Mr. James Boswell's Jig

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MR. JAMES BOSWELL'S JIG. Scottish, Jig (12/8 time). D Mixolydian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB'. Composed by John French (1752–1803), originally from Cumnock, Ayrshire. The Mr. Boswell of the title is James Boswell [1] (1740–1795), 9th Laird of Auchinlech, the famous amanuensis of Dr. Johnson; French had dedicated his posthumously published book to Boswell's wife, Mrs. Boswell of Auchinleck. The volume was issued by Gow & Shepherd "for behoof of Mr. French's widow and children," so the musician may have left them in financial difficulty. The tune is somewhat similar to "Jenny Come Tie My Cravat (1)." See also French's "Mrs. Boswell of Auchinleck's Reel" and "Mr. Boswell of Auchinlech’s Reel."

James Boswell, by Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1785

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Alburger (Scottish Fiddlers and Their Music), 1983; Ex. 90, p. 144. French (A Collection of New Strathspey Reels, etc.), 1801; p. 8.

Recorded sources:

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