Back to Montrose Lyns
MONTROSE LYNS. Scottish, Air (whole time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. The melody appears in the Blaikie MS., c. 1692, a collection of tunes for the lyra-viol (so named because it was in the possession of Mr. A. Blaikie in the latter 19th century). John Glen discusses the air in his Ancient Scottish Melodies (pp. 31-32), and reports that Chappell (Popular Music of the Olden Times, 1858, pp. 378-381) gives an account of a song called "Never Love Thee More/I'll never love thee more (1)," contained in an ms. volume of songs and ballads, with music, dating to 1659, in the handwriting of composer John Gamble. Chappell mentions that the air had been sung to other words.
X:1 T:I'll never love thee more M:6/8 L:1:8 S:John Gamble (1659) K:G D|D2D G2A|B2B D2D|B2B A2G|E3 E2D| D2D G2A|B2B D2D|B2B A2G|d3-d2|| d|B2B A2G|c2d e2d|d2B A2G|E3-E2D| D2D G2A|Bcd e2d|d2B A2G|G3-G2||
It is this air that Chappell claims was employed by James Graham, Marquis of Montrose, for his song "Montrose Lyns", and that "it was, no doubt, the Marquis of Montrose's song that made this tune popular in Scotland." Chappell continued to promote an English provenance for the tune, but Montrose's words (though perhaps not the air) predate Gamble, as Montrose was executed in 1650. Glen is of the opinion that the airs employed by Gamble and Montrose "differ from each other considerably."
Pete Stewart writes [Tradtunes Aug 29, 2013]:
I have been for many years searching for the tunes that Robert Chambers says Peebles Town Piper James Ritchie played; the one that has always escaped me is 'Lyne's Mill Trows'. However, it has often occurred to me that this might just be Ritchie's little joke, localising a better known tune [Lyne's Mill was on the river Lyne just west of Peebles], the well-kent 'Montrose's Lyns'. Today I decided to get a pieable version together. However, searching the web, I found that the only version is this:X:300 T:B228B- Montrose Lyns S:Blaikie MS, c 1692 Q:1/4=120 M:C K:G G,|B,DEG|BA/G/DE|GAAA/G/|E3D|(F/E/((F/G/) (A/G/)A/G/| (A/B/A/)G/DE|d3||a|dBAG|cdeg|(d/g/d)B/ (A/B/A/)G/|A3G| FGAG|ABe2|ABAG|A3G|A,DEG|ABeg|(d/e/d/)B/ (A/B/A/)G/|G3|]
Now, this is clearly not right as a tune - bar 5 can't be melodically sensible [quite apart for the random slurs iin the abc]. tracing it back I find that the source of this version is Glen's Ancient Scottish Music  where Glen has taken it from the Blaikie MS which is viol tablature. Fortunately, I have a photocopy of the original MS and I can tell you now that the correct translation of the tabature gives this:X:300 T:Montrose Lyns S:Blaikie MS, c 1692 M:C K:G L:1/4 G,|B,DEG|BA/G/DE|GAAA/G/|E3D|B,/A,/B,/D/ E/D/E/G/| A/B/A/G/DE|GGAB|d3||a|dBAG|cdeg|d/g/d/B/ A/B/A/G/|A3G| B,DEG|ABe2|ABAG|A3G|A,DEG|]ABeg|d/e/d/B/ A/B/A/G/|G3|]
There does appear to be an error in the original: I have marked with brackets the bars which seem to be a transcription error, where the scribe has slipped back a few bars in their copying."'
Source for notated version: