Banks of Spey (1) (The)

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BANKS OF SPEY [1], THE. Scottish, Strathspey. A Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Hardie, Johnson, Marshall): AAB (Gow): AABB (Aird, Gatherer). Composed by William Marshall (1748–1833). The Spey is the swiftest-flowing river in Scotland, famous for its fishing and salmon runs. Marshall himself was not only a composer, mathematician and fiddler, but also a keen angler who fashioned beautiful flies (Moyra Cowie, The Life and Times of William Marshall, 1999). Hardie (1992) reminds us that the strathspey form is commonly believed to have originated in the valley of the Spey in north-eastern Scotland. Poet Robert Tannahill wrote verses that fit Marshall's tune:

William Marshall

The Banks of Spey

Scenes of my childhood, your wanderer hails you,
Wing'd with rude storm, though the winter assails you,
Bleak and dreary as ye are, ye yet hae charms to cheer me,
For here, amidst my native hills, my bonnie lassie's near me.

'Tis sad to see the wither'd lea, the drumly flooded fountain,
The angry storm in awful form, that sweeps the moor and mountain;
But frae the surly swelling blast, dear lassie, I'll defend her,
And frae the bonnie banks o' Spey I never more shall wander.


Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Aird (Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol. 5), Glasgow, 1797, No. 39, p. 15. Gatherer (Gatherer's Musical Museum), 1987; p. 38. Gow (Complete Repository, Part 4), 1817; p. 27. Hardie (Caledonian Companion), 1992; p. 88. S. Johnson (A Twenty Year Anniversary Collection), 2003; p. 33. Manson (Hamilton's Universal Tune Book, vol. 1), 1854; p. 113. Marshall (Fiddlecase Edition), 1978; 1822 Collection, p. 48. McGlashan (A Collection of Reels), c. 1786; p. 3. Moffat (Dance Music of the North), 1908; No. 4, p. 3. Oswald (Caledonian Pocket Companion, vol. 2).

Recorded sources:

See also listings at:
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]




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