Auld Stewart's Back Again
X:1 T:Old Stuarts back again M:C L:1/8 R:Reel S:Bremner - Scots Reels (c. 1757) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:Dmix (c | B)GAG FGA(c | BG)AG cEE(c | B)GAG FGA(g | f)de^c dDD :| |: fgaf gabg | fgaf beeg | fgaf gab(g | f)de^c dDD :|]
AULD STEWART'S/STUART'S BACK AGAIN. AKA and see "Battle of Culloden (The)," "Old Stewart's Back Again." Scottish, Reel. D Mixolydian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Surenne): AAB (Gow, Lowe, Vickers): AABB' (Athole). A Jacobite melody. John Glen (1891) finds the earliest printings of the tune in Robert Bremner's 1757 collection and in Neil Stewart's 1761 collection (p. 23), however, the tune appears to be popularly known somewhat earlier than that, as evidenced by this excerpt from a letter written by Ralph Bigland in 1749 of an entertainment on the London stage (quoted by Emmerson, 1972):
I have since I came here [London] been lately two or three times at the play and what invited me most was to see a new dance called the Scots Dance consisting of about 20 lads and lasses dress'd after the Highland fashion. The scene represents a very romantic, rocky, or mountainous country seemingly, at the most distant view you behold a glorious pair (which far surpass all the other actors) sitting among the rocks, while the rest are dancing below among groves of trees. Some are also representing with their wheels a spinning; all the while the music plays either Prince Charlie's minuet or the Auld Stewarts Back Again. At last descends from the mountains the glorious pair which to appearance is a prince and princess. Then all the actors retire on each side while the royal youth and his favourite dance so fine, in a word that the whole audience clap their hands for joy. Then in a moment the spinning wheels are thrown aside and every lad and lass join in the dance and jerk it away as quick as possible while the music briskly plays--Over the Water to Charlie, a bagpipe being in the band. In short it was so ravishing seemingly to the whole audience that the people to express their joy clap their hands in a most extraordinary manner indeed.
It is surprising that the English would tolerate an entertainment with references to Prince Charlie so soon after the recent rising of 1745. Be that as it may, John Johnson (A Choice Collection of 200 Favourite Country Dances, vol 4, 1748) and David Rutherford (Compleat Collection of 200 of the Most Celebrated Country Dances, 1756) both published the tune under the title "Battle of Culloden (The)". As "Auld Stewart Back Again" it appears in the c. 1785 music manuscript of bagpiper John Sutherland, and around the same time American musician Henry Livingston entered it into his music copybook as "Battle of Culloden (The)." See note for "Up and Waur Them A' Willie (1)."