Gooden Well

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X:1 T:Gooden Well, or Mr. Buist’s Frolic. A Reel. C:James Walker (1771-1840), Dysart M:C L:1/8 R:Reel B:James Walker - Collection of new Scots reels, strathspeys, jigs, &c. (c. 1795, p. 14) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:A e|cA A/A/A EAAc|dBcA GBBe|cA A/A/A EAAg|aefd cAA:| g|aefd ceAc|dBcA GBBg|aefd ceAc|aefd cAAg| aefd ceAc|dBcA GBBe|ceAc dfeg|aefd cAA||

GOODEN WELL/GOODENWELL. AKA and see "Mr. Buist's Frolic," "Mrs. Robertson of Lawers Reel." Scottish (originally), Canadian; Reel. Canada, Cape Breton. A Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. Composed by Dysart (near Kirkcaldy, Fife) fiddler-composer James Walker (c.1760-1840[1]), first appearing in his Edinburgh-published collection of 1795. He dedicated the volume to Sir James Erskine, the Master of the free Mason lodge in Dysart, Fife, of which he presumably was a member. According to David Baptie and John Glen, Walker was a fiddler, composer and music teacher who was popular at big house balls in Fife. Edinburgh bandleader and fiddler-composer Alexander McGlashan published the tune two years later in his 4th Collection (1797) under the title "Mrs. Robertson of Lawers Reel." The tune was recorded by Cape Breton fiddler and composer Dan R. MacDonald.

Regarding Walker's alternate title, "Mr. Buist's Frolic," it may be named for a James Buist, who was born in Dysart, Fife, Scotland in June, 1761, which would make him a contemporary of Walker's.

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Cranford (Jerry Holland's Collection), 1995; No. 12, p. 4. Glen (The Glen Collection of Scottish Dance Music, vol. 2), 1895; p. 3. James Walker (Collection of new Scots reels, strathspeys, jigs, &c.), 1795; p. 14.

Recorded sources : - Rounder 7059, Alex Francis MacKay with Gordon MacLean - "Gaelic in the Bow" (2005).

See also listing at :
Alan Snyder's Cape Breton Fiddle Recordings Index [1]

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  1. John Glen gives the year of his birth as 1771.