Mairi’s Wedding polka

Also known as Lewis Bridal Song, The Lewis Bridal Song, Mairie’s March, Mairie’s Wedding, Marie’s Wedding, Mhari’s Wedding.

There are 17 recordings of a tune by this name.

Mairi’s Wedding has been added to 19 tune sets.

Mairi's Wedding has been added to 351 tunebooks.

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Five settings

X: 1
T: Mairi's Wedding
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
f "A"|: "D"A>A AB | de f2 | "G"ed Bd | "A7"fe fa |
"D"A>A AB | de f2 | "G"ed BG | "A7"A2 A2 |
"D"a>a ab | ag f2 | "G"ed Bd | "A7"fe f<a |
"D"a>a ab | ag f2 | "G"ed BG |1 "A7"A2 A2 :|2 "A"AB/c/ d/e/f/g/ |]
"D"a>a ab | ag f2 | "G"ed Bd | "A7"fe f<a \
"D"A>A AB | de fg | "G"a>f "A7"fe | "D"d2 z2 |]
X: 2
T: Mairi's Wedding
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Ador
|: A>^G AB | de f2 | ed Bd | fe f<a |
A>A AB | de fg/f/ | ed BG | A2 A2 |
a>^g ab | ag f2 | ed Bd | fe f<a |
a>a ab | ag f2 | ed BG | A2 A2 :|
a>^g ab | ag f2 | ed Bd | fe f<a |
A>F AB | de fg/f/ | e>d B/A/G | A2- A2 |]
X: 3
T: Mairi's Wedding
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Ador
A>A AB | de f2 | ed Bd | fe f2 |
A>A AB | de f2 | ed BG | A2 A2 ||
a>a ab | ag f2 | ed Bd | fe f<a |
a>a ab | ag f2 | ed BG | A2 A2 |]
X: 4
T: Mairi's Wedding
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Ddor
G/E/ |D>D DE | GA B2 | AG EG | BA B2 |
D>D DE | GA B2 | AG E[CG] | D2 D ||
B/c/ |d>d de | dc B2 | AG EG | BA B<d |
d>d de | dc B2 | AG E[CG] | D2- D |]
X: 5
T: Mairi's Wedding
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|: D>D DE | GA B2 | AG EG | BA B<d |
D>D DE | GA B2 | AG EC | D2 D2 :|
|: d>d de | dc B2 | AG EG | BA B<d |
d>d de | dc B2 | AG EC | D2 D2 :|

Twenty-two comments

Words to “Mairi’s Wedding”

"Mairi’s Wedding" is a Scottish song I’ve heard in a number of places. Van Morrison sang it on the album he did with the Chieftains.

Chorus (A part):
Step we gaily on we go
Heel for heel and toe for toe
Arm in arm and row on row
All for Mairi’s wedding.

Verse (B part):
Over hillways up and down
Myrtle green and bracken brown
Past the shieling through the town
All for sake of Mairi.


Red her cheeks as rowans are
Bright her eye as any star
Fairest of them all by far
Is my darlin’ Mairi.


Plenty herring, plenty meal
Plenty peat to fill her creel
Plenty bonny bairns as weel
That’s our toast for Mairi.


Posted by .

There’s also a specific Scottish Country dance for this tune and song.


Mairi’s wedding

You’d get some pretty strange looks if you started playing this in a session anywhere in Scotland. This particular song is more associated with the "tartan" end of Scottish tourism, rather than traditional music. It’s one of the songs which was hammered into school-kids at school music lessons , thereby putting them off traditional Scottish music for life. Billy Connolly has a great sketch about this on a live double LP he recorded in the late 70s/early 80s, before he became famous - a lot of us could identify with that story only too well!
Having said that, I would have to admit it could work well as a polka, but please, forget about the words.

Posted by .

More of a March than a Polka, I think…

Though hopelessly over-played, it’s still a nice tune…

Good recording

I have yet to find a good recording of this tune. It’s usually played in a horrible american fashion: everything rolled together with no swing :(

Posted by .

The Corries

Slightly reluctant to contribute to this for the reasons stated above, but if it is a song you like , then the best version I could recommend would be by "The Corries". I’m sure it’s on several of their recordings - try "Foot Stompin" website, or do a "Google" search for "Corries".

Posted by .

Mind you……..

Good enough for Noel Hill………..

Posted by .

Mairi’s Wedding

Having heard Mari’s Wedding in a session set, one follow-on tune I know, but can’t find the title?

Would appreciate any members suggested follow-on tune to this Polka.

Thanks, john T

“Mairi’s Wedding” ~ Wikipedia & a few YouTubes too’s_Wedding

The Irish have ago ~

Van Morrison - "Marie’s Wedding" - live

The Chieftains w/ Van - "Marie’s Wedding"

The Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem - "Marie’s Wedding"

Cape Breton’s Rankins ~

The Rankin Family_Mairi’s wedding

Scotland ~

Jimmy Shand - "Mairi’s Wedding"

Northern Ireland ~

"Mairi’s Wedding"

Danced at Portadown Summer Party, County Armagh, 20th May, 2009

Mairi’s Wedding + follow on tune?

Thank you everyone for your response. One or two of the first tunes suggested are very similar to the tune I play, but thanks for the great tunes you’ve suggested.
I remember the band that played the version I’m looking for, from the around the seventies named
" The Orwell String Band " from my neck of the woods in Suffolk UK.
Tom Montgomery was the Elder Irish Fiddler, and one of the younger was Pete Croft the Melodeon Player.
A great session dance band. If anyone remembers them please let me know.
Thanks, John T

I’ve always really liked this tune and think it is probably getting a bit of an unfair press in some of the comments, although no one hammered it in to me at school which probably helps. Anyway sticking with a Scottish theme I’ve often rolled into anyone of these from a stint with Mairi (Dr Dow’s version)
All good for a bit of the old gay Gordon’s or some such hoofing.

“Lewis Bridal Song” / “Marie’s Wedding” ~ The Corries - - - Kenny recommends

"~ if it is a song you like , then the best version I could recommend would be by "The Corries"."
# Posted by Kenny - September 6th, 2005

Marie’s Wedding

This a fantastic Scottish Country dance, not as popular as it once was. Even danced it at my wedding in my wedding gear, very hot work with on an extremely hot July day.

Mairi’s Wedding, X:5

Setting as played at the Golden Guinea pub session, Bristol, UK.

Re: Mairi’s Wedding

John T was asking about The Orwell String Band. I formed the band with John Chandler, Pete Croft and Sean Halpenny and gave the band its name. Tom Montgomery joined later - he taught me to play the fiddle. The follow on tune that John mentions may have been The Black Bear which I recall that we played.

Re: Mairi’s Wedding

An arrangement for fiddle ensemble (2 fiddle lines, cello, and chords) is available in Weaver MacFarlane’s Choon Book, a free download from

Audio file of this arrangement is available on Soundcloud (just search for Weaver MacFarlane).

Re: Mairi’s Wedding

The last one isn’t Gmaj, it’s Ddor or Dmix

Posted by .

Re: Mairi’s Wedding

Tisn’t - G maj ‘tis! Just because it finishes on a D doesn’t make it D anything! It’s what’s called a suspension! I love ‘em! Can’t bear being forced back to finish on the keynote. Suspensions rule, Ok! Some of the tunes used for Burns’ songs even finish on the second note of the scale: live with it.
When played as a dance tune it is often played AABB, wheras the song goes ABAB, finishing with a further chorus (A tune).