The Osprey polka

By Dougie MacLean

Also known as The Osprey In The Bay.

There are 2 recordings of this tune.

The Osprey has been added to 5 tune sets.

The Osprey has been added to 40 tunebooks.

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Two settings

X: 1
T: The Osprey
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:E>G|A2 A>B|A2 B>d|e2 e>f|e2 d>B|G2 G>F|
G2 G>A|c>B A>B|E2 E>G|A2 A>B|A2 B>d|
e>f g>e|a2 e>f|g2 e>d|B2 E>G|A4|A2:|
|:e>f|g2 f>e|a2 e>f|g2 f>e|a2 d>c|
B2 A>B|E2 E>G|B2 A>B|d2 e>f|g2 f>e|a2 e>f|
g2 f>e|a2 e>f|g2 e>d|B2 E>G|A4|A2:|
X: 2
T: The Osprey
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
A>^GAB A2 B/c/d|e>^def e2 =dB|G2 G>F G2 G/A/B|dBA>B E2 EG|
A2 AB A2 Bd|e>fge a3 b|aged B/c/e EG|A2 A>B A2:|
g2 fe ab/a/ ef|g2 fe a2 d>c|B2 AB EF/E/ EG|B2 A>B d2 d/e/f|
g2 g/f/e a2 e>f|ga/g/ fe a2 e>f|g2 e>d B/c/e EG|A2 AA/A/ A2:|

Eleven comments

“The Osprey”

This is familiar, but I can’ t quite place why or where I would have picked it up. I know this as a march and a slightly different B-part…

Does anyone else have more information to offer? ~ please? ~ ‘mikk’???

“The Osprey” by Dougie MacLean (evidently)

He plays it at 108 bpm, or between 105 - 110 bpm…

It is likely that it has reminding me of something else, but something very close to this melody… Now to see if I can remember exactly what… 😏


There are very-well protected ospreys at the Loch o’ the Lowes, very close to where Dougie lives. However, I happen to know that Dougie, while at school, used to work in a chip shop in Dunkeld which was called “The Osprey”. I prefer to think he named the tune after the former.

Posted by .

The tune has more of the glide and sweep of the bird than the deep fat frying of chips about it… 😉

I can’t seem to get away from playing it as a march. I’ll have to add that take on it here later, to help get it out of my system…

“The Osprey” ~ marchified

M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: march
K: G Major
|: EF/G/ |
A>^GAB A2 B/c/d | e>^def e2 =dB | G2 G>F G2 G/A/B | dBA>B E2 EG |
A2 AB A2 Bd | e>fge a3 b | aged B/c/e EG | A2 A>B A2 :|
|: B/c/d |
g2 fe ab/a/ ef | g2 fe a2 d>c | B2 AB EF/E/ EG | B2 A>B d2 d/e/f |
g2 g/f/e a2 e>f | ga/g/ fe a2 e>f | g2 e>d B/c/e EG | A2 AA/A/ A2 :|

Is this not “The Osprey in the Bay” by Adrian Ledingham?

No it’s not. You got confused because that was the title given in the RSAMD tune list for grade 1 but The Osprey in the Bay is a reel in G and not a slow air in Ador. Dolt.

The Osprey ~ Marchified again with Guitar Chords

Oh how I wish I had not Polka’d it all those years ago!!
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: march
E/G> |:“A5” A4 A/B> A4 B/d> | e4 e/f> e4 d/B> |“G” G4 G/F> G4 A/B> | B4 A/B> “Em”E4 E/G> |
“A5”A4 A/B> A4 B/d> | e2>f g/e> a4 e/f> |“G” g4 e/d> B4 E/G> |[1“F“ A8> E2/G> :|[2“F“ A8> e2/f> |
|:“A5”g4 f/e> a4 e/f> | g2>f f/e> a4 d/c> |“G” B4 A/B> E4 E/G> | B4 A/B> “Em”d4 e/f>|
“A5”g4 f/e> a4 e/f> | g2>f f/e> a4 e/f> |“G” g4 e/d> B4 E/G> |[1“F“ A8> e2/f>:|[2 “F” A8> E2/G>|

the Osprey -key?

I just came across this tune and now in the process of learning it. Could anyone explain why its posted as
Gmajor when everything about it shouts Adorian???

re: the Osprey -key?

Yes I can explain Christy. You are most likely right and it’s probably because I have just spent much time playing on my computer and not playing the tune enough! Also I need to swot up more on my modes, just of to do that right now before I pick my guitar up!
Enjoy playing The Osprey.