Kate Dalrymple

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KATE DALRYMPLE. AKA and see "Highland Laddie (4)," "New Highland Laddie (1)," "Jinglin' Johnnie." Scottish, Reel or Scottish Measure. A Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. The melody was first published in 1750 under the title "New Highland Laddie (1)." James Hunter (1979) explains that Kate Dalrymple was a noted beauty, and the subject of a Thomas Gainsborough (1727–1788) portrait; however no such portrait is extent, and Hunter may have been referring to another Dalrymple, the courtesan Mrs. Grace Dalrymple Elliott [1] (1754–1823), whom Gainsborogh painted in 1778. The reel is a popular ceilidh tune, and has been used by the BBC as the theme music for the BBC Radio Scotland dance music program "Take the Floor."

William Watt (1792−1859) wrote a poem (and song [2]) about a spinster named Kate Dalrymple, with visage "gruesome and grim", that begins:

In a wee cot house far across the muir
Where pease-weeps, plovers, an’ waups cry dreary,
There liv’d an’ auld maid for mony lang years,
Wha ne’er a woo-er did e’er ca’, dearie.
A lanely lass was Kate Dalrymple,
A thrifty quean was Kate Dalrymple;
Nae music, exceptin’ the clear burnie’s wimple,
Was heard round the dwellin’ o’ Kate Dalrymple.


Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Hunter (Fiddle Music of Scotland), 1988; No. 241 (arranged by James Hunter). Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 1), c. 1880; No. 8, p. 24. Lerwick (The Kilted Fiddler), 1985; p. 13.

Recorded sources: Tradition 2118, Jim MacLeod & His Band – "Scottish Dances: Jigs, Waltzes and Reels" (1979). Music for Pleasure MFP 50373, "Fiddle Me Jig" (c. 1978). Bob Smith's Ideal Band – "Better Than an Orchesta" (1977). Bob Smith's Ideal Band – "Ideal Music" (1977).




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