General Campbell of Monzie's Welcome Home

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GENERAL CAMPBELL OF MONZIE'S WELCOME HOME. AKA and see "Drum House," "Mr. Hay's Favorite." Scottish, Scots Measure. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. The melody under the "General Campbell" title appears in the 4th collection of Malcolm MacDonald, dedicated to the Countess of Breadalbane. The General was Alexander Campbell (1751-1832) of Monzie, Gilmerton, Perthshire. The following anecdote is told about him in Dun Macara's book Crieff: Its Traditions and Characters, with Anecdotes of Strathearn (1881):

About the beginning of the present century a number of gentlemen of mark resided in the locality, and not the least conspicuous of these were Colonel Sir Patrick Murray, Baronet, of Ochtertyre, and General Campbell, of Monzie, who figured in the Indian campaigns. According to the traditions and records of these eventful times, dancing parties or assemblies were very common, and practical joking not unusual. General Campbell, having a number of friends residing with him at Monzie Castle, took the liberty one day of inviting himself and them to dinner at the mansion of his neighbour, the Baronet; so, without any previous warning, the arrival of the General and his party was announced to Sir Patrick and his good lady as they were going to sit down and dine. Both of them felt a little put about in their unprepared state for visitors, but, not- withstanding, gave the strangers a hearty welcome. The Baronet, suspecting the nature of the visit, took things quietly, and allowed the cooks prepare an ample supply, of which the General and etc., plenty of time between the dinner courses to his friends were pressingly invited to partake. Previous to the removal of the cloth, Sir Patrick quietly sent a messenger to Crieff, and engaged John Cuthbert and his brother, the famous reel players, to be at Monzie Castle at a certain hour that evening. After a hearty repast, and healths and friendships were toasted to the satisfaction of all, the General and his party bade goodbye to Ochtertyre; and as they drove along the fine avenues they gave vent in loud shouts of laughter to their merriment at the success of the joke, and the apparent uneasiness of the gallant Baronet and his lady. As soon as the party were gone, Sir Patrick, with some friends, entered the Ochtertyre carriage and drove post haste after the General, who had scarcely quitted his carriage at Monzie Castle when the sound of a carriage was heard, and immediately the party halted at the door. The arrival was announced, and the General was perfectly thunderstruck. Sir Patrick, on entering, signified his intention of being present, with a few friends, at a ball in Monzie that night. The General was nonplussed. A ball! He was not aware there was to be any such thing. The Baronet insisted on being present. A cold sweat crept over the General as the thought of a return joke flashed on his mind. "There can be no dancing as there is no music." This seemed a favourable escape, but Sir Patrick would take what could be had-he would not be particular. The General said there was no music at all, and consequently could be no ball, otherwise he would be exceedingly glad of Sir Patrick's company. On a signal the Crieff players appeared, and on being ushered into the hall, Sir Patrick looked at them and then at the General, and exclaimed-"Really, General, this is too bad; I knew there was to be a ball, or I would not be here with my friends, and, in the face of your positive denial of such a thing, the very musicians engaged for the purpose make their appearance. I am determined to do myself the pleasure of dancing with you." The General, finding himself fairly out-generalled, had just to make the necessary preparations, and the night was passed in mirth, dancing, and the best of good humour. In conducting subsequent operations the General reconnoitred more carefully before attempting to storm with impunity the stronghold of "Bonnie Ochtertyre."

This dance tune was published a few years later in the Gows' Fourth Collection of Niel Gow's Reels (1800) as "Drum House," were it was attributed to band leader, composer and multi-instrumentalist Nathaniel Gow (1763-1831).

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: MacDonald (A Fourth Collection of Strathspey Reels), 1797; p. 3.

Recorded sources:




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