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Irish reels of Scottish Origins

The Sandman 23 May 20 - 11:27 AM
gillymor 23 May 20 - 11:35 AM
GUEST,Jerry 23 May 20 - 12:24 PM
Jack Campin 23 May 20 - 12:37 PM
Vic Smith 23 May 20 - 01:09 PM
Jim Carroll 23 May 20 - 01:14 PM
The Sandman 23 May 20 - 02:27 PM
Jack Campin 23 May 20 - 03:25 PM
meself 23 May 20 - 06:11 PM
meself 23 May 20 - 06:15 PM
GUEST 24 May 20 - 03:38 AM
Gordon Jackson 24 May 20 - 04:31 AM
GUEST,Derrick 24 May 20 - 04:58 AM
Jack Campin 24 May 20 - 05:52 AM
The Sandman 24 May 20 - 06:36 AM
Jim Carroll 24 May 20 - 07:05 AM
Jim Carroll 24 May 20 - 07:05 AM
Jack Campin 24 May 20 - 08:05 AM
GUEST,Derrick 24 May 20 - 08:38 AM
GUEST,Derrick 24 May 20 - 09:02 AM
Jack Campin 24 May 20 - 10:27 AM
GUEST,RA 24 May 20 - 03:44 PM
Jack Campin 25 May 20 - 02:05 AM
Jim Carroll 25 May 20 - 04:14 AM
GUEST,RA 25 May 20 - 03:10 PM
Jack Campin 25 May 20 - 04:20 PM
GUEST,RA 25 May 20 - 04:53 PM
Jack Campin 25 May 20 - 07:03 PM
meself 25 May 20 - 08:00 PM
Jack Campin 26 May 20 - 08:20 AM
The Sandman 26 May 20 - 08:35 AM
GUEST,RA 26 May 20 - 08:49 AM
Thompson 29 May 20 - 08:01 AM
Jack Campin 29 May 20 - 10:53 AM
Mo the caller 30 May 20 - 04:09 PM
Jack Campin 30 May 20 - 04:58 PM
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Subject: Irish reels of Scottish Origins
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 May 20 - 11:27 AM

Two spring to mind immediately McLEODS REEL which was originally played with the turn first,and The Musical Priest, a Strathspey"The North Bridge of Edinburgh can people let me know a list of more,thanks


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Subject: RE: Irish reels of Scottish Origins
From: gillymor
Date: 23 May 20 - 11:35 AM

I remember reading somewhere, maybe on the Session, that Lady Anne Montgomery has Scottish roots.


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Subject: RE: Irish reels of Scottish Origins
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 23 May 20 - 12:24 PM

Devil Amongst the Tailors (Devil’s Dream)? Surely there must be loads of them?


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Subject: RE: Irish reels of Scottish Origins
From: Jack Campin
Date: 23 May 20 - 12:37 PM

There is a vast study of this stuff - Aloys Fleischmann's "Sources of Irish Traditional Music". Two volumes, very expensive when it was new and insanely expensive now. But really, really good. Maybe somebody will put it on the web one day.

I am pretty sure Deil Among the Tailors is American. The earliest Scottish source for it I've seen was a manuscript that called it "American Reel" (no other title).


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Subject: RE: Irish reels of Scottish Origins
From: Vic Smith
Date: 23 May 20 - 01:09 PM

Johnnie Cope


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Subject: RE: Irish reels of Scottish Origins
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 May 20 - 01:14 PM

A reel, rather than a reel, Junior Crehan's MIST COVERED MOUNTAIN has obvious connections to Scots waltz 'MIST COVERED MOUNTAIN ', though Junior always swore he'd never heard it
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Irish reels of Scottish Origins
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 May 20 - 02:27 PM

did not hardy mention devil amongst the tailors in one of his books quote..English novelist Thomas Hardy mentions the tune in Absent Mindedness in a Parish Choir, a passage that bears repeating:

    ...Twas a very dark afternoon, and by the end of the sermon all you could see of the inside of the church were the pa'son's two candles alongside of him in the pulpit, and his spaking face behind 'em. The sermon being ended at last, the pa'son gi'ed out the Evening Hymn. But no quire set about sounding up the tune, and the people began to turn their heads to learn the reason why, and then Levi Limpet, a boy who sat in the gallery, nudged Timothy and Nicholas, and said, "Begin! Begin!" "Hey? what?" says Nicholas, starting up; and the church being so dark and his head so muddled he thought he was at the party they had played at all the night before, and away he went, bow and fiddle, at "The Devil among the Tailors," the favourite jig of the neighborhood at that time. The rest of the band, being in the same state of mind and nothing doubting, followed their leader with all their strength, according to custom. They poured out that there tune till the lower bass notes of "The Devil among the Tailors" made the cobwebs in the roof shiver like ghosts; then Nicholas, seeing nobody moved, shouted out as he scraped (in his usual commanding way at dances when the folks didn't know the figures), "Top couples cross hands! And when I make the fiddle squeak at the end every man kiss his partner under the mistletoe!"

