Fill the Stoup

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X:1 T:Fill the Stoup M:C| L:1/8 R:Reel B:Robert Ross – Choice Collection of Scots Reels or Country Dances B:& Strathspeys (Edinburgh, 1780, p. 36) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:A a|{f}e2 Tc2 eAAa|e2 Tc2 fBBa|{f}e2 Tc2 eAcA|dfce fBB:| |:a|eAcA eAAa|eAcA fBBa|eAcA eAcA|dfce fBB:| |:f|eaca eAAa|eaca fBBf|eacf eAcA|dfce fBB:| |:a|eAcA eAAf|eAcA fBBa|eAcA eAcA|dfce fBB:|]



FILL THE STOUP. Scottish, Reel (whole time). A Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Surenne): ABB (Kerr): AABBCCDD (Athole, Gow, Lowe, Petrie, Ross). There are two versions of this reel, differing in the first strains. John Glen (1891) finds the earliest appearance of this tune in print in Robert Ross's 1780 collection (p. 36). It was included by Kirkmichael, Perthshire, fiddler and composer Robert Petrie in his Second Collection of Strathspey Reels and Country Dances (1796). "Dornoch Links" follows a similar harmonic and melodic pattern, but is a different tune. A stoup is a large bowl, bottle, pail, or jug, or a drinking vessel, generally on the more 'generous' side. A 'stoup' is mentioned in this excerpt from Hunter's Biggar and the House of Fleming (1867, p. 427):

Abernathy had great fondness for a glass of good spirits, and sometimes partook of considerable quantities without apparent injury. One day he entered a grocer's shop in Biggar, and said to the shopkeeper, "Tammas, draw me a gill of whisky oot o' yer best barrel; there's a good King's coin to pay for it; and let me hae a bit parliament cake to taste it wi'." The grocer filled the stoup and set it down on the counter, and then turning round to obtain a parliament, Abernathy with singular dexterity lifted the measure, drank off its contents, and placed it on the counter, wholly unobserved. Abernathy appearing in no hurry to taste the liquor, the grocer inquired the cause. "I'm waitin' 'till ye fill the stoup." "Fill the stoup! the stoup is filled already. If it is no fou, I'll gie ye a gill for naething." "Done," said Abernathy, and turning the stoup upside down, showed that it was entirely empty. The bewildered grocer drew another gill and set it down. Abernathy, though a beggar, was a man of honour. He explained how the first gill had disappeared, drank the second, and paid for both.

The melody also appears in the 1280 music manuscript collection of Highland piper Robert Millar (1789-1861), inscribed "Forfar Reg. and Piper to the Aberdeen Highland Society, 1820," and in multi-instrumentalist John Rook's manuscript collection (1840, p. 111, Wigton, Cumbria).


Additional notes



Printed sources : - Aird (Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol. 4), 1796; No. 59, p. 24. Gow (Complete Repository, Part 1), 1799; p. 25. Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 2), c. 1880's; No. 28, p. 6. Joseph Lowe (Lowe's Collection of Reels, Strathspeys and Jigs, book 2), 1844–1845; p. 6. McGlashan (A Collection of Reels), c. 1786; pp. 14-15. Petrie (Second Collection of Strathspey Reels &c.), 1796; p. 21. Robert Ross (Choice Collection of Scots Reels or Country Dances & Strathspeys), Edinburgh, 1780; p. 36. Stewart-Robertson (The Athole Collection), 1884; p. 27. Surenne (Dance Music of Scotland), 1852; p. 50.






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