But which came first ? According to the “Fiddler’s Companion” notes on the tunes :-
“King of the Fairies” appears to be derived from a Jacobite tune called “Bonny Charlie,” appearing in many 18th century Scots and Northern English publications, such as Aird (1783)”.
The “King” would appear to be a variant of “Charlie” – not the other way round.
Bonny Charlie as a Strathspey
I learned this tune from the Niel Gow Collection, where it was listed as a Strathspey. I’ve heard it so played on a collection of Scottish tunes. If I can find the album, I’ll list it the recording section.
I’ve used it as the third piece of a set of Scottish tunes: Flowers of Edinburgh + Wind that Shakes the Barley + Bonnie Charlie and end with Flowers again. In my opinion, the change to the minor key in Bonnie Charlie is a bit of a suprise and a delightful little musical trick to pull on the listener after two bright major key tunes.
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