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Monymusk - What does this mean?

13 Aug 01 - 05:32 PM (#527044)
Subject: Monymusk
From: GUEST,DonMeixner

Monymusk, Moneymusk, Monnymusk? What does this mean? I find it in Jock O'Braidesley by The Corries and as a dance tuneas well. Is it a place or a time or a season or a thing?


13 Aug 01 - 05:45 PM (#527056)
Subject: RE: Monymusk
From: Sorcha

I have no clue. It never occured to me to ask. I have usually seen it as Money Musk, an old Scottish reel....Google and Jeeves weren't much help; they just sent me to the tune.

13 Aug 01 - 06:05 PM (#527076)
Subject: RE: Monymusk
From: sheila

Monimusk is a place in the northern part of Scotland - there was a monastery there, founded by Malcolm Canmore.

13 Aug 01 - 06:05 PM (#527077)
Subject: RE: Monymusk
From: Micca

Its a place, I am informed, in Aberdeenshire...

13 Aug 01 - 06:06 PM (#527079)
Subject: RE: Monymusk
From: GUEST,Don Meixner

Same here Sorcha,

The line is: "His Body lies in monymusk his hunting days are done are done, his hunting days are done."


13 Aug 01 - 06:13 PM (#527088)
Subject: RE: Monymusk
From: Sorcha

Well, that could either mean in the town of Monimusk or in some sort of sweet herbs. Isn't there something called Musk Roses? and of course, there is just regular musk oil.

13 Aug 01 - 06:38 PM (#527109)
Subject: RE: Monymusk

It's usually a short title for a tune by Daniel Dow, "Sir Archibald Grant of Monemusk", c 1775, but Dow composed another, "Lady Grant of Monemusk".

13 Aug 01 - 06:40 PM (#527111)
Subject: RE: Monymusk
From: Susanne (skw)

I've always taken it for a placename. It certainly is in this song: Monymustk Lads

14 Aug 01 - 12:51 AM (#527417)
Subject: RE: Monymusk
From: Liz the Squeak

And a cracking little tune it is too... used as a regimental double past (marching at twice normal speed, as British Army far too dignified to call it jogging....), and an evil dance tune!


14 Aug 01 - 03:26 AM (#527465)
Subject: RE: Monymusk
From: GUEST,Scottish Aussie

Monymusk is just a short drive from Aberdeen along the A944, the turn right at Tillyfourie!!!

14 Aug 01 - 03:34 AM (#527466)
Subject: RE: Monymusk
From: masato sakurai

It's a place name, but was also a plant name, though surely it wasn't a sweet herb.

The Fiddler's Companion says:
A pipe tune (written within the range of nine notes, with double tonic tonality) and the name of an Aberdeenshire, Scotland, estate. 'Moneymusk' is the English for the Gaelic 'Muine Muisc' meaning a noxious weed or bush. It was composed by Daniel (sometimes Donald) Dow (1732-1783) in 1776 and first appeared in his Thirty Seven New Reels, c. 1780, as "Sir Archibald Grant of Monymusk's Strathspey." Linscott (1939) says it was called "The Countess of Airly" in the early 18th century, and came from the village of Monymusk, in Aberdeenshire, Scotland." Bayard (1981) states that if Dow did "compose" the tune then he certainly had access to earlier models for it, for both "The Ruffian's Rant" and "Roy's Wife of Aldivalloch" are cognate. Alburger (1983) also identifies Daniel Dow (1732-83) as the composer of "Sir Archibald Grant of Monemusk's Reel," but says when the Gows published it in their 1799 Repository, Part First, they altered it rhythmically (by adding more 'Scots snaps' and smoothing out some dotted patterns for variety) and shortened the name to "Monymusk, A Strathspey." Dow was born in Kirkmichael, Perthshire, and became a music teacher in Edinburgh where he taught, among other instruments, the guitar. His compositions were well received in his lifetime and survive today. When he died at the age of 51 in the winter of 1783 he was buried in the Canongate Churchyard; a concert to benefit his widow and children was given shortly after his death in St. Mary's Hall, Niddry's Wynd, where he had often given his own concerts over the years.

And as a place name, click here, click here, click here, click here, or for its map and brief timeline.
To see Grant of Monymusk Clan Tartan,
click here.
On the tune "Sir Archiblad Grant of Monymusk", click here too.
Didn't I give too many unnecessary click heres in this message. I hope not.

07 Dec 05 - 06:32 PM (#1622256)
Subject: RE: Monymusk
From: GUEST,Darrell

I would like to get the full set of lyrics for this great song. I've heard the corries version, but some of the words are rather hard to make out... could someone point me in the right direction.

