Miss Whiteford's Reel (2)
X:1 T:Miss Whiteford's Reel  M:C| L:1/8 R:Reel B:John Riddell of Ayr – Collection of Scots Reels, Minuets &c. B:for the Violin (1782, p. 57) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:C F|E2 (CE) GEce|GEcE D(dd)e|E2 CE GEc(E|TFD)GE C/C/C C:| g|edcd efga|gage dcdf|edcd efga|gede c/c/c ce/f/| gceg acgc|fage fede|cfed cAGE|DCDE C/C/C C||
MISS WHITEFORD'S REEL. Scottish, Reel (cut time). C Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. Composed by Ayrshire fiddler-composer John Riddell (1719-1795), the reel is contained in his second collection of 1782, printed in Glasgow by James Aird. Miss Whitefoord and John Whitefoord Esq. were listed as subscribers to Robert Burns's Poem: Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect (1787). The affable and gentlemanly Sir John was the laird of the estates of Whiteford and Ballochmyle in Ayrshire, an early patron of Burns, a correspondent, and a defender of his character. Unfortunately the estates had been badly managed by his predecessor, and added to that was the failure of the Ayr Bank and loss of his investments; he was obliged to sell them both and move to Whitefoord House in the Canongate of Edinburgh. Burn's song "The Braes of Ballochmyle" was written on the occasion of Miss Whitefoord leaving her family inheritance, and was published in Johnson's Scots Musical Museum (1788).
The Catrine woods were yellow seen,
The flowers decay'd on Catrin lee,
Nae lav'rock sang on hillock green,
But nature sicken'd on the e'e.
Thro' faded groves Maria sang,
Hersel in beauty's bloom the while;
And ay the wild-wood echoes rang,
Fareweel the braes o' Ballochmyle!
Low in your wintry beds, ye flowers,
Again ye'll flourish fresh and fair;
Ye birdies dumb, in with'ring bowers,
Again ye'll charm the vocal air.
But here, alas! for me nee mair
'"Shall birdie charm, or floweret smile;
Fareweel the bonie banks of Ayr,
Fareweel, fareweel! sweet Ballochmyle!
'Maria' in the song is Mary Anne Whitefoord, Sir John's eldest daughter, who later married Henry-Kerr Cranstoun, nephew of the fifth Baron Cranstoun. Burns's "Lass o' Ballochmyle" was another song, and regards a different subject, Miss Alexander, who, with her brother Claud, came to the estate directly after the Whitefoords.