Gabhaidh Sinn an Rathad Mor

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X:1 T:Gabhaidh Sinn an Rathad Mor T:The Stewart's March M:C| L:1/8 R:Country Dance B:Stewart-Robertson - The Athole Collection (1884) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:A e>fe>d c>d e2|B>cd>c B>c d2|e>fe>d c>d e>a|AA c>A B2A2:| B|c>BA>B cA c2|d>cB>c dB d2|c>BA>B cA c>e|AA c>A B2 AB| cA (3A>BA cA c2|dB (3B>cB dB d2|cA (3A>BA cA c>a|A>Bc>A B2A||



GABHAIDH SINN AN RATHAD MOR. AKA and see "We'll take the High Road," "We'll take the Highway," "Stewart's March (The)," "London Bridge (1)," "London Bridge is Falling Down." Scottish, Country Dance Tune (cut time) or March. A Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. This melody was well-known in Gaelic and Lowland song and instrumental tradition. It was reportedly played by the Stewart clan pipers at the battle of Sheriffmuir in 1715. In a still earlier martial connection, Charles Stewart in his Killin Collection suggests (without verification) that this is the same "Stewart's March" said to have been piped at the battle of Pinkie in 1547. It is perhaps the tune (under the title "Suan agus Lagan") played by Alexander Lamon, piper to the Laird of Lamont, at the annual piping competition (originally the Falkirk Tryst) held at the Assembly hall, Edinburgh in October 1784 (as reported in the period journal Scots Magazine). The melody also appears in piping tradition as "High Road to Gairloch."

To modern ears the tune is unmistakably the children's game-song "London Bridge is Falling Down" and the children's song "Katie Bairdie." It is thought to have origins as a Welsh penillion, or standard-tune, for use in traditional singing contests for improvising children's songs. "Gabhaidh Sinn an Rathad Mòr" is also thought to be based on the Piobaireachd tune "MacIntyre March (The)," with the MacIntyre clan claiming it as well as the Stewarts.

A derivative of the melody is "Will You Go to Sheriffmiur?" published in James Oswald's Caledonian Pocket Companion of the 1750's.

Additional notes

Source for notated version: -

Printed sources : - Stewart-Robertson (The Athole Collection), 1884; p. 153.

Recorded sources: -Greentrax CDTRAX 9009, Donald MacDonell (1888-1967) - "Scottish Tradition 9: The Fiddler and his Art" (1993).



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