Annotation:Haughs of Cromdale (The)

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X:1 T:Haugh's of Cromdale M:C| L:1/8 R:Reel B:Cumming - Collection of Strathspey or Old Highland Reels (1780, No. 45, p. 15) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:Amix V:1 clef=treble name="0." [V:1] f|eA A/A/A e>dB>d|e>AA>B GABd|eA A/A/A ed Bd|egdB A2A2:| |:f|edeg abTag|egdB dedB|edeg abag|1 egdB A2 A>B:|2 edgB A2A|]

HAUGHS O' CROMDALE, THE. AKA - "Haughs of Granbille." AKA and see "Barrack Hill (1)," "Four and Twenty Highlandmen (1)," "Hieland Man Came over the Hill (The)," "Killiecranky (4)," "Lady Catherine Stewart/Lady Catherine Stuart," "Mary Anne's Reel (2)," "Merry Maids Meeting," "Merry Maid's Wedding," "New Killiecranky/Killicrankie," "O'Neill's March (2)," "Scotch Mist (3)," "Sid mar chaidh n' Cal a gholaigh" (That is How the Cabbage Was Boiled), "Spilling of the Kale (The)," "Tralee Gaol," "Wat Ye how the Play Began." Scottish, Canadian; Strathspey, Air, March or Polka. Canada; Cape Breton, Prince Edward Island. E Minor/Dorian (Dunlay & Greenberg/MacMaster, Manson, Martin, Perlman): A Mixolydian (Cumming): A Dorian (Dunlay & Greenberg, Campbell, Milne): D Minor (Lowe, Surenne). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Surenne): AAB (Honeyman, Milne): AABB (Most versions): AA'BB' (Dunlay & Greenberg/Campbell). 'Haughs' are the low-lying ground along a river, in this case near Cromdale in Speyside. Fiddler-composer Donald Grant (c. 1760-1830's) of Elgin published an early instance of the tune giving it pride of place as the first tune in his c. 1790 collection, dedicated to Mrs. Col. Grant of Castle Grant. It includes the epigram:

The Grants, M'Kenzies, and M'Cays,
Soon as Montrose, they did espy,
They turn'd and fought most manfully,
Upon the haughs of Cromdale.

Grant the composer noted that the tune was "Old" in his day. He references the battle at the Haughs of Cromdale on April 30 and May 1, 1690, following the Battle of Killiecrankie (1689), a defeat for the Jacobites who were led by Major-General Thomas Buchan. The government forces under Sir Thomas Livingston, commander of the garrison at Inverness, were the victors. James Hogg, the ‘Ettrick shepherd’, later collected a popular song about the defeat, published in his book Jacobite Relics of Scotland (1817). The song, however, is historically inaccurate and conflates two battles (Auldearn and Cromdale) separated by some 45 years[1].

Professor Samuel Bayard posited that the reel was an 'ur' melody from which derived a great many variants in major, modal, duple-time, triple time, vocal and instrumental forms in a number of genres. He called members of this very old family the "Welcome Home" group. The melody is an example of a strathspey of the schottische structure, states Emmerson (1971); two accents to the bar {on the first and third beats of the measure} instead of one. Dunlay & Greenberg point out there are two main strains of the tune: both have similar 'A' parts, but the 'B' parts differ, one beginning on the tonic/I chord and one beginning on the VII chord. They speculate that the tune originally had only one part, as many ballads did, but that differing second turns were added to it later. John Glen (1891) finds the earliest printing of the tune in Angus Cumming's 1780 Scottish collection (A Collection of Strathspey or Old Highland Reels, p. 15), though it also appeared in print the same year in Alexander McGlashan's Collection of Reels as "Merry Maid's Wedding." Creighton and MacLeod (Gaelic Songs in Nova Scotia, 1979) find it earlier in Scotland in the Margaret Sinclair Manuscript (c. 1710) under the title "New Killiecranky/Killicrankie," and it can also be found in the James Knox Manuscript as "Killiecrankie" (see "Killiecranky (4)"). It is in an older manuscript under the title "Wat Ye how the Play Began." Edinburgh musician and writing master David Young entered the tune in his Drummond Castle Manuscript Part 2 (1734, No. 45) under the title "Four and Twenty Highlandmen (1)."

Researcher Fr. John Quinn has classified the many interrelated members of the "Haughs of Cromdale" into four separate lines of derivation:

Conor Ward adds the cognate "Mary Anne's Reel (2)" from Rev. Luke Donnellan's (Oriel region, south Ulster) c. 1909 music manuscript collection.

A Scottish country dance also goes by the name of "Haughs of Cromdale," one of the relatively few that go in strathspey tempo. Flett and Flett (1964) date the dance from sometime after 1855, the date of the introduction of the Highland Schottische, for Haughs incorporates the Highland Schottische's movements. In the Dalbeattie district of Kirkcudbrightshire before 1914 the dance was very popular, according to an informant (Mrs. Margaret Patterson of Auchencairn) who danced it as a young girl. Mrs. Patterson remembered the dance always was accompanied by a briskly played schottische such as "Kafoozalum," "Orange and Blue (1)" or "What's a' the Steer." The tune long predates the dance, first being published by James Oswald in his Caledonian Pocket Companion (c. 1740) under the title "Wat Ye how the Play Began". The first appearance of the tune under the 'Haughs' ("The Haws of Cromdale") is in John Johnson’s Scots Musical Museum. (1797, pp. 502–503).

