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DRUMSHEUGH. Scottish, Strathspey. D Major. Standard. AAB. Glen (1891) finds the earliest appearance of the tune in print in Robert Bremner's 1768 2nd collection (p. 106). The Forest of Drumsheugh was part of the burgh muir of Edinburgh, when the king hunted there in ancient times. It was in the hands of the Earl of Moray when it was developed in the 18th century as the city outgrew its original walls. An Edinburgh residence named Drumsheugh was in the possession of the Lords Moray, which evidently shielded for a time the remnants of the forest. Lord Henry Cockburn (1779-1854), in his memoir Memorials of His Time (published posthumously in 1856) revealed himself to harbor pioneering environmentalist sympathies when he remarked:
We clung long to the hope that, though the city might in time surround [the old grand estates] , Bellevue at the east, and Drumsheugh (Lord Moray's place) at the west, end of Queen Street might be spared. But in 1802 Bellevue was sold. The magistrates, I believe, bought it; and the whole trees were instantly cut down. They could not all have been permanently spared; but many of them might, to the comfort and adornment of the future buildings. But the mere beauty of the town was no more thought of at that time by anybody than electric telegraphs and railways; and perpendicular trees, with leaves and branches, never find favour in the sight of any Scotch mason. But indeed in Scotland almost every seems to be a "foe to the Dryads of the borough groves." It is partly owing to our climate, which rarely needs shade; but more to hereditary bad taste. Yet, though standing passive, I remember people shuddering when they heard the axes busy in the woods of Bellevue, and furious when they saw the bare ground. But the axes, as usual, triumphed; and all that art and nature had done to prepare the place for foliaged compartments of town architecture, if being built upon should prove inevitable, was carefully obliterated; so that at last the whole spot was made as bare and as dull as if the designer of the New Town himself had presided over the operation. (pp. 166-167)
Source for notated version:
Printed sources: Glen (Glen Collection of Scottish Music), vol. 1, 1891; p. 5.
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