c | B>c d>B c>d e>c |B<d A>d B<G G2 |]
The instrumental in the song is the same apart from bar 3 where the first snap is reversed, i.e.
|F<A d>e d<c d2 |. It works either way, depending on how you’re playing it.
hum, that should be | B<d g>a g<f g2 | for the 3rd bar - changed from D to G along the line.