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Latest update: 4th Feb 2018

Nigel Gatherer's Musical Journeys

The musical to-ing and fro-ing between Scotland and Ireland is well known. Many Scots-origin tunes still grace the Irish repertoire, particularly reels which, in the words of Caoimhin MacAoidh "pervaded the all of Ireland in the [19th] century" [1].

When it comes to the U.S.A. it's common to hear someone in the UK saying "the old-time tunes all come from Scotland (or Ireland)." In actual fact this is somewhat overstated. The Scottish influence on the American old-time tradition is accepted, but the number of tunes which can be traced back to a definite Scottish original is not as large as some would imagine.

I have always been fascinated by how tunes travel, and how the same tune can be palyed in different ways in different cultures. For this project I have put together a list of tunes which have distinct versions in Scotland, Ireland and the United States. It is the result of years of noting tunes I've heard or found here, there and everywhere. It is, of course, a long-term project which, hopefully, will expand over time. Any comments or contributions welcome (email me).

Nigel Gatherer

[1] = Between the Jigs and the Reels by Caoimhin MacAoaidh (Co Leitrim 1994)


The Tunes

1. The Fairy Dance (The Fairy Dance/The Fairy Reel/Old Molly Hare/Grandma Blair)
2. Mrs MacLeod (Mrs MacLeod of Raasay/Miss McCloud's Reel/Muskrat Rag/Uncle Joe)
3. The Miller of Drone (The Miller of Drone/The Miller of Drone/Grey Eagle)
4. Monymusk (Monymusk/Monymusk/Moneymusk)
5. Soldier's Joy (Soldier's Joy/Soldier's Joy/Soldier's Joy)
6. Braes of Auchtertyre (Braes of Auchtertyre/The Belles of Tipperary/Billy in the Lowground)
7. The Mason's Apron (The Mason's Apron/The Mason's Apron/Wake Up Susan)
8. Deil Amang the Tailors (Deil Amang the Tailors/          /Devil's Dream)
9. Guilderoy (Guilderoy/The Red Haired Boy/Red Haired Boy)
10. Lord MacDonald (Lord MacDonald/Lord McDonald/Britches Full of Stitches/Leather Britches)
11. The Old Reel (The Old Reel/The Bunch of Keys/Paddy On the Turnpike)
12. My Love She's But a Lassie Yet (My Love She's But a Lassie Yet/Miss FarquharsonÕs Reel/Tripping On the Mountain/Chinky Pin)
13. Jackie Tar (Jackie Tar/Cuckoo's Nest/Cuckoo's Nest)
14. Push About the Jorum ()
15. Annie Laurie (Annie Laurie/Scartaglen Polka/Annie Laurie Waltz)
16. Lord MacDonald (Marquis of Huntly's Farewell/Keeper Hill/George Booker/Camp Chase)
17. Flowers of Edinburgh
18. Jenny Nettles
19. Bide Ye Yet (Bide Ye Yet/A MArch Tune/Lost Indian)

Nigel Gatherer, Crieff, Perthshire | nigelgatherer@mac.com