                                           Slainte, darrell.

08 Dec 05 - 12:50 PM (#1622894)
Subject: RE: Monymusk

08 Dec 05 - 05:19 PM (#1623133)
Subject: RE: Monymusk

Sir Grant taught those dreadful Scots harmonize! Amazing how a drunken cross-eyed farm hand, deep in the Missouri Ozarks would know the tune Sir Archibald Grant of Monymusk's Reel!

Sir Archibald Grant of Monymusk, Aberdeenshire, was a great 18th-century 'improver', who set up new and far-sighted farming methods. A President of the Aberdeen Musical Society (see JSS0652 - JSS0662), he employed a singing teacher, Thomas Channon, to teach his estate tenants to sing harmonised psalms, a skill almost unknown anywhere in Scotland. The laird was celebrated by a practice-verse - secular words to a sacred song - so it could be practised outwith the church: 'How lovely is thy dwelling-place, / Sir Archie Grant to me; / The home-park, and the policies, / How pleasant, Sir, they be.'

08 Dec 05 - 06:48 PM (#1623206)
Subject: RE: Monymusk
From: GUEST,Jack Campin

The first harmonized psalms were published in Scotland in the sixteenth cemtury and there was probably a version in print continuously from when Andro Hart produced one at the beginning of the 17th century.

It wasn't unavailability of harmonizations that prevented most Scots from singing them, it was ideology. The Covenanters and allied extreme Calvinists disapproved of all elaborated religious music and would only tolerate single-line melodies in psalm settings.

Changes to this status quo were only imposed by the elite with the aid of extreme violence. Charles I's attempt to introduce a more elaborate Anglican-style liturgy in the1630s set off a civil war.

Sir Archibald Grant must have been one hell of an aggressive cultural imperialist to attempt this. He could not have done it without forcible evictions to eliminate tenants with Covenanter sympathies. (Perhaps he replaced them with Episcopalian Highlanders, as part of the settlement of Jacobite issues after 1784)?

Remember "new and far-sighted farming methods" really meant "booting your workers off the land" - this was the Lowland Clearances, earlier and on a much larger scale than the Highland ones. There is a recent book about it by Tom Devine if you want to know more.

08 Dec 05 - 06:57 PM (#1623214)
Subject: RE: Monymusk
From: Tattie Bogle

Lovely place. Great pub called "The Grant Arms". The last time we were there, there was an event going on in the village hall with plenty of Scottish accordion music going on. I also remember it as being a the name of a very elegant strathspey dance.

08 Dec 05 - 07:02 PM (#1623218)
Subject: RE: Monymusk

Reminds me of Killicrankie.. a battle between the Highlanders and Lowland Presbyterians...and a fiddle tune.

08 Dec 05 - 07:07 PM (#1623228)
Subject: Lyr Add: MONYMUSK LADS (from Silly Wizard)

I wonder if Scotus knows this song.

Monymusk Lads Lyrics
Artist(Band):Silly Wizard Review The Song (0)

As l cam' in by Monymustk
And doon by Alford's dale,
A sad misfortune happened to me
And l think nae shame to tell.

cho: Fal to too a riddle doo.
Fal to toodle I doe.

As l gaed in by Monymustk.
The moon was shining clear;
And I held on to Lethendy
To see my Maggie dear.

I did gang when I did think
That a' were sleepin' soun',
But plague upon yon auld wife
For she cam' slinkin' doon.

Sae cannily she slipped the lock
And set the door agee;
Then crawled upon her hands and knees
To see what it could be.

Then to the bells, wi' a' her micht
Sae loud she made thern ring.
Till faith! l thoeht aboot my lugs
The biggin she would bring.

And when she saw l wouldna slip.
She ran to the guidman.
Says: "There's a lad into the hoose.
And that l winna stand.

"For it is a most disgraceful thing.
It would provoke a saunt.
To see a' the servant girls wi' lads.
When the gentle anes maun want."

"Providence has acted wrang.
Sic pleasures for to gie
Tae ony servant lad or lass
Just working for a fee."

The auld man he cam' ben himsel'
And he pushed ben his heid;
Guidfaith! I thocht it was a ghost
Just risen frae the deid.

He'd duddy draws upon his legs,
He'd on a cap o' white.
And he'd a face as lang's my leg
And in his hand a light.

He's ta'en me by the shoulders broad
An' pushed me oot o' doors.
Thinks I, my auld lad, I'll come back
When sleepin' gars ye snore.

