Alloway House

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ALLOWAY HOUSE. AKA and see "Alloa House." Scottish, Air (3/4 time). A Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The air was composed by Scottish cellist and composer James Oswald (1710-1769). Alloway House was near Oswald's hometown of Dunfermline. It was also published in William McGibbbon's (c.1690-1756) A Collection of Scots Tunes, Book 1 (c. 1762; p. 25). Words to the tune were written by Reverend Dr. Alexander Webster, a minister of Edinburgh who established a charity for the widows of clergymen of the Church of Scotland, who called the song "Alloa House." "Alloway House" was Oswald's title. Alloway is a parish in Ayr (and was the birthplace of poet Robert Burns), but Alloa House, or the Tower of Alloa, referenced in Webster's song, is the name of a manor in Clackmanan built by a 15th century tower. The manor was largely designed and built by the 6th Earl of Mar around 1700 and is the structure of Webster's song. It however, was destroyed in a fire in 1800. Another Alloa House was built by George Angus between 1834 and 1838 and was originally a simple classical house of five bays. It was remodeled extensively in 1867, but has since been demolished. The ancient tower still stands.

The tune was used for other 18th century songs as well, and was said to be popular in England (where it was sometimes called "Holloway House").

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: James Oswald (Caledonian Pocket Companion, vol. 1), 1760; p. 24.

Recorded sources:




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