Lord Seaforth

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X:1 T:Lord Seaforth’s Strathspey M:C L:1/16 R:Strathspey N:no composer attribution B:John Pringle – A Second Collection of Strathspeys, Reels & Jiggs &c. (c. 1805, p. 20) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:G B2|G3DDE3 G3AB2d2|c3AB3G {F}E2 E2A2|GD3D3E G3AB2e2|dB3A3B G4 G2:|| g2|(efg2) d3g B3G|c3AB3G {F}E4 E2g2|(efg2) dg3 B3gd3B|c3Ad3B G4 ~G2g2| eg3db3 ca3Bg3|c3AB3G {F}E4 (EcBA)|GD3D3E G3Be2|dB3~A3B G4G2||



LORD SEAFORTH. AKA - "Lord Seaforth's Strathspey." AKA and see "Highland Plaid (1)." Scottish, Canadian; Strathspey. Canada; Prince Edward Island, Cape Breton. G Major (most versions): A Major (Surenne). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Surenne): AAB (Balmoral, Gow, Kerr, Lowe, MacDonald, Stewart-Robertson): AABB (Perlman). "Very old" (Skye, Gow). John Glen (1891) finds the earliest appearance of this tune in print in Angus Cumming's 1780 collection (p. 8). "Highland Plaid (1)" is a reel-time version of the melody, printed in one of the McGlashan collections also published in the 1780's. The MacKenzies of Seaforth were an old Jacobite family whose lands were forfeited after the uprising of 1715, the then 5th Earl, William "Dubh", escaping to the Western Isles, thence to France. William's son Kenneth wisely stayed out of Bonnie Prince Charlies 1745 rebellion, in token of which Seaforth honors and holdings were partially restored. However, the tune is probably dedicated (going by its date of first publication) to Kenneth's son, also Kenneth MacKenzie, who entered the army, was raised to the peerage in 1766, and was created Earl of Seaforth over lands in Ireland in 1771. Seaforth raised a Regiment in that year from among his own clan, and was appointed their colonel. They carried the name of the 78th or Ross-shire Regiment of Highlanders, but when time came for the unit to debark for India a mutiny arose over grievances of pay and promises (not the least of which was that they should not serve in the dangerous tropical climate), and they encamped on Arthur's Seat, refusing to budge. A settlement was finally negotiated, and the Regiment descended from their encampment on the height with Seaforth at their head. They did not go to India, at least at first, but rather to the channel islands of Guernsey and Jersey, where they stayed for some time. However, in 1781 the 78th, along with the Earl, boarded ships for India and embarked on an ill-fated voyage to that country. On the journey to the East a quarter of them died from scurvy; the Earl himself succumbed on the voyage and did not even reach the mid-Atlantic station of St. Helena.

The tune appears as an untitled strathspey in the large mid-19th century music manuscript collection of County Cork cleric and uilleann piper Canon James Goodman. The reel is very popular among Cape Breton and Prince Edward Island fiddlers and has been recorded numerous times.


Additional notes
Source for notated version : - Sterling Baker (b. 1940, Montague, North-East Kings County, Prince Edward Island) [Perlman]; Hector MacAndrew [Martin].

Printed sources : - Carlin (The Gow Collection), 1986; No. 381. G.H. Davidson (Davidson's Gems of Scottish Melody), n.d. (c. 1830's); p. 28. Gow (Complete Repository, Part 3), 1806; p. 15. Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 1), c. 1880; Set 11, No. 3, p. 8. J. Kenyon Lees (Balmoral Reel Book), c. 1910; p. 3. Joseph Lowe (Lowe's Collection of Reels, Strathspeys and Jigs, book 5), 1844-45; p. 10. MacDonald (The Skye Collection), 1887; p. 78. Manson (Hamilton’s Universal Tune Book vol. 1), 1854; p. 146. Martin (Traditional Scottish Fiddling), 2002; p. 134. Perlman (Fiddle Music of Prince Edward Island), 1996; p. 61. Pringle (A Second Collection of Strathspeys, Reels & Jiggs &c.), c. 1805; p. 20. Stewart-Robertson (The Athole Collection), 1884; p. 162. Surenne (Dance Music of Scotland), 1852; pp. 80-81.

Recorded sources : - Rounder RO 7012, Winnie Chafe - "Highland Melodies of Cape Breton" (1979).

See also listing at :
Alan Snyder's Cape Breton Fiddle Recording Index [1]
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [2]
Alan Ng's Irishtune.info [3]



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