    ...Then the unfortunate church band came to their senses, and remembered where they were; and 'twas a sight to see Nicholas Puddingcome and Timothy Thomas and John Biles creep down the gallery stairs with their fiddles under arms, and poor Dan'l Hornhead with his serpent, and Robert Dowdle with his claionet, all looking as little as ninepins; and out they went. The pa'son might have forgi'ed 'em when he learned the truth o't, but the squire would not. That very week he sent for a barrel-organ that would play two-and-twenty new psalm-tunes, so exact and particular that, however sinful inclined you was, you could play nothing but psalm-tunes whatsomever. He had a really respectable man to turn the winch, as I said, and the old players played no more...

One of the oddest recreations (recordings?) of the tune is on the barrel organ from the polar expedition of Admiral Parry of 1819. In place of a ship's fiddler (common in those days), Parry introduced a mechanical barrel organ on board ship to provide entertainment and a vehicle to which the men could exercise (i.e. by dancing). "Devil Among the Tailors" was one of eight tunes on barrel no. 5. Perhaps the earliest non-mechanical sound recording is from 1906 by violinist Charles D'Alamaine, born in 1871 in England, who died in 1943. D'Alamaine immigrated to the United States in 1888, and by 1890 had established himself as "instructor on violin" in Evanston, Illinois; by 1910 he had removed to Yonkers, and in 1920 was a chiropractor in New York City (info. from Paul Gifford


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Subject: RE: Irish reels of Scottish Origins
From: Jack Campin
Date: 23 May 20 - 03:25 PM

Hardy's description is of about 1850? Odd that such an old tune should be the most fashionable one.


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Subject: RE: Irish reels of Scottish Origins
From: meself
Date: 23 May 20 - 06:11 PM

De'il Amang the Tailors is often attributed to one of the renowned 19 Century fiddle-composers - Peter Milne, if I'm not mistaken. Which I may be.


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Subject: RE: Irish reels of Scottish Origins
From: meself
Date: 23 May 20 - 06:15 PM

Okay, I just looked up the entry in Fiddler's Companion, which Dick Appears to have visited, and there's no mention of Milne, so I must have confused DAT with another tune.


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Subject: RE: Irish reels of Scottish Origins
From: GUEST
Date: 24 May 20 - 03:38 AM

Bonny Kate
The Graf Spee
The Humours Of Ballyconnell
Lord MacDonald
Rakish Paddy
Farewell To Ireland
The Tarbolton
Paddy Ryan's Dream
Lord Gordon's


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Subject: RE: Irish reels of Scottish Origins
From: Gordon Jackson
Date: 24 May 20 - 04:31 AM

Breandán Breathnach, in Folkmusic and Dances of Ireland, says that ‘A very strong case can be made for ascribing a Scots ancestry to our reels.’ Many Irish reels, he says, have known Sottish composers (some mentioned above): Bonnie Kate (Daniel Dow); Moneymusk (Daniel Dow); The Duke of Gordon’s Rant, known in Ireland as Lord Gordon’s Reel (William Marshall); The Perthshire Hunt, known as The Boyne Hunt in Ireland (Miss Stirling of Ardoch).

Breathnach adds that several reels have been ‘borrowed’ from Scotland, and have become ‘naturalised’ after their near 200-year ‘sojourn’ in Ireland, including Rakish Paddy, Colonel McBain, Greig’s Pipes, Lucy Campbell, The Ranting Widow and The Flogging Reel.

Fintan Vallely’s Companion to Irish Traditional Music states that ‘It is likely that the reel originated in France in the early 1500s as the haye. It was being played as ‘reill’ in Scotland in1590 and its modern form was brought to Ireland from there in the late 1700s.’

I’ll just add a couple more tunes: The Mason’s Apron and The Dogs Among the Bushes.


