Margaret Anne Robertson

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MARGARET ANNE ROBERTSON. AKA – "Scotch Waltz." Scottish, Shetland, Canadian; Slow Air (3/4 time) or Waltz. Canada; Nova Scotia, Cape Breton, Prince Edward Island. A Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB (Hinds, Little): AABB (Perlman): AABB' (Cranford/Fitzgerald): AA'BB' (Anderson & Georgeson, Hunter). Composed in 1965 by Shetland Island native Frank ('Frankie') Ronald Jamieson, who was born in Vidlin in 1919. He was an office manager to a waving and knitting company in Lerwick. The air is thought to be Frank Jamieson's finest composition. "A lament on the death of a beloved wife," says Donna Hebert/Hinds, 1981), although more substantial information is supplied by Hunter (1988) who says it was composed in memory of a favorite sister with whom he lived for many years until her sudden death. Another source records it was inspired by the death of his sister who passed away at a very early age; "Maggie" played fiddle and was considered by her father to have the finest touch of all his family. Jamieson said of his own composing: "...I might be fooling around on the fiddle you see, and suddenly play a phrase which I like, and then I'll build around it. But sometimes I get one part you see, and the second part will beat me—but what I did was I just left it and maybe a week or a fortnight later this would come in my mind. And I'll pick up the fiddle and play a second piece to it right away. It might come in a flash just like that. 'Margaret Ann Robertson' was composed like that'" (Cooke, 1986). Jamieson himself died in 1982. Perlman (1996) notes the tune is played "all over" Prince Edward Island where it is known as "Scotch Waltz."

Frank Jamieson

Sources for notated versions: John Allan Cameron and Ian Powrie (Canada) [Hinds]; Francis MacDonald (b. 1940, Morell Rear, North-East Kings County, Prince Edward Island) [Perlman]; Winston Fitzgerald (1914–1987, Cape Breton) [Cranford].

Printed sources: Anderson & Georgeson (Da Mirrie Dancers), 1970; p. 34. Cranford (Winston Fitzgerald: A Collection of Fiddle Tunes), 1997; No. 216, p. 86. Hinds/Hebert (Grumbling Old Woman), 1981; p. 33. Hunter (The Fiddle Music of Scotland), 1988; No. 34. Little (Scottish and Cape Breton Fiddle Music in New Hampshire), 1984; pp. 22-25. Perlman (The Fiddle Music of Prince Edward Island), 1996; p. 173.

Recorded sources: Shetland Folk Society, Da Mirrie Dancers. John Allan Cameron and Ian Powrie – "Farewell to Scotland," O/P. REL Records, The Scottish Fiddle Orchestra - "Scottish Tranquillity." Ross Records, Charlie McKerron, George Cowie, Jennifer wilson & Keith Collins – "Music of the Fiddle, vol. 1" (1981). Whirlie Records, "The Best of Aly Bain: A Fiddler's Tale, vol. 1" (2008).




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