Bonnie Black Eagle (The)

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BONNY BLACK EAGLE, THE. AKA and see "Black Eagle (The)," "High Way to Edinburgh (2) (The)." Scottish, Air (4/4 time). D Major (McGibbon): B Flat Major (Manson). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Manson): AABB (McGibbon). The tune bears a 'general resemblance throughout' to "Turkey in the Straw," although Bayard (1981) thinks it is not a precursor. A comparison reveals that the resemblance is slight, at best.

As "Black Eagle (The)" it appears in Oswald's Collection of Curious Scots Tunes (1742), after a song by Dr. James Fordyce, the tune attributed to David Rizzio (doomed Queen Mary's equally doomed secretary). John Glen (Early Scottish Melodies, 1900) gives the tune as "Woman's Work Will Never be Done", in an example of two different tunes with the same title, one English and one Scottish, saying the Scottish one is also called "Bonny Black Eagle" or "Black Eagle (The)." The Scottish "Woman's Work" tune appears in the Blaikie Manuscript of 1692. James Oswald printed the tune again in his Caledonian Pocket Companion (1757) under the title "High Way to Edinburgh (2) (The)," attaching a jig to a slow air.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Manson (Hamilton's Universal Tune Book, vol. 2), 1853; p. 65. McGibbon (Scots Tunes, book III), 1762; pp. 74-75. Oswald (Caledonian Pocket Companion, Book V), 1760; p. 17.

Recorded sources:




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