Ayrshire Lasses (2)

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X:1 T:Ayrshire Lasses [2] M:C| L:1/8 R:Strathspey B:Stewart-Robertson - The Athole Collection (1884) K:C c | G<c E>c d>c d<e | c<c e>d c<A A>c | G>cE>c d>c d<e | c>A G<c E<CC :| f | g>ec>g e<g c>g | f>ec>g d<D D>f | gece d<f e>d | c<AG>F E<C C>f | g>e c<g e<g c>g | g>ec>g d<D De/f/ | g>ef>d e>cd>B | c<A G>c E<CC ||

AYRSHIRE LASSES [2]. Scottish, Strathspey. C Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Surenne): AAB (most versions). "Ayrshie Lasses [2]" was composed by Hugh Montgomerie, 12th Earl of Eglinton (1739-1819).

Hugh Montgomerie, 12th Earl of Eglinton

He was a Scottish peer, politician, musician and composer, and was a member of Parliament for Ayrshire for 16 years, after which, in 1796, he became Lord-Lieutenant for Ayrshire. Mongomerie was one of the backers of the partially built Glasgow, Paisley and Ardrossan Canal, which facilitated shipping to the Scottish interior. Montgomerie fought in the American wars of the latter 18th century and was had a reputation for being a fine cellist and fiddler, and an exponent of the national music (Emmerson, 1971). As MP he would have wanted to promote Ayrshire, and so added yet another tune title extolling the "beauties" of one region or another. Perhaps there was some merit to this particular affection, however, for Robert Burns mentioned the town of Ayr in "Tam o'Shanter:"

Auld Ayr, wham ne'er a town surpasses
For honest men and bonny lasses.

See also Lord Montgomerie and "Eglinton Castle."

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Anderson (Anderson's Budget of Strathspeys, Reels & Country Dances), c. 1820; p. 2. Gow (Complete Repository, Part 4), 1817; p. 31. Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 2), c. 1880's; No. 74, p. 11. Joseph Lowe (Lowe's Collection of Reels, Strathspeys and Jigs, book 2), 1844–1845; p. 16. MacDonald (The Skye Collection), 1887; p. 112. Stewart-Robertson (The Athole Collection), 1884. Surenne (Dance Music of Scotland), 1852; pp. 24-25.

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