09 Dec 05 - 03:41 AM (#1623449)
Subject: RE: Monymusk
From: Malcolm Douglas

It's already in the DT, with the same strange typo in the title, oddly enough:  THE MONYMUSTK LADS

The DT file names Ewan MacColl's Folk Songs and Ballads of Scotland as immediate source, but fails to mention that MacColl got it from John Ord's Bothy Songs and Ballads, changing Ord's title (Rural Courtship) for some reason. Presumably 'Silly Wizard' got the song from one or the other; from MacColl, I suppose, if the spelling mistake in the title has been copied independently by both the DT and our 'guest' from, respectively, his book and SW's sleevenotes.

09 Dec 05 - 09:56 AM (#1623524)
Subject: RE: Monymusk
From: Paul Burke

The "mony" part obviously refers to monks (as in antimony). Any ideas what the "musk" bit means?

Cod etymology: from Latin monachus, a monk, and Moslem mosque, "The Monks' Mosque".

09 Dec 05 - 11:00 AM (#1623572)
Subject: RE: Monymusk
From: GUEST,crazy little woman

09 Dec 05 - 11:17 AM (#1623587)
Subject: RE: Monymusk
From: GUEST,crazy little woman

Re "Amazing how a drunken cross-eyed farm hand, deep in the Missouri Ozarks would know the tune Sir Archibald Grant of Monymusk's Reel!"
No, it's amazing that somebody literate and computer-literate would post something so ignorant and nasty.

Guest, did you get your conception of the people of the Ozarks from Hee Haw, the Beverly Hillbillies or The Dukes of Hazzard?

Since you don't seem to know anything about traditional music, I suggest you browse through the Fiddler's Fake Book and observe how good tunes travel the world.

09 Dec 05 - 01:07 PM (#1623680)
Subject: RE: Monymusk


I was referring to Roy Wooliver, with tongue in cheek. Since you may not know of his reputation, he influenced Gene Goforth and many other Missouri fiddlers. John Hartford does his version of Monymusk on Hamilton Ironworks. My familiarity with Ozark musicians comes from living there for a number of years.

He was a gifted musician but an odd fellow with a taste for drink. And he was a bit cross-eyed. Lighten up, lady! Bluebelle?

09 Dec 05 - 02:08 PM (#1623748)
Subject: RE: Monymusk

A planned village in mid-Aberdeenshire, Monymusk lies just south of the River Don, 7 miles (11 km) west of Kintore and 17 miles (25 km) north west of Aberdeen. In 1170 a community of Augustinian canons was established here by Gilchrist, Earl of Mar, on the site of an earlier Celtic foundation. This was said to have been established by Malcolm Canmore in 1078 while on a military mission against the rebels of Moray. The present church of St Mary's dates from the late 12th-early 13th Century and contains monuments to successive Grant lairds as well as a Pictish symbol stone known as the Monymusk Stone. Sir Archibald Grant of Monymusk replaced the old Kirkton of Monymusk in the 18th century with a planned village designed for estate workers and craftsmen. It was almost entirely rebuilt in 1840.

10 Dec 05 - 12:23 AM (#1624172)
Subject: RE: Monymusk
From: Joybell

In the far North-East of Victoria, Australia this tune is called "The Monkey Musk". It's been played, for dances, under that title for as long as the people of Nariel Creek can remember. Always liked this corruption. Cheers, Joy

10 Dec 05 - 01:02 AM (#1624178)
Subject: Lyr Add: JOCK O' BRAIDISLEE
From: DonMeixner

Hi Darrell.

Is this the version you want?


Jock o' Braidislee
Johnny got up on a May mornin'
Called for water to wash his hands
Says "Gie loose tae me my twa grey dugs
That lie in iron bands - bands
That lie in iron bands"

Johnny's mother she heard o' this
Her hands for dool she wrang
Sayin' "Johnny for your venison
Tae the greenwood dinnae gang - gang
Tae the greenwood dinnae gang"

But Johnny has ta'en his guid bend bow
His arrows one by one
And he's awa' tae the greenwood gane
Tae ding the dun deer doon - doon
Tae ding the dun deer doon

Noo Johnny shot and the dun deer leapt
And he wounded her in the side
And there between the water and the woods
The grey hounds laid her pride - her pride
The grey hounds laid her pride

They ate so much o' the venison
They drank so much o' the blood
That Johnny and his twa grey dugs
Fell asleep as though were deid - were deid
Fell asleep as though were deid

Then by there cam' a silly auld man
An ill death may he dee
For he's awa' tae Esslemont
The seven foresters for tae see - tae see
The foresters for tae see

