X:1 T:Don-side, or Mr. Chas. Forbes' Favorite M:C| L:1/8 R:Strathspey B:Petrie - Fourth Collection of Strathspeys, Reels, Jiggs and Country Dances (c. 1805) K:G B|G<GB>G A>GE>A|G<GB>G A>GB>G|c>AB>G A>GE>e|d>cB>A B<GG:| |:f|g>Bg>B A>GE>e|f>Bg>B d>eg>a|a/g/f/e/ g>B A>GE>e|d>cB>A B<GG:| |:D|G>DB,D E>B,B,>E|G>DB,>D G,>DB,>D|C>EB,>D E>A,A,>F|G>DB,>A, G,<G,G,:| |:d|g<gb>g a>ee>a|g<gb>g a>gb>g|a>gb>g a>ee>g|d>cB>A B<GG:|]
DON SIDE. AKA – "Don-side." AKA and see: "Forbes's Rant (The)," "Mr. Charles Forbes' Favorite." Scottish, Strathspey. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Surenne): AABB (Perlman): AABBCCDD (Athole, Bremner, Gow, Kerr, Petrie, Skye). Glen (1891) finds the earliest printing of the tune in Robert Bremner's 1757 collection (p. 63). The strathspey appears as "Forbes's Rant (The)" (with the alternate title "Don Side") in Angus Cumming's 1780 collection.
Don side refers to the area around the River Don, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. The famous Scots fiddle-composer, James Scott Skinner, told an old joke about a drunk who boards a train trying to get home to his home 'on the Don side.' He boards a first train for Stonehaven and is quickly shown the door by a guard—he tries another, only to be told its going to Ballater and he is once again mistaken. Finally he pours himself into the compartment of yet another train, one that happens to be occupied by the then-famous evangelists Moody and Sankey, on their way to revival meetings in Peterhead. "Naturally, in his drunken state, the man made himself a bit of a nuisance," says Skinner. "Moody gazed at him, more in pity than in condemnation, and then spoke slowly and deliberately:
"Do you know where you're going to, sir?" he said.
"Na," came the answer.
"Well, you're going to perdition," was the stern rejoinder.
"Eh?" exclaimed the maudlin one, waking up somewhat; "I'm in the wrang train again!"
The strathspey was recorded on a 78 RPM disc by Cape Breton fiddler Angus Allan Gillis.