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Subject: RE: Irish reels of Scottish Origins
From: GUEST,Derrick
Date: 24 May 20 - 04:58 AM

To drift slightly and illustrate how tunes travel,take these three polkas.
      The Banks of Inverness,
      Salmon tails up the river,
      and Irvines polka.
All obviously variants of the same tune.
As they say you can't keep a good tune down.
Which country did it originate in?


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Subject: RE: Irish reels of Scottish Origins
From: Jack Campin
Date: 24 May 20 - 05:52 AM

Fleischmann link

$500 for a hard copy, e-book published 2016 but I can't find the link.


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Subject: RE: Irish reels of Scottish Origins
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 May 20 - 06:36 AM

guest derek my guess is ireland because it is the set tune to the siege of ennis dance, and known as the siege of ennis


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Subject: RE: Irish reels of Scottish Origins
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 May 20 - 07:05 AM

One of the most interesting Irish Scots links for me surrounds the beautiful air of the song, '? Cailín Deas Crúite na mBó' (Pretty Girl Milking Her Cow) which, according to Breandán Breathnach, was composed by the murdered secretary/lover of Mary Queen of Scots, David Rizzio
The claim has been disputed but Breathnach was far too formidable researcher to have made such a claim without evidence, in my opinion   
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Irish reels of Scottish Origins
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 May 20 - 07:05 AM

One of the most interesting Irish Scots links for me surrounds the beautiful air of the song, '? Cailín Deas Crúite na mBó' (Pretty Girl Milking Her Cow) which, according to Breandán Breathnach, was composed by the murdered secretary/lover of Mary Queen of Scots, David Rizzio
The claim has been disputed but Breathnach was far too formidable researcher to have made such a claim without evidence, in my opinion   
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Irish reels of Scottish Origins
From: Jack Campin
Date: 24 May 20 - 08:05 AM

Salmon Tails Up The Water first appears in a Scottish source in Lowe's collection about 1860. I thought it was Northumbrian, 1800-ish?

Being adopted for a dance tells you nothing about the age or origin of a tune.

But, please, look at Fleischmann if you seriously want an answer to these questions. He didn't always get it right but he did far more than everybody else put together.


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Subject: RE: Irish reels of Scottish Origins
From: GUEST,Derrick
Date: 24 May 20 - 08:38 AM

Interesting Dick,yet another name for the tune,looking at youtube some musicians do call the tune The Seige of Ennis,but dance bands seem to use a variety of tunes for the dance of the same name.
Perhaps that name became associated with tune because some band or musican used it for the existing dance and it stuck because they knew no other name.It reminds me of the saying God has a thousand names,one which is known only to the Camel


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Subject: RE: Irish reels of Scottish Origins
From: GUEST,Derrick
Date: 24 May 20 - 09:02 AM

Thanks for that Jack,I'd never heard Salmon Tails being possibly of Scottish origin. Scotland and Northumbria are next door to each other,the tune could have gone either way depending on where it was composed and has travelled to other places since.
Names as I said to Dick,if you get the tune without a name you make up your own.


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Subject: RE: Irish reels of Scottish Origins
From: Jack Campin
Date: 24 May 20 - 10:27 AM

I was ambiguous there. What I meant to say was that among the Scottish sources, Lowe's is the oldest I can find. But I don't think that's the origin of the tune - I don't happen to have any early Northumbrian books handy.

Since Kerr printed it a bit later in Merry Melodies book 2, it will have been widely known in Scotland.


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Subject: RE: Irish reels of Scottish Origins
From: GUEST,RA
Date: 24 May 20 - 03:44 PM

I'm no expert at all, but from what I understand Donegal might be the richest place in Ireland to look for tunes of Scottish origin, for historical/geographical reasons...


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Subject: RE: Irish reels of Scottish Origins
From: Jack Campin
Date: 25 May 20 - 02:05 AM

The historical reasons that matter are books. Scottish tunes circulated in print in Ireland from the 18th century as soon as they were published. So the cities will have got them first.

It's crazy to think you can ignore Fleischmann's work and find any new connections on your own.


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Subject: RE: Irish reels of Scottish Origins
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 May 20 - 04:14 AM

There has been a cultural connection between Scotland and Ireland, rural and urban, at least since the time of Elizabeth the First's Plantations, and before that, since Robert the Bruce's brother went in with his army
Jim


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Subject: RE: Irish reels of Scottish Origins
From: GUEST,RA
Date: 25 May 20 - 03:10 PM

Thanks Jack for sharing your knowledge. I suppose as well as books, the history of migration from Scotland to Ireland must've played a big part too, no? Am I right or a meringue?


