Braes of Mellinish (The)
X:1 % T:Bruachun Mhelinis T:Braes of Melinish, The C:Captain McKay M:6/8 L:1/8 R:Jig B:William Gunn - The Caledonian Repository of Music B:Adapted for the Bagpipes (Glasgow, 1848, p. 26) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:Amix e|AAA AAA|d2c BGB|AAA AAA|g2f e2a| AAA AAA|d2c BGB|A<Aa eAe|dGB A<A:| |:f|e2A cAc|d2c BGB|e2A cAc|eae cAc| E2A cAc|d2c BAB|A<Aa eAe|dGB A<A:| |:e|A<Ae e>de|dGd BGB|A<Ae e>de|f>df e>de| f>df e>de|dGd BGB|A<Aa eAe|dGB A<A:| |:e|A<Aa a>da|g>dg BGB|A<Aa a>da|g>da a>da| g>da a>da|g>dg BGB|A<Aa eAe|dGB A<A:|]
BRAES OF MELLINISH, THE. AKA and see "Bruachan Mhelinis." Scottish, Pipe Jig or March (6/8 time). A Mixolydian. Standard tuning (fiddle). The Braes of Mellinish are on the north coast of Scotland on the west side of Loch Tongue (also spelled 'Melness'). The popular march version is sometimes attributed to Captain MacKay (although others have been credited as well--Pipe Major John MacDonald from Melness, Sutherland, for one, although this claim is denied by the tune's mid-19th century publication). The attribution to McKay/MacKay first appears in Glasgow piper, pipe teacher and pipe-maker William Gunn's (1795-1867) Caledonian Repositiory of Music adapted for the Bagpipe (1848).
It also has been suggested that the title refers to the lands of the Laird of Mellan, whose estates were near Loch Linnie, north of Perth. A tale is told of one of the lairds:
Perth has long been known as the 'bonnie toun' on account of its lovely women. This dates back to the time of King Arthur. When he first ascended to his throne, he dispatched heralds to summon the most beautiful maidens in the land to Camelot to attend the first Tournament of his Knights of the Round Table. The fairest of all the girls that he saw there was Lady Guinevere, from Perth. It is said that he fell in love with her almost at first sight, and would not rest until she consented to become his bride. But her father, Hamish, Laird of Mellin, set him a task to perform to prove his worthiness before he would consent to the marriage. Arthur was asked to swim across Loch Linnie in the cold of December. So on the appointed day, Arthur went to the shore of the loch, stripped off his tunic and hose, and waded into the icy water. On Merlin's advice, he chose a part of the shore where the loch was narrow, and succeeded in reaching the other side in less than a minute, thus avoiding hypothermia. There is a children's rhyme"Frae Perth came Guinevere, to make the King revere, He saw her face in the Loch of the north, and never went more forth."
The melody is sometimes referred to as "Kentigern Jig/Kentigern's Jig" after associations with the band Kentigern, who recorded the "Braes of Mellanish" on their 1979 album. The Braes of Mellinish is also the name of a Scottish Country Dance.