Hei Tuti Teti

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X:1 T:Hei Tuti Teti M:C L:1/8 R:Air S:Gow - 2nd Repository (1802) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:Bb F2 F>D (F2 B)z|{A}G2 GF G(ABc)|{Bc}d2 c>B ~B>cd>c|(B<G) ~G>F F4:| d2 ~d>c (d2 f)z|c2 ~c>B c2 (de)|(f<d) ~c>B B<c {Bc}d>c|(B<G) ~G>F F4| d2 d>c (d2f)z|c2 cB ~c>d(eg)|(f<d) c>B B>c {Bc}d>c|(B<G) ~G>F F4||



HEI TUTI TETI. AKA and see "Scots wha hae (wi' Wallace Bled)." Scottish, "Very Slow" Air or March. F Mixolydian (Gow/Carlin): B Flat Major (Gow/Repository): G Major (Johnson): D Major (O'Farrell). Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. Scotland's first popular hero was William Wallace, who fought for Scottish independence from the English, but was captured and brutally executed. Robert (the) Bruce took up the rebellion in 1305 and, in 1314, defeated Edward II in the battle of Bannockburn and finally declared Scottish independence. Edward took his time recognising the new state, but in 1328 he acquiesced and Robert Bruce became King Robert I of Scotland. Tradition has it that this tune was played when he led his troops to the battle at Bannockburn.

Robert Burns wrote words to the air "Hey Tuti Teti" and reported the association with Bannockburn when he sent the song to George Thomson (musician), his publisher (Scots Musical Museum). Thomson, however, was not impressed with the melody (perhaps because it was originally set to a drinking song). He suggested to Burns that the melody "Lewie Gordon" be used instead, and Burns acquiesced. It was so published in the Museum, book 3 (1799). Thompson later had a chance to review the pairing and admitted he made a mistake, replacing "Hey Tuti Tati" for Burn's song "Scots wha hae." Ironically, music was specially written for the song by William Clarke, an English organist, and inserted in the sixth volume of the Museum (1803), although the song has become a national anthem[1].

Musicologist Frank Kidson finds this romantic notion with Bannockburn and with the early Scottish poem "Hey the day dawis" to be, at the least, improbable. The earliest appearance of (a variant) of the tune is in Oswald's Caledonian Pocket Companion Book III (c. 1750).

It has been suggested that the title, which has no meaning in Scots, is representative of a drum beating.


Additional notes



Printed sources : - Carlin (Gow Collection), 1986; No. 543. Gow (Complete Repository, Book 2), 1802; p. 1. Johnson (The Kitchen Musician's No. 10: Airs & Melodies of Scotland's Past), vol. 10, 1992 (revised 2001); p. 8. Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 3); No. 202, p. 24. O'Farrell (Pocket Companion for the Irish or Union Pipes, vol. 1), c. 1800; p. 78. Oswald (Caledonian Pocket Companion Book 3), c. 1751.






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  1. Frank Kidson, Groves Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 1910, pp. 664-665.