Teribus polka

Also known as The Teribus March.

There are 8 recordings of this tune.

Teribus has been added to 1 tune set.

Teribus has been added to 48 tunebooks.

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One setting

X: 1
T: Teribus
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
A|dA d>e|fa fd|g>f ed|ce cA|
dA d>e|fa fd|g>f ea|fd d:|
|:g|a2 a>g|fa fd|g>f e>d|ce cA|
[1 a2 a>g|fa fd|g>f da|fd d:|
[2 dA d>e|fa fd|g>f ea|fd d||

Twelve comments


I came across this march (not polka) whilst I was up in the Isle of Lewis playing at Lewis and Harris Accordion and Fiddle Society session. It seems to be a common session tune, certainly up north.

Here’s some more info (from Fiddlers’ Companion)

TERIBUS. Scottish, March (2/4 time). Scotland, Border region. D Major. Standard tuning. AA’B. The title is thought to be a pre‑Christian invocation to the Viking gods Thor and Odin, states Neil (1991). The tune is particular to the Scottish Border town of Harwick, whose natives are known locally as “Teries.” Both references are dialect survivors from the burthen of an ancient song of the gleomann or scald, or the heathen Angle warrior, and related to the slogan “Tyribus ye Tyr, ye Odin” or “Tyr halb us, ye Tyr ye Odin” (Tyr keep us both Tyr and Odin). Christine Martin (2002) prints the tune along with “The Sweet Maid of Glendaruel” and “Corriechoilles Welcome to the Northern Meeting” as a set for the dance The Gay Gordons. Martin (Ceol na Fidhle), vol. 2, 1988; pg. 44. Martin (Traditional Scottish Fiddling), 2002; pg. 73. Neil (The Scots Fiddle), 1991; No. 23, pg. 33.


In ‘Scots Guards Standard Settings’ vol 1 (London 1954) this tune is annotated thus: “This tune is often played together with “Corriechoille’s Welcome to the Northern Meeting”.”

Teribus/Corriechoillie’s welcome

Nigel -thanks, as always, for some interesting and useful input.

‘Corriechoillie’s welcome…’ is another of the tunes on a recording I happened to submit today! Ties in with the notes in the posting above.


Not unlike Bobby Shaftoe.

The entry in Fiddlers Companion should read:
“This tune is particular to the Scottish Border town of Hawick”, pronounced “Hoick”, and not Harwick.
There is a popular Common Riding song by the same title (with a thoosand verses in its full version) but it is sung to a more dirgey variant of the tune.


Yo DonaldK

We should also mention that Teribus is pronounced Teeribus, and Teries are pronounced Teeries.

I think the ‘dirgey variant’ is actually a different tune of the same name - a mixolydian pipe tune in origin, I think. This one does resemble Bobby Shaftoe, which is another old pipe tune with the same structure, and this has been noticed before.

Re: Teribus

Composed by PM Willie Ross (1878-1966).

Re: Teribus

And is a much older tune (18th century?) than that played by GHB bands.

And I can’t find any evidence that Willie Ross composed the modern version (as in the Scots Guards). None of the sources on Pekaar give a composer of the tune.

Re: Teribus

So, the original Hawick tune goes back to at the least the 18th century. There is a relatively new tune in the pipe band repertoire that recalls to me “In and out the dusty bluebells”.
So why has it been given the name of the Hawick town tune?
Very mysteribus!

Re: Teribus

What strikes me is that the Hawick march tune sounds more old-fashioned than the GHB one. My suspicion (although I can’t prove it without some serious research) is that the Hawick tune was originally played by the toun piper on Border/Lowland pipes (i.e. bellows-blown). By the end of the 18th century most of the pipers in the Border towns were replaced by the fife and drum combination which was common in military music of the time, but in making the transition to the fife the tune became altered. Meanwhile, a version of it was taken up on the GHB, which resolved itself into D major, again changing some of the characteristics of the older tune.