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X:3 T:Mary Scot [2] M:3/4 L:1/8 R:Air Q:"Slow" B:Burk Thumoth - Twelve Scotch and Twelve Irish Airs with Variations (London, 1742, No. 4, pp. 8-9) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:G G2 (G3A) Bc|d4e2|(d2e2)g2|{c}TB3A G2|A2B2d2 Te4 ga|b2a2g2|{f}Te4 {ef}g2|G3A Bc|d4e2| {d}d2e2g2|{c}TB3AG2|c2 dcBA|(BcdBAG)|A2B2d2|e4d2:| |:g2G2B2|g2G2d2|e>f g2 (fe)|dcBA G2|a2A2B2|a2A2B2| b2 c'bag|{f}Te4 d2|g2G2B2|g2G2d2|e>f g2 fe| dcBA G2|c2 dcBA|(BcdBAG)|(F<A) (G<B) cd|{f}Te4 d2:| |:G2|(G3A) (G/A/B/c/)|{e}d4e2|(3ded (3efe (3efg|B>d (B/c/B/A/) G2| A2 ABcd|{f2}Te4 (ga)|b2 (3c'ba (3bag|e4 {f}(3efg|{A}(G3A) (Bc)| {e}d4e2|dD eE {ef}g2|{c}B3A G2|(c/d/c/d/) ecBA|(3BAG (3dcB (3ABG| (3AGF (3BAG cd|{f}Te4d2::(3gfg (3DGB (3gfg|(3gfg (3DGB (3gfg| (3gba (3gfe (3dec|{c}TB3A G2|(3DFA (3agf (3efd|(3DFA (3agf (3efd|b2 (3c'ba (3bag| {f}Te4 d2|(gfga)ba|(gfgedc)|B(dgedc){c}B3A G2|(cAecBA)|D(GdBAG)|(FGABcd)|{f}Te4{fg}d2:|]

MARY SCOTT [2]. AKA - "Mary Scott, the Flower of Yarrow." AKA and see "Sir John Fenwick's the Flower Among Them All", "When ye cold winter nights were frozen." Scottish, Air and Minuet. D Major (most versions): G Major (Rook). Standard tuning (fiddle). AA'BB: AABB (Rook). "Mary Scott" is the air to the song "Mary Scott, the Flower of Yarrow," and is of some antiquity. Early appearances of the tune appear in musicians manuscripts: Henry Atkinson's music manuscript (Northumberland, 1697), the Cumming Manuscript (1723 {appears untitled}), and a fiddler's tune book of c. 1705 (in the private collection of Francis Collinson). Collinson noted that a second strain had been added to the first; a common practice of old Scots fiddlers, he wrote, who made single strain songs into fiddle (i.e. dance) tunes. Another version can be found in Agnes Hume's music book of 1704 (perhaps Collinson's MS??). The song and tune also appear in printed collections of the early 18th century, including Alexander Stuart's Musick for Allan Ramsey's Collection of Scots Songs (1724), Adam Craig's Collection of Choicest Scots Tunes (1730), William Thomson's Orpheus Caledonius (2nd Ed., vol 1, 1733), and John Watts' Musical Miscellany (vol. 2, 1729). The air continued to be published and copied throughout the century, subsequently being entered in David Rutherford's The Art of Playing on the Violin (London, 1755), James Oswald's Caledonian Pocket Companion (Book 1, 1760), the (James) Gillespie Manuscript from Perth (1768), and Burk Thumoth's Forty Eight English, Irish and Scotch Airs with Variations (London, 1785, pp. 8-9).

Mary Scott was a real life personage, the daughter of Philip Scott of Dryhope Tower and renowned for her beauty, who lived in Yarrow during the 16th century. She married a notorious border reiver named Wat Scott of Harden in 1576 and bore him four sons and six daughters during their 30 year marriage, one of whose descendents was Sir Walter Scott. Neil (1991) relates:

Mary Scott had great strength of character and when there was no
food in the larder, she would serve her lord and master with a pair
of clean spurs on an empty plate. Before dawn there would be
English cattle hidden in a secret valley and the family replete.

A variant of the air can be found in Northumbrian collections as "Sir John Fenwick's the Flower Among Them All," and "Mary Scott [2]" appears under the title "When ye cold winter nights were frozen" in Thompson's manuscript of tunes for the alto recorder, published in 1702. Sanger and Kinnaird (Tree of Strings, 1992) say the tune was popular in Ireland as well, where it was known as "Planxty Scott." The piece was entered into the 1840 music manuscript collection of multi-instrumentalist John Rook, of Waverton, near Wigton, Cumbria.

Additional notes

Printed sources : - McGibbon (Scots Tunes, book II), c. 1746; p. 60. Neil (The Scots Fiddle), 1991; No. 42, p. 55. Oswald (Caledonian Pocket Companion Book 1), 1760; p. 4. Thumoth (Twelve Scotch and Twelve Irish Airs with Variations), London, 1742; No. 4, pp. 8-9.

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