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Subject: RE: Irish reels of Scottish Origins
From: Jack Campin
Date: 25 May 20 - 04:20 PM

I doubt migration had anything to do with it - Irish immigrants to Scotland brought their songs with them, tunes were a different matter with local musicians sourcing their repertoire from outside print sources.

Folkies often like to think of tunes being transmitted like measles, individuals passing them on in individual interactions. But more recently epidemiologists have recognized a different kind of transmission, the "core model", where a small subgroup of the population does pass-the-parcel with microbes and a larger peripheral group sometimes catches them in an encounter with somebody from the core.

The disease this model was created for, and where it has made a big difference to control, is gonorrhoea. Dance tunes are music's equivalent of the clap and its pros are acting like, um, pros.


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Subject: RE: Irish reels of Scottish Origins
From: GUEST,RA
Date: 25 May 20 - 04:53 PM

Thanks Jack. Would you say that self-isolation might be an appropriate measure to stop the global spread of Irish music?


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Subject: RE: Irish reels of Scottish Origins
From: Jack Campin
Date: 25 May 20 - 07:03 PM

Why print mattered. This is long.

Tunes that we would still recognize as reels began to appear in Scotland and England a bit before 1700. They progressively took the place of jigs, outnumbering them in the Scottish repertoire by the late 18th century. There are very few documented Irish ones from before 1800, and with so many Scottish ones available, it made sense for an Irish dancing master to use those rather than try to reshape Irish jigs.

Example: "Mrs MacLeod of Raasay". This has a definite point of origin around 1780. Mrs MacLeod was a celebrity (Johnson and Boswell made a point of meeting her). But the tune wasn't exactly new. It's the jig "The Campbells are Coming" put into 2/2. And that jig tune is at least 100 years older - but not as a jig: its earliest known form is as the tune for a Gaelic satirical song from the Macdonalds of the Western Isles, "I was at a wedding in Inveraray" or "How can I be sad on my wedding day", slagging off the Campbells of Argyll (and used in a spectacular musical protest at the Treaty of Union in 1707, when the bellringer of Edinburgh played it on the carillon). The Irish version of the tune now played is a bit different from the Scottish reel of the 18th century - parts reversed, and they killed off Mrs MacLeod's husband - but the changes are nowhere near as deep as those that had already taken place in oral tradition in Scotland before Mrs MacLeod got it. (The Irish usually play it in G rather than the original A, but versions in G were printed in Scotland in the early 1800s: the only real Irish innovation was reversing the part order).

This kind of story is common to a lot of dance tunes - origin in a song with an utterly undanceable rhythm that gets regularized over decades or centuries. It's quite likely that the original song form of this one was known in Ireland too - but it didn't even evolve into a jig there, let alone into the reel. The reel only got to be as widely familiar as it did because the McLeods adopted it as a kind of anthem and tune publishers followed. And the Irish followed them, a lot later.

The tune was first printed by the Gows in 1788, but their book probably had little direct influence - it was posh and expensive, sponsored by wealthy amateurs, and you'd have had to be a fairly successful pro to want it: "Mrs McLeod" was copied into a lot of manuscripts by fiddlers with short arms. It may have appeared in single-sheet publications - the Gows did a lot of that after 1800, and Breathnach thinks there might have been similar sheets of Scottish tunes published in Dublin, but there's nothing I can identify for this one. (Dance sheets are very poorly indexed by libraries). As far as I can see the first mass market publication of the tune in a book was by Cameron in the 1840s, and his books were affordable by anyone who had a fiddle (as were Middleton's a bit later, and Kerr's in the g1880s). The first Irish book publication (as "Miss McLeod") was by Levey in 1858 - Cameron would have been the handiest source, but maybe not directly (or Levey would have got the name right).

America probably got that tune from both Irish and Scottish sources, but the Irish version got into print there first, in Ryan's Mammoth Collection in 1882.

BTW there is a description of Scottish reels getting into Irish tradition in Breathnach's "Folk Music and Dances of Ireland", but it's not much more than a list, with no hint of process, and while his description of the Irish use of the tunes seems pretty good given how brief he has to be, Scotland is "here be dragons" territory - he doesn't track anything back to its origins within Scotland, and is so uninterested as to throw in Oswald's bullshit about Rizzio as if it was historical data. The main significance of his account was probably that it exasperated Fleischmann into doing vastly better.


