From Skyedance, track 2.
I have only heard this tune called the lochaber dance, but I think I have heard it in dminor rather than eminor… It is on Fred Morrison’s CD Up South
Gan Ainm (Low Country Dance)
This tune can be found in Patrick MacDonald’s ‘Collection of Highland Vocal Airs, Country Dances or Reels of the North Highlands and Western Isles’ (1784). There it is untitled, but there is an annotation which reads "Played in the low Country", which I imagine will either mean the Netherlands or indeed the Lowlands of Scotland. Because of this, it’s often known as "The Low Country Dance". I’ve heard it mostly played in the key of D, and it is within the range of the bagpipe, suggesting a possible origin.
I think I have it played by the group Smalltalk, with Iain MacInnes on small pipes, Stuart Morison on fiddle and Billy Ross on vocals and guitar. Shortly afterwards they added Billy Jackson and became the revived Ossian, recording one album under that name before Billy’s move to the states closed that chapter.
Low Country Dance
I said "I’ve heard it mostly played in the key of D…"
Scratch that, I meant Bm.
possible to find it in Up south, from Fred Morisson, and Grand concert of scottish piping, that I’ve submitted
Lochaber/Low Country Dance
I have always liked this tune on Up South and never even realised I had the music all along. I have that very page from the Patrick MacDonald collection and always wondered about that line "Played in the Low Country". Never tried to learn the tune - I think I will now. Cheers for the info Nigel!
Lochaber Dance on smallpipes by Iain MacInnes
Here is a version of the tune for Scottish smallpipes
This is pretty much how Fred Morrison plays it on Border pipes on Up South. He does a few different things with it on Uilleann pipes before that.
I suspect that the arranger who gave it the name Lochaber Dance did a bit of musical tidying up, which it needed in my opinion. (This may have been Colin Cameron, to whom it is attributed in Ross’s Collection Of Pipe Music, William Ross, 1885, but I’ve not got the book.)
T: Lochaber Dance ~ or ~ Low Country Dance
R: slip jig
N: Str 2 bars 1, 3, 5, low A substituted for grip
d2B d2e c2e|B2f f2e fBB|d2B d2e c2e|A2e c2e ecA:|]
[|d2a aAa f2e|d2e f2e fBB|d2a aAa f2e|A2e c2e ecA|
d2a aAa f2e|d2e f2e fBB|agf gfe fed|cde A2e ecA|]
[|d2e f2e d2f|B2f d2e fBB|d2e f2e d2e|A2e c2e ecA|
d2e f2e d2f|B2f d2e fBB|d2g fga c2B|A2e c2e ecA|]
[|fBB f2e d2f|B2f d2e fBB|fBB fed cde|A2e c2e ecA|
fBB f2e d2f|B2f d2e fBB|agf gfe fed|cde A2e ecA|]