Duncan Gray reel

There are 9 recordings of this tune.

Duncan Gray has been added to 2 tune sets.

Duncan Gray has been added to 9 tunebooks.

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One setting

X: 1
T: Duncan Gray
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
"G"DG FG|"D7"ABF2|"G"G2"Am"A>c|1 "G"BGG2:|2 "G"BG Gd||
"G"Bd dc/B/|"C"ccc2|"Am"cB AG|"D7"F/G/A/F/ D2|

Two comments

Duncan Gray

I think this is a great tune, and I play it myself a lot on the tin whistle. I´ve transcribed it from the 1965 LP “I love Scotland” with Rob Gordon. This transcription is very close to Gordons own playing. He plays Duncan Gray in a session with two other tunes. (He calles the whole session General Stuart´s reel)

“General Stuart´s reel”
1. The Stuart´s rant
2. There was a lad born in Kyle
3. Duncan Gray
(4. The Stuart´s rant - da capo ad lib)

This is a scottish reel, which is generally not played as fast as the traditional irish reel.

Who was Duncan Gray?

Duncan Gray

Duncan Gray was a carter in Glasgow during the early 18th century, and is supposed to have composed the tune; the story goes that the tune was written down from his whistling by a Glasgow musician, and later appeared in Oswald’s Caledonian Pocket Companion.

In the 1790s Burns added words to the tune, and the song has been popular in Scotland for many a long year.

Duncan Gray cam’ here to woo,
Ha, ha, the wooing o’t,
On blythe Yule-night when we were fu’, [fu’ = drunk
Ha, ha, the wooing o’t,
Maggie coost her head fu’ heigh, [coost = cast
Look’d asklent and unco skeigh, [askance; unco = very; skeigh = proud, saucy
Gart poor Duncan stand abeigh; [gart = made; abeigh = at a shy distance
Ha, ha, the wooing o’t.