The Laird O’ Thrums strathspey

By James Scott Skinner

Also known as Frank Cassidy’s, Frank Cassidy’s Highland Fling, Highlands, Laird O’Thrums, The Laird O’Thrums, Laird Of Thrums, The Laird Of Thrums.

There are 26 recordings of this tune.
This tune has been recorded together with

The Laird O’ Thrums has been added to 2 tune sets.

The Laird O’ Thrums has been added to 21 tunebooks.

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One setting

X: 1
T: The Laird O' Thrums
R: strathspey
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
(3agf (3efg a2 ed|c<e AB c<B Bg|(3agf (3efg a2 ec|
d<f Bd c<A Ag|(3agf (3efg a2 ed|c<e AB c<B Bg|
(3agf (3gfe (3fed (3edc|(3def (3Bcd c<A ag||
f2 cf Af F2|fg (3agf (3c'fg (3agf|e2 Be Ge E2|
ef (3gfe (3bef (3gfe|a2 ea ca Ag|(3afa (3geg (3fdf ec|
(3def (3Bcd (3cde (3ABc|(3Bcd (3efg a<A A2||

Fifteen comments

Third in the set

This is the third tune in the set of highlands I ‘inadvertently’ learnt from the Oisin McAuley CD ‘Far From the Hills of Donegal’. The previous two, which I’ve posted are listed here as John Doherty’s Highland and Neil Gow’s Wife (though I gather there is some disagreement over the name of that one).

Great tune - very ‘fiddle-istic’ as it were.

The Laird o’ Thrums (strathspey)

That’s the original title of this Scott Skinner tune.

Oh dear - I would love to hear the album. It sounds like a cracker but Oisin seems to be really rotten at finding the names to tunes.

Maybe we could blame it all on psychadelics, or the dizzying swirls of paisley prints?

Sorry, I actually have been amassing something constructive to add here, since days ago. Honest, and it will follow, at least ‘something’… 😎 I have been being ‘distracted’…

Names …

I don’t care if he *is* rotten at finding the names - he’s a phenomenal fiddler and, I have it on good authority, a lovely man.

Hey, touchy, touchy, most of us have a problem with names, I know I do. I sometimes forget my own and know your’s better that others Ben.

Hey, go on, tell us, slip us a name or a quote ~ what ‘authority’? 😉

‘’yours’ ~ see, spelling and other screw-ups… Sheesh! 😏

Personally I am rotten with tune names unless I have learned them on the whistle or are played ALL the time. They tend to become “that one in D” or “that one in G” or “that one that goes ‘la de da de diddly la de dee’” (which is a cracker by the way 🙂 )

I am sure he is a lovely man, although that has little bearing on whether his CD is good or not! Names do not really matter unless you are bringing out a CD when all of a sudden the correct names are crucial. Mr Trad. will not mind if you incorrectly name a composition of his too much but I imagine Messrs McGoldrick, Shaw and McCusker or Ms Shannon would be most p*ssed off at potentially missing out on the PRS and the recognition! Whilst I am happy for the name of “Cassidy” to be getting extra coverage it does not change the fact that it is not the correct name.

I clicked on this tune in the first place because it was the name of my Grandfather and I wondered if it was the tune my uncle (a Piano Accordian player) wrote for him. It is not.

Bothering to do a little research, or just asking someone to help with a name, is no great discomfort…at least not for most… You’d think for your big release, like a commercial CD, someone would want to get it right?! 😏

“Can you hum me a few bars?”

I guess That puts me with Alarm… I had a friend that when faced with putting out his CD had a whole slew of Gan Ainms, but they were honest Gan Ainms. Nobody had a clue, and that includes the folks producing the record, who would definitely fall into being ‘in the know’, and not the Folklore people at University College Dublin, just so you know a little effort was involved in the ‘beforehand’. They weren’t, at the time, in any printed collections either. Now, in some areas and times this was not uncommon. The folks producing it weren’t wanting an album full of gan ainms, which I think we can all sympathize with. So, they asked my friend to just go ahead and give them some names, and he did. Now those names are in the flow, they are here on site too. I do remember that the biggest frustration for this poor musician, cornered as he was to give out names, was when he was out and folks started requesting he play those tunes he had no names for. The problem was, while he had no name for them, these folks, under the influence of his album, did have names to request…

I think there is some reason to wonder when it isn’t just a case of ‘gan ainm’ but an obviously wrong name or made up name when a well known one already existed in currency…

Like Alarm says, we all make mistakes, I do too often, to the point of frustration, but with a CD ~ if I didn’t know I’d find someone I trusted to find out, and I might even seek a second opinion, and would definitely chase up the name to see what notes were associated with it.

