It's nae ay for want o' health o?

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X:1 T:It’s nae ay for want o’ health the Ladies gang to Pannanich N:William Christie (1778-1849) N:Christie was a dancing master, fiddler N:and composer from Cuminestown, Aberdeenshire. M:C| L:1/8 R:Reel B:Christie - Collection of Strathspeys, Reels, Hornpipes, B:Waltzes &c. (Edinburgh, 1820, p. 37) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:D g|{fg}a>A A/A/A {c}TB>AGB|A/A/A T(f>e) dBBg|{fg}a>A A/A/A {c}TB>AGB|A/A/A T(f>e) {c}d2d:| e|fdfa fdfa|{f}Te>def dBBg|fdfa fdfa|{f}Te>def d/d/d ~de-| fdfa fdfa|{f}Te>def dBBg|{fg}a>A A/A/A {c}TB>AGB|A/A/A T(f>e) {c}d2d||



IT'S NAE FOR WANT O' HEALTH O? AKA - "It's nae ay for want o' health the Ladies go to Pannanich." Scottish, Reel. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. Composed by Crathie, Aberdeenshire, farmer, fiddler and violin maker William Blair (1793-1884), famed as a player of Scots dance music before he became fiddler to Queen Victoria from 1848. The melody was not credited by MacDonald in his 1887 collection. A posthumous collection of Blair's tunes, Original Reels & Strathspeys, was issued in the early 1890's.

"Pannanich" in the title may refer to Pannanich Wells, Deeside, Aberdeenshire, a natural spring with supposed medicinal powers. Around 1760, the wells gained renown when an account was given of a local woman, Elspet Michie, who it was claimed was cured of "the King's Evil" (scrofula - or tuberculosis of the lymph node) by the water. According to the story she took to bathing in it, though her neighbors thought she was mad as it was quite chilly, but she persevered and eventually was restored to health, crediting the spring waters for her recovery.

As the fame of the wells grew, it attracted people from far and wide who wished to sample the waters, or hoping for relief from ailments. In 1795 the Reverend Dr. John Ogilvie, minister at nearby Midmar and a noted writer, wrote of the wells:


I've seen the sick to health return,
I've seen the sad forget to mourn,
I've seen the lame their crutches burn,
And loup and fling at Pannanich.

I've seen the auld seem young and frisky,
Without the aid of ale or whisky,
I've seen the dullest hearts grow brisky
At blithesome, helpful Pannanich.


Additional notes



Printed sources : - Christie (Collection of Strathspeys, Reels, Hornpipes, Waltzes &c.), Edinburgh, 1820; p. 37. J. Davie & Co, (Davie's Caledonian Repository vol. 2), c. 1829; p. 48. MacDonald (Skye Collection), 1887; p. 21.






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