Annotation:Duchesse's Slippers (The)

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X:1 T:Dutchess' Slipper M:C L:1/8 R:Strathspey B:Aird – Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol. 4 (1796, No. 151, p. 57) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:G DGBG d<GB<G|DGBG E<A TA2|DGBG dGB<g|{e}d>cBA G<G G2:|| d<g Tg2 dgbg|agbg ea Ta2|d<g Tg2 dgbg|agbg ea Ta2| d<g g2 dgbg|agbg ea Ta2|g<be<g d<gB<g|{e}d>cBA G<G G2||

DUCHESSE'S SLIPPERS, THE. AKA – "Dutchess’ Slipper," "The Duchess' Slipper(s)." AKA and see "Cross of Bowmore," "Duchess of Atholl's Slipper (The)," "Kitty Grogan (1)." Scottish (originally), English, Canadian; Strathspey or Reel. England, Northumberland. Canada, Prince Edward Island. G Major (Hall & Stafford, Milne, Perlman, Raven, Skye): F Major (Kerr, Lowe). Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB (Athole, Hall & Stafford, Lowe, Milne, Raven, Skye): AABB' (Kerr). The earliest publication of the tune is in Niel Gow and Sons, vol. 2 (1788), although it appears in later Gow publications as "The Duchess of Atholl's Slipper," attributed to Niel Gow. It also appears in the music manuscript book of John Burks, dated 1821, as "The Duchess's Slipper." Unfortunately, nothing is known of Burks, although he may have been from the north of England. The melody appears in the 1840 music manuscript collection of Warerton, Cumbria, musician John Rook (as "Dutches's Slipper") with music notes identical to Burks', although without the dotted strathspey rhythm. The tune was entered as an untitled reel into Book 2 (No. 257) of the large c. 1883 music manuscript collection of County Leitrim fiddler and piper biography:Stephen Grier (c. 1824-1894). A reel in Islay fiddler-composer biography:Alexander Mackay's (b. 1773) A Collection of Reels, Strathspeys and Slow Tunes (Glasgow. c. 1822) called "Cross of Bowmore" is a distanced but cognate version of "Duchess of Atholl's Slipper," more so in the first strain than the second. See also an untitled strathspey from Donegal fiddler Danny O'Donnell, printed in Feldman & O'Doherty's Northern Fiddler (1979, No. 192b).

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Aird (Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol. 4), 1796, No. 151, p. 57 (as "Dutchess’ Slipper"). Hall & Stafford (Charlton Memorial Tune Book), 1956; p. 11. Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 2), c. 1880s; No. 179, p. 21. Joseph Lowe (Lowe's Collection of Reels, Strathspeys and Jigs, book 1), 1844–1845; p. 20. MacDonald (The Skye Collection), 1887; p. 77 (appears as "The Duchess' Slipper"). Milne (Middleton's Selection of Strathspeys, Reels &c. for the Violin), 1870; p. 4. Moffat (Dance Music of the North), 1908; No. 40, p. 17. Perlman (The Fiddle Music of Prince Edward Island), 1996; p. 49 (appears as "The Duchess' Slipper"). Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; p 185. Stewart-Robertson (The Athole Collection), 1884; p. 180.

Recorded sources : - Beltona BL2128 (78 RPM), The Edinburgh Highland Reel and Strathspey Society (1936). Ron Gonella – "A Tribute to Niel Gow."

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