14th of October (The)

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FOURTEENTH OF OCTOBER, THE. English, Air and Country Dance Tune (4/4 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The melody was published in Alexander Stuart's Musick for Allan Ramsey's Collection of Scots Songs, vol. 2 (1724, pp. 30-31 ), James Oswald's Caledonian Pocket Companion, vol. 3 (1760, p. 9), and Johnson's Scots Musical Museum, vol. 2 (1788, p. 182). Robert Burns thought the title alluded to the legendary King Crispian, patron of the shoemakers' guild, whose feast day falls on the 14th of October (on the old-style calendar). Ritson (Scottish Songs, 1794), however, wrote that the date was the birthday of the popular Scottish King James VII. The melody was employed by John Buttery, a fifer for the 37 Regiment at the turn of the 19th century, for a military duty called 'Troop' also called 'The Assembly', a specific drum-beat that ordered the troops to repair to the place of rendezvous, or to their colors. Since it was the drum beat that was the signal, a variety of melodies could be played by fifers to accompany the action. It is entered into his large music manuscript collection that was eventually taken to Canada when he emigrated decades later.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Aird (Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs), vol. II, 1785; No. 152, p. 56. Oswald (Caledonian Pocket Companion Book 3), 1760; p. 9.

Recorded sources:

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