Doctor MacInnes’ Fancy reel

By Donald MacLeod

Also known as Doctor McInnes’ Fancy, Dr John McInnes’ Fancy, Dr MacInnes’ Fancy, Dr. MacInnes’ Fancy, Dr. McInnes’ Fancy.

There are 16 recordings of this tune.
This tune has been recorded together with

Doctor MacInnes’ Fancy has been added to 6 tune sets.

Doctor MacInnes’ Fancy has been added to 60 tunebooks.

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One setting

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Six comments

In memory of Tony Cuffe……….

This is a 4-part hornpipe by Pipe Major Donald McLeod, which was played and recorded by the late Tony Cuffe [RIP]. Tony used to play it with what was arguably Scotland’s first traditional “supergroup” , “Alba”, which included Mike Ward of the “Tannahill Weavers”, Sean O’Rourke of the “JSD Band” and highland piper Allan McLeod. Tony also recorded it solo, on guitar, on his 1st album, “When First I Came To Caledonia”, which is my favourite solo recording ever by any Scottish traditional musician.
I’ve posted it in the “Reels”, because Scottish bagpipe hornpipes tend to be played in a more rounded style , similar to Irish reels.
I don’t often post Scottish tunes here, but since today is the fifth year since we tragically lost Tony Cuffe, I’d like to post this in his memory. Tony always had a great ear for a good tune.
Please think of him when you play it.

Title of album

Hiya Kenny,knowing how pedantic you are about titles of tunes etc,and recalling how you scolded me over incorrectly returning FROM Camden Town once ,may I suggest that the Tony Cuffe album is actually called When first I WENT to Caledonia!! Happy Christmas Kenny!!

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I stand corrected

You’re quite correct, cos. I’ll post it in the “Recordings” section later today. And season’s greetings to yourself, and your family.

Dr. macInnes

Dr. John MacInnes, for whom this tune is named, was a highlandman from Glenelg who ran a mental hospital somewhere in England. He died in 1966. ‘Padubenay’ was his nickname, from a Turkish wrestler who visited Glasgow while he was a medical student there, a name he earned because of his argumentative and assertive personality. He was a great enthusiast of highland piping and composed several good tunes, including ‘Dr. Dorothy Main’ and ‘Dr. Allan MacDonald’, both in Donald macLeod’s Collection. He and the latter gentleman were great admirers of Donald Macleod, and on one occasion, at a Mod in Oban when they all three met, they retired to Dr. MacInnes’s hotel room after the bar had shut. There was only one glass in the room, so Dr. MacDonald, a very large man, went to search for more glasses in empty rooms. He encountered the porter who, on seeing the glasses, said ‘ I hope you’re not going to be singing and disturbing the guests.’
‘Och no’, said the Doctor, ‘we’re just going to have a quiet tune on the pipes.’ This tune was played, among others.


Another anecdote about this tune from the sleeve notes to Iain MacInnes’ CD “Tryst” :

“Donald [ MacLeod ] wrote the tune ”Dr. MacInnes’s Fancy“ for his friend Dr. John MacInnes, of Glenelg, a psychiatrist who spent much of his working life in England. In his youth, John had been a champion athlete and hammer-thrower, and throughout his life he remained a firm pibroch enthusiast and lover of the gaidhealtachd. ( I [ Iain MacInnes ] have a mental picture of a large man in a lab-coat and kilt , crooning the opening bars of ”Maol Donn“ as he strides the corridors of a Victorian institution.) There’s a story that Dr. John was once visited in hospital in Bristol by Willie Ross, then head of the Army School of Piping. Ross was surprised to find a number of John’s patients pursuing each other vigorously through the hospital grounds, wielding wooden stumps. ”Ach, don’t worry about that at all, Willie“, said John, seemingly unconcerned. It’s their national sport. they call it cricket.”

Re: Doctor MacInnes’ Fancy

《eG A2》; the opening notes to this tune, and a repeated motif in it, is a melodic formula heard in the central highlands by people who call the ewes or other beasts.
…in the central highland plateaus of Auvergne and Limousin in France that is! Don’t know about the Scottish Highlands. It would be interesting to know how many -or how often if at all- various communication “signals” were recycled in tunes.