Lady Lucy Ramsay's Strathspey (1)

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X:1 T:Lady Louisa Ramsay's Strathspey T:Lady Lucy Ramsay's Strathspey [1] M:C L:1/16 R:Strathspey B:Robert Mackintosh – “A Fourth Collection of New Strathspey Reels, also some Famous old Reels” (1804, p. 15) N:Dedicated to the Dutchess [sic] of Manchester N:Robert “Red Rob” Mackintosh (c. 1745-1808) was a Scottish violinist and N:composer active in Edinburgh at the end of the 18th century. Originally from N:Tullymet, near Pitlochry, Perthshire. He moved to London in the last decade N:of his life. Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:C G2|(eg3g3a) g2e2c2g2|g3ca3e e2d2d2f2|eg3g3a g2a2g2e2|fedc B2g2 e2c2c2:| Gc3Ec3 d3cde3|cc3{cd}e3d cA3Ac3|Gc3Ec3 d2c2de3|c3G ABcG E2C2C2c2| G3cE3c d3cd3e|cc3{cd}e3d c2A2A2c2|Gc3E3c Fc3Gc3|A2(a2Tg3f) e2c2c2||



LADY LUCY RAMSAY. AKA - "Lady Louisa Ramsay's Strathspey." AKA and see "Mrs. Todd's Strathspey." Scottish, Strathspey. C Major (most versions): D Major (Anderson, Rook). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Surenne): AAB (Anderson, Balmoral, Gow, Honeyman): AABB' (Athole, Kerr, Lowe, Skye). MacDonald's Skye Collection (1887) credits this tune to Nathaniel Gow (1763-1831), however the Gows printed the tune with the attribution "By a Lady." "Lady Lucy Ramsay's Favorite Strathspey" was printed on a single sheet by Gow & Shepherd in the first decade of the 19th century, this time with the attribution "by A female amateur"[1]. This is a curious attribution, however, for the strathspey is substantially the same as Duncan MacIntyre's "Mrs. Todd's Strathspey," printed in Edinburgh in 1794 in his Collection of Slow Airs, Reels and Strathspeys, containing tunes without composer attribution but all considered MacIntyre compositions. The first strains of the two tunes are very similar, while the second differs somewhat more but still follows a similar harmonic and melodic contour. Edinburgh fiddler-composer and bandleader Robert Mackintosh (c. 1745-1808) included a version of the strathspey in his Fourth Collection of New Strathspey Reels (c. 1804) under the slightly different title "Lady Louisa Ramsay's Strathpsey," although Mackintosh also composed the strathspey "Lady Lucinda Ramsay," presumably also for the same person.

There is a popular Scottish Country Dance by the name of Lady Lucy Ramsay. The strathspey may be a companion piece to "Lady Mary Ramsay."

Lady Lucy (or Louisa) Ramsay has been difficult to trace. She is perhaps Lady Elisabeth Ramsay (1769-1848), the 2nd daughter of George, the 8th Earl of Dalhousie (died 1787), or more likely her sister Lady Lucinda Maria Ramsay (1773-1812). Lady Lucinda died at Dalhousie Castle, so perhaps she did not wed (there is no record of a marriage). If this is the right family it must have been that of the 8th Earl, as the 9th Earl of Dalhouse, also a George, did not marry until 1805, five years after the tune was published; he and his wife was Christina did not have any female children. Lady Elizabeth married Sir Thomas Moncreiffe of that Ilk, 5th Bt., in 1786. Nathaniel Gow also composed a reel, "Lady L. Ramsay's Reel", probably in her honor as well.


Additional notes



Printed sources : - Anderson (Anderson's Budget of Strathspeys, Reels & Country Dances for the German Flute or Violin), Edinburgh, 1820; p. 29. Carlin (Gow Collection), 1986; No. 99. Gow (Fourth Collection of Strathspey Dances), 2nd ed., originally 1800; p. 16. Honeyman (Strathspey, Reel and Hornpipe Tutor), 1898; p. 15. Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 1), c. 1880; Set 23, No. 3, p. 14. J. Kenyon Lees (Balmoral Reel Book), c. 1910; p. 5. Joseph Lowe (Lowe's Collection of Reels, Strathspeys and Jigs, book 3), 1844–1845; p. 16. MacDonald (The Skye Collection), 1887; p. 120. Robert Mackintosh (Fourth Collection of New Strathspey Reels), c. 1804; p. 15 (as "Lady Louisa Ramsay's Strathspey). Stewart-Robertson (The Athole Collection), 1884; p. 66. Surenne (Dance Music of Scotland), 1852; pp. 64-65.

Recorded sources : - Beltona SDP03, Jimmy Shand - "King of the Button Box" (2002). Green Ginger - "Gang on the Same Gate" (1999). Rounder Records, Alex Francis MacKay - "A Lifelong Home" (1997).

See also listing at :
Alan Syner's Cape Breton Fiddle Recording Index [1]
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [2]



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