Whew!? That wasn’t what I’d been planning to add. It will follow…

“The Laird O’ Thrums” ~ as first published ~ J. Scott Skinner

The Monekie Series No.3 - containing -
Laird O’Thrums Strathspey / The Gay Gordons Pipe March / The Zeppelin Humourous Hornpipe
Dedicated to Alexander McPherson Esq ~ Kirriemuir
New Schottische or Strathspey ~ !!! 😉

X: 1134
T: The Laird o’ Thrums
C: J. Scott Skinner
M: 4/4
R: Schottische / Strathspey
K: A Major
|: g |
(3agf (3.e.f.g a2 e>d | c<eA>a (cB) (B>g) |
[1 (3agf .e.f.g a2 e>d | d>fB>e {cd}c>AA>g :|
[2 (3.a.g.f (3.g.f.e (3.f.e.^d e>c | d<fB>e ({cd}cA)A ||
c |
f2 c>f A>fc>f | (3cfg (3.a.g.f (3[cc’]fg (3.a.g.f |
{^d}e2 B>e G>eB>e | (3Bef (3.g.f.e (3.b.e.f (3.g.f.e |
a2 e>a c>eA>g | (3agf (3gfe (3fe^d (3e=dc |
(3def (3Bcd (3cde (3ABc | (3 def (3efg ({g}a2 a) |]

“The Laird O’ Thrums” by J. Scott Skinner

The Fiddler’s Companion ~ Andrew Kuntz

LAIRD OF THRUMS. Scottish, Strathspey. A Major. Standard. AB. Composed by J. Scott Skinner (1843-1927) and dedicated to Alex MacPherson of Kirriemuir; the title was Skinner’s nickname for his friend, and Thrums was the old name for Kirriemuir. Hunter (The Fiddle Music of Scotland), 1988; No. 131. Martin (Ceol na Fidhle), vol. 4, 1991; pg. 18. Philo 2001, “Jean Carignan.” Topic 12T280, J. Scott Skinner “The Starthspey King.” Smithsonian Folkways Records, SFW CD 40507, The Beaton Family of Mabou – “Cape Breton Fiddle and Piano Music” (2004).

Plus another transcription…

Recording: “Dermot Byrne”

Track 4: highlands ~ #1

2.) “Jimmy Lyons” / “The Miller O’ Hirn”
~ highland fling / strathspey
Key signature: Amajor
Submitted on June 30th 2001 by martin t.

3.) “The Brown-Sailed Boat” / “Peter Baillie”
~ highland fling / strathspey
Key signature: E Dorian
Submitted on April 15th 2004 by jdave.

Discussion: Highlands…
# Posted on May 28th 2007 by dinn2

“…Thrums was the old name for Kirriemuir.”

More poorly researched info from Mr Kuntz, unfortunately. The first written reference to the town is in 1201, and it was spelled “Kerimor”. Apparently there have been over 30 different spellings since then. “Thrums” stems from the town’s later development as a centre for handloom weaving (“thrum” is the leftover warp thread in a loom after the “cloot” is cut from it), and it is not entirely clear whether J M Barrie coined the name , or whether it was a local nickname that he adopted for his novels (esp. “A Window in Thrums”). The former seems to be the generally held view.

Alex, or Sandy Macpherson was a local businessman (it seems he let property), who died in 1910, and the story is that Skinner would write to him as “The Laird o’ Thrums at James Street”.

This tune is so well known under its original title that it would be silly to list it under “Frank Cassidy’s”.