Mr. Graham of Orchills
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MR. GRAHAM OF ORCHILL('S). AKA – "Graham of Orchall's Do.." Scottish, Strathspey. F Mixolydian/Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. Composed by Niel Gow (1727–1807). Orchill is in Perthshire, Scotland, site of the estate of the Graham family, a cadet branch of the family of the Dukes of Montrose. The original house in Orchill was built in the early 18th century and is a traditional harled laird’s house with a gothic tower and great hall. It is said that Mr. Graham of Orchill, also a fiddler, would visit Gow in nearby Dunkeld and stay up whole nights with him playing reels. On one occasion Niel exclaimed: “Troth, Orchill, you play weel;—be thankfu’, if the French should overturn our country, you and I can win our bread, which is mair than mony o’ the great folk can say.” Early printings of the melody include Gow’s own (1784), Aird (1788), and the 1788 music manuscript copybook of Thomas Molyneaux, Ensign—6th Regiment, from Shelburne, Nova Scotia, a flute player. A song in the Scots Musical Museum (1787, vol. V, song 463, p. 476), called “Lass that Winna Sit Down” is set to a melody that is said to have been an adaptation of “Mr. Graham of Orchill’s” and Daniel Dow’s "Highland Skip (1) (The)." See also other tunes for Graham/Orchill, "Orchall" and "Mrs. Graham of Orchill."
Source for notated version:
Aird (Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol. 3), 1788; pp. 155–156.
Aird (Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol. 6), 1803; p. 80 (as "Graham of Orchall's Do.").
Carlin (The Gow Collection), 1986; No. 163.
Collinson (The Traditional and National Music of Scotland), 1966; p. 217.
Gow (First Collection of Strathspey Reels), 1784 (revised 1801); p. 3.
MacDonald (The Skye Collection), 1887; p. 188.
Greentrax CD TRAX 149, Alex Francis MacKay – “A Lifelong Home” (1997).
Rounder Records 7020, Alex MacKay – “A Lifelong Home” (1997).