X:1 T:Haggis, The C:Captain Fraser M:C L:1/8 B: Joseph Lowe - Lowe's Collection of Reels, Strathspeys and Jigs, B:book 3 (1844–1845, p. 12) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:C F|(E/F/G) Gc (GE)EF|(E/F/G) GB c2 ce|(E/F/G) Gc (Gc)GE|1D/D/D _BD F2 FD:|2 D/D/D _BD F2 Ff|| ecgc eccf|ecgc f2 (fa)|ecgc acgc|d/d/d (_Bd) f2 (fa)| ecgc eccf|ecge fagf|ecdB cAGE|D/D/D (_BD) F2 FD||
HAGGIS, THE. AKA and see "Lady Helen Wedderburn." Scottish, (Pipe) Reel (whole time). C Major (most versions): D Major (Johnson). Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB (Fraser, Johnson, Lowe, Skye): AABB (Cranford/Fitzgerald): AABB' (Kerr). Composition of this double-tonic tune is credited to Captain Simon Fraser by MacDonald in his Skye Collection (1887), and the melody does appear in Fraser's 1816 volume. A haggis is a large Scottish pudding made of the heart, lungs and liver of a sheep, along with suet, onions, oatmeal and seasoning, stuffed into a sheep's stomach and the whole boiled. It is traditional around the New Year. "This is an admirable one of the pipe reels, so often mentioned, wherein the piper compares his bag and chanter to a well stuffed haggis with its pin. Burns, having taken up so many of the same ideas in his excellent poem to a haggis, may have heard the meaning conveyed by the words, though his genius was so original and capacious, that this is mere conjecture" (Fraser). The melody frequently has been recorded by Cape Breton fiddlers.
Some eight years after Fraser published the reel, fiddler-composer Duncan McKercher included the tune in his collection under the title "Lady Helen Wedderburn," setting it in the key of 'D'. See also Fraser's slip jig version, "What care I for the Minister?."