Kilt Thy Coat Maggie

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KILT THY COAT, MAGGIE. Scottish, Dance Tune (3/4 time). A Dorian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. From the Skene Collection (1620); the title means "Lift up thy petticoat, Maggie." Emmerson (1972), Purser (1992) and Williamson report that "Kilt" was played at least once in conjunction with Satanic rituals, upon a time. It is recorded in the Spottiswoode Miscellany (vol. 2, p. 68) that at the trial of John Douglas and eight women from the Lowland town of Tranent for witchcraft on the 3rd of May, 1659, the accused confessed to "merry meetings with the Devil at which they had music, J. Douglas being the piper and danced to "Kilt Thy Coat, Maggie/And come thy way with me" and "Hulie the bed will fa.'" [Spottiswoode Miscellany (Edin. 1844-5), II.68; Thomas Davidson, Rowan Tree and Red Thread (1949), 19.] All, including the piper, were burned in 1659. The tune in the Skene is likely the tune the unfortunate Douglas piped.

Source for notated version: the Skene Manuscript (1620) [Purser].

Printed sources: Purser (Scotland's Music), 1992; Example 6, p. 123.

Recorded sources: Flying Fish FF358, Robin Williamson, "Legacy of the Scottish Harpers, Vol 1."




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