Miss Jessy Cumming
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MISS JESSY CUM(M)ING. Scottish, Strathspey. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. Paul Cranford (1997) states: “I associate this tune with Alex Francis MacKay, an old style player from Glendale, Cape Breton, who at the age of 74 released his first CD, “A Lifelong Home” (Rounder, 1996). Dan R. MacDonald was Alex Francis’ first cousin.” Composed by Robert Mackintosh. The tune is contained in the 1839 music manuscript collection of James Webster, a musician from Alehouse Hill, Brucklay, New Deer, Aberdeenshire (gifted by J. Murdoch Henderson to the University of Aberdeen). It is possible that Mackintosh's contemporaries John French and Ducan MacIntyre composed their "Miss Cuming’s Reel" and "Miss Cumming's Strathspey" for the same person, and French also wrote another tune for her, "Miss J. Cumming's Reel."
Miss Jessy Cumming is listed among the subscribers to Tourner's A New Introduction to the Italian Language, Grounded on Reason and Authority (Edinburgh, 1795).
Source for notated version: Winston Fitzgerald (1914-1987, Cape Breton) [Cranford].
Printed sources: Cranford (Winston Fitzgerald), 1997; No. 126, p. 52. Glen (The Glen Collection of Scottish Dance Music), vol. 2, 1895; p. 7. Stewart-Robertson (The Athole Collection), 1884; p. 124.
Recorded sources: JC 126, John Campbell - "Cape Breton on the Floor" (1981).
See also listing at:
Alan Snyder's Cape Breton Fiddle Recordings Index