Miss May Hay

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MISS MAY HAY. Scottish, Rant. E Dorian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The piece meets the criteria for a rant, although the word does not appear in the title. John Glen (1891) finds the earliest printing of this tune in print in Perthshire musician and composer Daniel Dow's c. 1775 collection (p. 20), one of his own compositions.

The Hays were a large and old Scottish clan with Norman roots (there are several villages called La Haye in Normandy). Branches of the clan can be found in many areas of Scotland, including Perthshire, home as well to Dow. Many Hays were sympathetic to the cause of Bonnie Prince Charlie, and in 1745 Mary Hay, Countess of Erroll, raised forces to fight in the Jacobite rebellion.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Cranford (Jerry Holland: The Second Collection), 2000; No. 158, p. 60. Dow (Thirty Seven New Reels and Strathspeys for the Violin), c. 1775; p. 20. Emmerson (Rantin’ Pipe and Tremblin’ String), 1971; No. 39, p. 134. Stewart-Robertson (The Athole Collection), 1884; p. 255.

Recorded sources:




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