Lady Madelina Sinclair's Birthday
X:1 T:Lady Madeline Palmer's Birth Day M:C| L:1/8 R:Reel B:J. Anderson - Anderson's Budget of Strathspeys, Reels & Country Dances B: for the German Flute or Violin (Edinburgh, 1820, p. 5) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:D f|d2 Ad FdAd|d2 (g/f/e/d/) ceef|d2 Ad FdAd|(c/d/e) (eg) fdd:|| f|d<dfa adfd|d<dfd ceef|d<dfd adfd|(c/d/e) (eg) fddf| d<d fd adfd|d<dfd ceef|.d.d.e.e .f.f.g.g|.a.a .d'.a fdd||
LADY MADELINA SINCLAIR'S BIRTHDAY. AKA and see "Lady Elgin's Courtship," "Lady Madeline Palmer's Birth Day." Scottish, Reel. B Flat Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Surenne): AAB (Athole, Cranford, Gow): AABB' (Kerr). Lady Madelina Sinclair (1772-1847) was the second daughter of Alexander, 4th Duke of Gordon, and William Marshall's employer and patron. Unfortunately, we don't know when her birthday is, as records do not specify a date and even the year of her birth is a 'circa'. She married Sir Robert Sinclair in 1789. Her second husband was named Charles Fyshe Palmer (See note for "Lady Madelina Sinclair" for more), which dates the tune to the period between 1789 and 1805, when she remarried. The title pf the reel was updated to "Lady Madeline Palmer's Birth Day" in John Anderson's Anderson's Budget of Strathspeys, Reels & Country Dances, printed in Edinburgh around 1820, to reflect her surname change due to her remarriage.
Paul Stewart Cranford (1997) remarks that this tune was a favorite of Mary 'Hughie' MacDonald on Cape Breton, and that his source fiddler Winston Fitzgerald "played some of his best music with Mary's daughter, pianist Mary Jessie MacDonald."