Honest Duncan

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X:1 T:Honest Duncan M:C L:1/8 R:Slow Strathspey B:Stewart-Robertson - The Athole Collection (1884) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:Bb d/c/|~B<B,B D/E/ F<B,B, d/c/|~B<B,B, D/E/ F2 F>d|~B<B, B,>B F<B, F>D| CC D>F G2 Gd/c/|~B<B,B D/E/ F/E/D/C/ Bd/c/|~B<B,B D/E/ ~F2 Fd/c/| ~B>FB>d ~B>F G/F/E/D/|CC E>F G2G||d/c/|~B>F e/d/c/B/ F>BD>B| B,>f e/d/c/B/ g2 ga/b/|B>c B<f d>c ~B>B,|CC E>F G2 Gd/c/| ~B>f e/d/c/B/ F>BD>B|B,>f e/d/c/B/ g2 ga/b/|f>b d>f B>d D>B| CC E>F G2G||



HONEST DUNCAN. AKA and see "Miss Downie's Strathspey," "Garden Shiel." Scottish, Strathspey. B Flat Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. Alburger (1983) identifies the tune as having been written by Duncan MacIntyre (who originally called it "Miss Downie's Strathspey"), an "expatriate dancing master" who published this along with others of his compositions in London in 1795. The Gows republished the tune under the title above in Repository (Part Second, 1802), "presumably in his honor" (John Glen {1895} calling it a "doubtful compliment"). There is a song by James Hogg contained in his Forest Minstrel (1810, though perhaps written before this date) called "Honest Duncan" which sings to the air, according to Glen, who thinks this may have suggested the name to Nathaniel Gow[1]. A further claim to the tune, under the title "Garden Shiel" has been made for Robert Petrie, who published it in his Third Collection (1802).

Additional notes

Source for notated version: -

Printed sources : - Carlin (The Gow Collection), 1986; No. 75. Cranford (Jerry Holland: The Second Collection), 2000; No. 49, p. 21. Gow (Complete Repository, Part 2), 1802; p. 1. Stewart-Robertson (The Athole Collection), 1884; p. 289.

Recorded sources: -

See also listings at:
Alan Snyder's Cape Breton Fiddle Recording Index [1]



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  1. John Glen, "Biographical Sketches," The Glen Collection of Scottish Dance Music, vol. 2, 1895, p. xii.