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Subject: RE: Irish reels of Scottish Origins
From: meself
Date: 25 May 20 - 08:00 PM

Thanks, Jack. Very interesting indeed!


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Subject: RE: Irish reels of Scottish Origins
From: Jack Campin
Date: 26 May 20 - 08:20 AM

Would you say that self-isolation might be an appropriate measure to stop the global spread of Irish music?

The implication of the core model was to use contact tracing (to reduce the size of the core and restrict their infective contacts with the periphery): "the tests show it's definitely Cooley's, we need to know who you got it from and who you might have passed it on to..."

Most of the reels the Irish got from the Scots travelled in the years around 1800. Those that were borrowed later had more varied fates. "The Musical Priest" is quite a bit changed from Marshall's strathspey - and while Marshall changed it a bit himself, he didn't think of making it into a reel; he first published it as "Miss Watson" in B minor, then "Belhelvie House" in C minor, then "The North Bridge of Edinburgh", again in B minor. (The C minor one works great on an F alto recorder like a lot of Marshall's flat-key tunes, and that's what I play it on).

It's sometimes said that Donegal "Highlands" are a version of the strathspey, but they aren't interchangeable by a long shot. I can't recall coming across one that used an adaptation of an actual Scottish strathspey, but they're not something I've spent much time on.

Jigs also had a less predictable Irish career - Ireland had been Europe's biggest jig producer since 1600, so if they imported one, there had to be something special about it. Or they did something special with it, like the great improvement they made to the dogged and charmless "The Rock and the Wee Pickle Tow", making it into "Out on the Ocean". That was a real flash of imagination.


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Subject: RE: Irish reels of Scottish Origins
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 May 20 - 08:35 AM

jack. thanks the campbells are coming is very similiar to an irish jig the burnt or withered old man aka An Sean Duine Dóite


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Subject: RE: Irish reels of Scottish Origins
From: GUEST,RA
Date: 26 May 20 - 08:49 AM

Thanks Jack, for sharing your knowledge. Very interesting stuff.


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Subject: RE: Irish reels of Scottish Origins
From: Thompson
Date: 29 May 20 - 08:01 AM

Years ago I heard a very sour Pole or Hungarian on a bus in Dublin mocking Irish music, basically saying "They claim all these dance tunes, but they're all ours!" My impression is that people travel for work and after work everyone takes out the fiddles and pips and whistles and starts playing and dancing and going "Oooh, that's a nice tune, I'll 'ave that", and tunes, promiscuous creatures that they are, travel happily home with their new boy- or girlfriend and spread there.

The interpretation may be different - Scottish music has, for me, a pleasantly lemony flavour different from Irish music; klezmer tunes have their own wildness; French country music has an almost Hungarian sound - but the same tunes are flying around all over the place.


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Subject: RE: Irish reels of Scottish Origins
From: Jack Campin
Date: 29 May 20 - 10:53 AM

No that's not how tune transmission happens, as I went to some lengths to explain. It was mostly due to print publication and travelling professionals in the past, just as it's mostly due to commercially produced recordings now. Amateurs hardly feature.

I once played "Roslin Castle" in an Edinburgh pub session where there was a young Polish fiddler (busking her way round). She asked me "where on earth did you learn that Polish tune?" - how they got hold of it I never did find out. Perhaps a 19th century salon-music piano arrangement?


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Subject: RE: Irish reels of Scottish Origins
From: Mo the caller
Date: 30 May 20 - 04:09 PM

Jack, you said
"Mrs McLeod" was copied into a lot of manuscripts by fiddlers with short arms

Short arms??? Why?

I would guess that is sometimes how transmission happens. If you go to a regular session some tunes stick. I had a tune in my head that I didn't know the name of, no-one I asked knew what it was, I wasn't sure if I'd invented it. Then Whitby FW came round again and in the conservative club someone (quite likely the person I 'caught' it from) played it again and told me it was a Euro tune (Still forget the bane). Books and online sources are a big source too.


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Subject: RE: Irish reels of Scottish Origins
From: Jack Campin
Date: 30 May 20 - 04:58 PM

Arms not long enough to reach the bottoms of their pockets...

Most of the Gow books had a couple of pages of sponsor ackhowledgements at the start. Rather affluent people. And being printed by copperplate engraving in large formats, they were not cheap. Other tune publishers of the time like Riddell were even more upmarket. It took Aird to make tune anthologies affordable.


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