Annie Laurie

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X:1 T:Annie Lawrie M:2/4 L:1/8 R:Air Q:"Slow" B:Davie’s Caledonian Repository (Aberdeen, 1829-30, p. 40) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:D (F/E/)|DD/D/ d>c|(cB) zB|A>F F(E/D/)|(F2{GF}E) (F/E/)| D>D d>c|(cB) z(d/B/)|(A>F)(FE)|D3 :| A|d>d e>e|f3A|d>d (f/e/)(d/e/)|f2 (f>e)| d>c {c}B(d/B/)|A F2 (F/E/)|D(d/F/) FTE{DE}|D3||

ANNIE LAURIE. AKA - "Annie Lawrie." Scottish, Air (4/4 time) or Strathspey. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). One part (Bain): AAB (Davie, Neil): AABB (Kerr). Neil (1991) writes that the air and a portion words were the work of Lady Jane Scott (1810–1890), after an old ballad composed by William Douglas of Fingland (c. 1682-1748) in honor of Annie, the youngest daughter of Sir Robert Laurie, 1st Baronet of the Maxwelton family, whose seat of Maxwelton was located on the banks of the valley of Bairn in Dumfriesshire, Scotland. Sir Robert and Annie were lovers, though secret ones, who had met at a ball in Edingburgh; they trysted often in the woods around Maxwelton, but Robert, committed to the Jacobite cause, was eventually forced to flee the country. J. Murray Neil (1991) informs us: "It is said the Annie was very slim and graceful. She was a classic beauty with a longish face, large blue eyes and brown hair, which she left unpowdered, contrary to the custom of the day. Her hands and feet were small so that the reference in the ballad ("Like dew on the gowan lying, Is the fa' o;' her fairy feet") would seem to be based in fact." Lady Scott's song enjoyed great popularity, which only waned after the Second World War. She was the eldest daughter of her generation of the Spottiswoode family and married John Scott, the third son of the Duke of Buccleugh. He died in 1860, but ten years later Lady Jane inherited the estates of her family of origin, near Lauder in Berwickshire, and, in accordance with her father's will, returned to her maiden name, Alicia of Spottiswoode, when she assumed the property. As a parlor song it was popular in the English speaking world in the late Victorian era [Neil].
Alicia Spottiswoode, Lady John Scott

Lady Scott claimed to have composed the air (when she reworked the words) around 1834-5, however, it had appeared in print in Davie’s Caledonian Repository, published several years earlier in Aberdeen, 1829-30. The renowned Scots fiddle-composer William Marshall fashioned a strathspey in her honor (see "Lady John Scott"), as did Atholl gamekeeper and fiddler-composer John Crerar (see "Lady John Scott to Binchat").

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Bain (50 Fiddle Solos), 1989; p. 41. Davie (Davie’s Caledonian Repository), Aberdeen, 1829-30; p. 40. Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 4), c. 1880's; No. 42, p. 7. Manson (Hamilton's Universal Tune-Book, vol. 2), 1846; p. 151. Neil (The Scots Fiddle), 1991; No. 35, p. 45.

Recorded sources : - Rounder 0089, "Oscar & Eugene Wright: Old Time Fiddle and Guitar Music from West Virginia."

See also listing at :
See Wikipedia article on "Annie Laurie" [1]
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index of Recorded Sources [2]
Hear Northwest fiddler Mary Acocello play Annie Laurie as a slow waltz at [3]

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"Annie Laurie" was a poem written by William Douglas (c.1682-1748) of Dumfriesshire, about his unrequited love for that lady. It was probably sung to any suitable air. Alicia Scott, a Scottish noblewoman, claimed in 1890 to have re-written the words and composed the tune around 1834-5, but whatever about the words (which she did revise), the tune was already in existence: Davie's "Caledonian Repository", published in Aberdeen in 1829-30, gives the air shown here (I've transposed it to be in the same key as the polka).