As I cam' in by Monymusk
Doon among yon scruggs
Well there I spied the bonniest youth
Lyin' sleepin' atween twa dugs - twa dugs
Lyin' sleepin' atween twa dugs

The buttons that were upon his sleeve
Were o' the gowd sae guid
And the twa grey hounds that he lay between
Their mouths were dyed wi' blood - wi' blood
Their mouths were dyed wi' blood

Then up and jumps the first forester
He was captain o' them a'
Sayin "If that be Jock o' Braidislee
Unto him we'll draw - we'll draw
Unto him we'll draw"

The first shot that the foresters fired
It hit Johnny on the knee
And the second shot that the foresters fired
His heart's blood blint his e'e - his e'e
His heart's blood blint his e'e

Then up jumps Johnny fae oot o' his sleep
And an angry man was he
Sayin "Ye micht have woken me fae my sleep
Ere my heart's blood blint my e'e - my e'e
Ere my heart's blood blint my e'e"

But he's rested his back against an oak
His fit upon a stane
And he has fired at the seven o' them
He's killed them a' but ane - but ane
He's killed them a' but ane

He's broken four o' that one's ribs
His airm and his collar bane
And he has set him upon his horse
Wi' the tidings sent him hame - hame
Wi' the tidings sent him hame

But Johnny's guid bend bow is broke
His twa grey dugs are slain
And his body lies in Monymusk
His huntin' days are dane - are dane
His huntin' days are dane

10 Dec 05 - 08:20 PM (#1624702)
Subject: RE: Monymusk
From: GUEST,Jack Campin

I posted a long followup in this thread about what Sir Archibald Grant would have been up to - where did it go?

10 Dec 05 - 09:54 PM (#1624749)
Subject: RE: Monymusk
From: Effsee

For a really cracking version of Monymusk Lads you'll find no better than Arthur Watson's of the Gaugers. See the Cds "Beware of the Aberdonian", originally released in 1976 on Topic, now re-released on Sleepytown Records, as well as a live version on "No More Forever" on the same label.

11 Dec 05 - 10:19 AM (#1624958)
Subject: RE: Monymusk
From: GUEST,BanjoRay

This is recording of the late Henry Reed, the old time fiddler from Glen Lyn, Virginia playing
Monymusk as recorded by Alan Jabbour in the late sixties not long before Reed died.

12 Dec 05 - 09:12 PM (#1626056)
Subject: RE: Monymusk
From: GUEST,stu

Monymusk was the name of a guy during the wars of independance in scotland. He held a banner called the baendarrock ?? wich was said to contain the relics of st columba, during the battle of bannock burn. it is said to have vastly affected the scots to victory.

01 Nov 10 - 02:35 AM (#3020509)
Subject: RE: Monymusk. A new thought & question
From: Joybell

I just bought a plant for my butterfly garden. On looking it up I see that it is Mimulus -- commomly called "Monkey Musk". The flowers look like monkey faces and it smells of musk, giving it an obvious meaning.
Mimulus is native to Southern North America, Australia, parts of Asia, and parts of Africa.
Not to the British Isles. However it has become naturalized in Scotland (and probably in England). I can't find out when it was introduced to Scotland or by whom.
So -- I'm wondering if "Monkey Musk" is in fact the older name and Monymusk the coruption.
Cheers, Joy

01 Nov 10 - 06:22 AM (#3020590)
Subject: RE: Monymusk
From: BobKnight

Guest Stu Dec, '05.

You are referring to the Monymusk Reliquary, and 8th century casket said to contain relics (bones) of St Columba, also known as the Breacbennoch of St Columba. It was not a banner, and it wasn't carried by someone called Monymusk. The Standard bearer of Scotland was a man called Scrimgeour.

The Scrimgeours were appointed by William Wallace, and I believe they still hold that honour to this day. Of course I could be wrong about that. The name Scrimgeour is closely associated with the city of Dundee.

Joybell, I think you'll find that Monymusk was in existence long before the Brits went Empire building and plant collecting in the 18th Century.

01 Nov 10 - 06:36 PM (#3021157)
Subject: RE: Monymusk
From: Joybell

Bob, Thanks for clearing up the previous post.
Yes, I know about the 18th century plant collections, and yes, the name "Monymusk" may well be older.
However, there is the possibility that Mimulus may have been introduced as a dried herb, with seeds, before this. Along with other herbs and spices from Africa and Asia.
Thing is we could do with some written evidence.
Also I'm puzzled about why the derivation of the word "Monymusk" is unclear.
Cheers, Joy