Fife Hunt (The)
X:1 T:Fife Hunt, The M:C L:1/8 B:Aird - Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol. 3, 1788 (No. 408, p. 157) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:D g|fd Td2 AF TF2|Eeed e2 eg|fd Td2 AF TF2|Dd-dc d2-d:| |:g|fdad bdad|Be-e^d e3g|fdad bdad|Addc d2 dg| fdad bdad|Be-e^d Te2 eg|fadf gbec|Ad-dc d2d:|]
FIFE HUNT, THE. AKA and see "Moonlight Ramble (1) (A)." Scottish, Reel. C Major (most versions): D Major (Aird). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Surenne): AAB (most versions): AABB (Aird, Honeyman, White). The name Fife derives from the name of an ancient ruler, Fib, who, as one of seven sons of a legendary Pictish king, inherited the region. The Fife Hunt has a long history as a social organization for hunting, breeding of hounds, support of sporting events, and "convivial gatherings" such as the Fife Hunt Ball.
The reel was composed by renowned Scots fiddler-composer Niel Gow's eldest son, William (1751-1791), who was leader of the Edinburgh Assembly Orchestra until his death. "Fife Hunt" belongs, according to Bayard (1981), to a large and nebulous family group of tunes which includes "Whistle and I'll Come to You My Lad" (Scot), "Drunken Hiccups (1)" (USA), "Such a Gittin' Upstairs" (USA), and others. It was used by Lady Nairne for her song "The Fife Laird." One of the oddest (and perhaps first) sound recording of "Fife Hunt" is on the barrel organ from the polar expedition of Admiral Parry of 1819. In place of a ship's fiddler (a common complement to a crew in those days), Parry introduced a mechanical barrel organ on board ship to provide entertainment and a vehicle to which the men could exercise (i.e. by dancing). "Fife Hunt" was one of eight tunes on barrel no. 5.