Cromdale is a district in Strathspey, site of the battle of the Haughs of Cromdale in the 17th century. During the battle a piper in the routed Jacobite army under the inept General Buchan bravely attempted to rally his comrades. Though badly wounded, he clambered atop a rock and continued to play until he expired; the very rock can be seen today and is still named Clach a Phíobair, the Piper's Stone (Collinson, 1975). Perhaps in memory of this feat of bravery, "Haughs of Cromdale" was one of the pipe tunes played by the British 92nd Regiment at the battle of Maya, 1813, which served to so inflame the Highlanders that they charged the French, who became so panic stricken at their audacity that they turned and ran (Winstock, 1970; p. 139). David Glen (in his bagpipe Tutor) states the tune was the "charge and double post of the Gordon Highlanders." Dunlay & Greenberg find the tune set as both a march and a strathspey in various bagpipe collections, including Logan's Complete Tutor for the Bagpipes and The Scots Guards Collection (set as a four-part march). The melody was also entered (as "Mount the Baggage") into the music copybook [1] of John Buttery (1784-1854), a young fifer with the 34th Regiment, British army, who served from 1797-1814 and who late in life emigrated to Canada. Buttery's title usually belongs to other tunes, and "Mount the Baggage" as a title for "Haughs of Cromdale" is idiosyncratic to his ms.

As with many popular British Isles tunes, there were various sets of words attached to it. "As I came in by Auchindown" is one common ballad sung to the air (which tells of a battle with the English on the haughs) and can be found in James Hogg's Jacobite Relics of Scotland (vol. 1, 1819). The first two stanzas of Hogg's song go:

As I came in by Auchindoun,
A little wee bit frae the town,
When to the Highlands I was bound
To view the Haughs of Cromdale.
I met a man in tartan trews,
I spiered at him what was the news,
Quo' he, "The Highland army rues
That e'er we came to Cromdale.

We were in bed, sir, every man,
When the English host upon us came;
A bloody battle then began
Upon the Haughs of Cromdale.
The English horse they were so rude,
They bathed their hoofs in Highland blood,
But our brave clans, they boldly stood
Upon the Haughs of Cromdale.

"Birnie-Bouzle" is another song set to "Haughs". In Cape Breton there was a Gaelic song entitled "Sid mar chaidh an cal a dholaigh" (That is How the Kale/Cabbage Was Ruined/Spoiled) that tells the amusing story of a meeting between Scottish Highlanders and Lowlanders at an inn and how the kale broth was ruined while the lady of the house was dancing (Dunlay & Greenberg). See "Cape North Jig" for a 6/8 time setting of "Haughs," and the A Dorian Irish variant "Tralee Gaol/O'Neill's March (2)." County Leitrim musician Alex Sutherland's (1873-1967) "Old Set Tune No. 1", contained in his first book of his large music manuscript collection (No. 10) seems 'informed by' the melody of "Haughs of Cromdale," although perhaps not cognate.

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Cumming (Collection of Strathspey or Old Highland Reels), 1780; No. 45, p. 15. Dunlay & Greenberg (Traditional Celtic Violin Music of Cape Breton), 1996; pp. 36 & 85. Emmerson (Rantin' Pipe and Tremblin' String), 1971; No. 65, p. 153. Glen (Highland Bagpipe Tutor), 1881; (two settings). Gow (Beauties of Niel Gow), 1819. Donald Grant (Collection of Strathspeys, Reels, Jigs &c.), c. 1790; p. 1. Honeyman (Strathspey, Reel and Hornpipe Tutor), 1898; p. 14. Elias Howe (Musician’s Omnibus Nos. 6 & 7), Boston, 1880-1882, p. 647 (as "Haughs of Granbille"). Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 1), c. 1880; Set 7, No. 1, p. 6. Joseph Lowe (Lowe's Collection of Reels, Strathspeys and Jigs, book 6, 1844–1845; p. 16. MacDonald (The Skye Collection), 1887; p. 85. MacDonald (The Gesto Collection of Highland Music). Manson (Hamilton’s Universal Tune Book, vol. 2), 1846; p. 12. Martin (Traditional Scottish Fiddling), 2002; p. 11. Milne (Middleton's Selection of Strathspeys, Reels, &c. for the Violin), c. 1882; p. 3. Perlman (The Fiddle Music of Prince Edward Island), 1996; p. 198. Stewart-Robertson (The Athole Collection), 1884; p. 249. Surenne (Dance Music of Scotland), 1852; pp. 112–113. Wilson (A Companion to the Ballroom), 1816; p. 37.

Recorded sources : - ACC-49290, Natalie MacMaster – "Road to the Isle." ACC-4925, Tara Lynne Touesnard – "Heritage." Kicking Mule KM-327, "Scartaglen" (1984. Played as a march). RCC-102, Ian McKinnon & Rawlins Cross – "Crossing the Border" (1991). RMD-CAS1, Rodney MacDonald – "Dancer's Delight" (1995). Rounder 7003, John Campbell – "Cape Breton Violin Music" (1976. Appears as "Traditional Strathspey," side two). Smithsonian Folkways Records, SFW CD 40507, The Beaton Family of Mabou – "Cape Breton Fiddle and Piano Music" (2004).

See also listing at :
Alan Snyder's Cape Breton Fiddle Recording Index (E dorian version) [2]
Alan Snyder's Cape Breton Fiddle Recording Index (A dorian version) [3]
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [4]

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  1. Donald Grant may have been familiar with the song prior to the publication of it by Hogg, or, the epigram in Grant's volume may have been added for the 1820-21 edition. Montrose, whom he mentions in the epigram, was James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose, who was hanged in Edinburgh in 1650 after his defeat at the Battle of Carbisdale. The song confuses him with a later Graham, ‘Bonnie Dundee’, who himself had died in 1689 at Killiecrankie.