Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/462

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450

��SCOTISH MUSIC.

��Our this-tlesbloom'dsao fresh and fair, and bon-nie were our

��ses, But Whigs cam like a frost In June and

��wither'd

��* * D.C.

po-sies.

��This song, when well sung by a staunch Tory, never fails to excite his listeners, being capable of much dramatic expression. It attracted the keen eye of Burns, who though in politics an ardent Whig, was still more a poet. With a poet's comprehensive sympathies and power of appre- ciating, even when he did not wholly agree, he revised and added to the original verses, so pre-

��SCOTISH MUSIC.

sen ting to us the singular anomaly of the greatest of Tory songs being written in part by the greatest of Whig poets. The verses added by Burns are the two beginning ' Our ancient crown 's fa'n in the dust,' and 'Grim Vengeance lang has ta'en a nap.'

In contrast to the above air, 'Wae's me for Prince Charlie' is unquestionably one of the most touching of the so-called Jacobite airs. The words were written early in this century by William Glen, a Glasgow manufacturer, who died in 1824. The air appears in the Skene MS., under the name of ' Ladie Cassilis' Lilt,' and in Johnson's 'Museum' under that of 'Johnnie Faa,' or the ' Gypsie Laddie,' the melody being sung to the words of an old ballad beginning ' The Gypsies cam' to our Lord's yett.' Burns, in one of his letters, says that this is the only song that he could ever trace to the extensive county of Ayr.

Lady Cassilis' Lilt. From the Skene MS. (1635 ?)

��pi

��jj * * i

��s

��i f r

��Woe 's me for Prince Charlie. Modern version of the same.

���The dance music of Scotland may be said to consist solely of Keels and Strathspeys. Farquhar Graham mentions, in his introduction to the volume of the ' Dance Music of Scotland,' edited by Surenne, that in the oldest MS. collection of Scotish dance tunes, there are to be found Alle- mands, Branles, Courantes, Gaillards, Gavottes, and Voltes dances imported from France, al- though not all of French origin ; and along with these some Scotish dance tunes, and a few English ones. The foreign dances, however, were con- fined to the upper classes, the peasantry keeping to their own truly national dances, which have not only survived but have since become fashion- able in the highest circles, alike in England and Scotland. The manner of singing or playing on instruments the music of these reels [see REEL, vol. iii. pp. 91-93] and strathspeys is quaintly described by the Rev. Dr. Young in the dissertation prefixed to the collection of Highland airs published by the Rev. Patrick Macdonald in 1781. He says, the St. Kildeans, being great lovers of dancing, met together at the close of the fishing season, and sang and danced, accompanied by the Jew's harp or trump their only musical instrument. The reverend gentleman adds, 'One or two of these reels sound uncommonly wild even to those who can relish a rough Highland reel.' Some of the notes appear to be borrowed from the cries of the sea-fowl which visit the outer Hebrides at certain seasons of the year.

��At one time the music of these reels and strath- speys over all Scotland was played by the Bag- pipe [see BAGPIPE, vol. i. pp. 123-125], but at a later period Neil Gow and his sons did much in promoting the use of the violin in playing Scotish dance music ; while in our own day the piano in its turn has to a great extent superseded the violin. The Gow family, with the famous Neil at their head, all showed great originality in their tunes ; ' Caller herrin,' by his son Nathaniel, has deservedly taken its place among our vocal melodies, since Lady Nairne wrote her excellent words for it. But it is to be regretted that by changing the characteristic names of many of our old dance tunes, giving them the titles of the leaders of fashion of the day, they have created much un- certainty as to the age, and even the composition, of the tunes themselves. The tempi at winch reels and strathspeys should be taken is naturally to a great extent a matter of taste, or rather of feeling. Farquhar Graham has given the move- ment of the reel as ^ = 126 Maelzel, and that of the strathspey as <d = 94. These tempi are good to begin with, but the exciting nature of the Scotch dances tends to induce the players and dancers to accelerate the speed as the dancing proceeds ; a tendency graphically described by Burns in his 'Tarn o' Shanter.'

Two of the best specimens we know of this characteristic music are the following :

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