STIRLING CASTLE.  AKA - “Sterling Castle.” AKA and see “Gray Day Light,” "Gray Day-Licht," "Harvest Home (2)," "Kirn (1) (The)," “Marquis of Hansley's.” Scottish (originally), Irish; Highland or Strathspey. Ireland, County Donegal. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (most versions): AA’B (Martin, Skinner). Composed by Professor Bannatyne, Aberdeen, this tune is in both bagpipe and fiddle repertories. According to Bill Hardie (1986), North-East Scottish fiddlers "of two or three generations ago" knew this strathspey by the title "The Grey Day-Licht." The reference to "Harvest Home" as an alternate title comes from J. Scott Skinner's Harp and Claymore collection (1904), where “The Kirn” is also given as an alternate. Bill Hardie notes that the similarity between "Stirling Castle" and the popular hornpipe "Harvest Home" is a tenuous one, however, there is considerable similarity to "Harvest Home (2).” "Stirling Castle" is popular today as a Highland in County Donegal, and it was one of the several Scottish tunes recorded by the great Sligo/New York fiddler Michael Coleman. It was recorded several times in the 78 RPM by Irish and Scottish musicians, including Peter Wyper, Colin Boyd (Cape Breton), Michael Coleman, Hector MacAndrew, Donald Davidson, Jimmy Shand and others.
Stirling Castle is a spectacularly restored castle in Stirling, Scotland, and is located on the top of a plain of an extinct volcanic hill surrounded on three sides by steep cliffs. The site had been fortified since ancient times, but the main surviving buildings date from the 15th and 16th centuries, along with a few structures from the 14th century. Stirling Castle was the childhood home of Mary Queen of Scots and was the permanent crown residence for many of the Stewart kings.
STIRLING CASTLE full annotations and Past Featured Tunes
T:Kirn (1) (The)
T:Harvest Home (2)
B:Milne – Middleton’s Selection of Strathspeys, Reels &c. for the Violin (1870, p. 17)
A,|OD2 (F>D) (A>D)(F>D)|A,<A,(C>A,) (E>A,)C>E|D2 (F>D) (A>D)(F>A)|
(3Bcd (3efg f<dd:|[Af]|d<df>d (g>e)(f>d)|(g>e)(f>d) (3efd (3cBA|
d<d(f>d) (g>e)(f>d)|(3Bcd (3efg f<d d>f|d<df>d (g>e)(f>d)|
(g>e)(f>d) (3efd (3cBA|(3fga (3gfe (3def (3edc|(3BcB (3dcB (3ABA (3GFEO||
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Although we are not trained musicologists and make no pretense to the profession, we have tried to apply such professional rigors to this Semantic Abc Web as we have internalized through our own formal and informal education.
This demands the gathering of as much information as possible about folk pieces to attempt to trace tune families, determine origins, influences and patterns of aural/oral transmittal, and to study individual and regional styles of performance.
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