Hopetoun House

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HOPETOUN HOUSE. AKA and see "Blossom of the New Tree (The)," "Captain Murray's Reel," "Cock Your Pistol Charlie (2)," "District Nurse (The)," "Hobson's Reel," "In the Tap Room," "Life of Man (2)," "Mountain Lark (7) (The)," "Polly's Reel," "Ranting Widow (The)," "Short Way to Heaven (A)," "Sweet Molly (1)," "Tap House (The)," "Tap Room (The)," "Youngest Daughter (1) (The)." Scottish, Reel. Irish, Highland or Reel. E Dorian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB'. Hopetoun House was the seat in West Lothian of the Earls of Hopetoun, built in 1699-1701 by the famous period architect Sir William Bruce at the behest of Charles Hope, first Earl of Hopetoun, perhaps for his new wife, Henrietta Johnstone ("Lady Harriet Hope"), whom he married in 1699. It is spectacular enough that it is often called the "Scottish Versailles." John, the 4th Earl of Hopetoun (1765-1823) was General of the 92nd Gordon Highlanders.

John Glen (1891) finds the earliest printing of the tune in Robert Bremner's 1757 collection. The melody also appears in the Gillespie Manuscript of Perth (1768), Neil Stewart's Collection of the Newest and Best Reels or Country Dances (c. 1775), and was twice printed by James Aird in his Selections of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol.'s I (1782) and IV (1803). O'Neill (1922) remarks: "'Hoptown House' as it was then named was first printed in the 9th Number of Robert Bremner's A Collection of Scots Reels, and Country Dances, Edinburgh, c. 1757. The editor has taken the liberty of supplying it with a second finish." See also note for Breathnach's "Ranting Widow (The)." O'Neill publishes it as "Youngest Daughter (The)," and prints related tunes under the titles "Mountain Lark (7) (The)" and "Kitty Losty's Reel." A variant of the melody appears in the 1770 music manuscript of Northumbrian musician William Vickers as "Life of Man (2)," and multi-instrumentalist John Rook, of Waverton, near Wigton, Cumbria, included it in his large music manuscript collection under the title "Hobson's Reel." A derivative of "Hopetoun House" can be found in Brendan Breathnach's Ceol Rince na hÉirreann, vol. 2 (1976, No. 292) as an untitled reel from the playing of Sligo fiddler Sonny McDonagh.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Aird (Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol. 1), 1782; No. 61, p. 22. Aird (Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol. 6), 1803, No. 17, p. 7. Bremner (Scots Reels), 1757; p. 9 (appears as "Hoptoun House"). Kennedy (Fiddler's Tune-Book: Reels & Rants, Flings & Fancies), 1997; No. 70, p. 19. Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 1), c. 1875; p. 6 (as "Sweet Molly"). O'Neill (Waifs and Strays of Gaelic Melody), 1922; No. 303. Riddell (Collection of Scotch, Galwegian & Border Tunes), 1794; p. 35.

Recorded sources:

See also listings at:
Alan Ng's Irishtune.info [1]




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