Mr. Menzies of Culdares

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MR. MENZIES OF CULDARE('S REEL). AKA and see "Braes of Glendochart (The)/Braes of Glendochert (The)," “Joe Tanzy's Reel,” “Paddy Murphy’s Wife (1),” “Pat Carney's Reel.” Scottish, Reel. D Mixolydian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Jones, Surenne): AAB (Gow): AABB' (Athole, Skye). The tune was first published by the Gows in the First Collection of 1784 (p. 17), and composition claimed for Niel Gow (1727-1807) in the 2nd edition of the First Collection (1801). The melody had been originally published, however, by Alexander McGlashan under the title "Braes of Glendochart" in 1778. McGlashan was dead before Gow's claim of authorship emerged in 1801. Sometimes mistakenly called “Miss Menzies of Culdare” or “Mrs. Menzies of Culdare.” The name Menzies is pronounced ‘Ming-ess’ or ‘Minges’ in Scotland. They were a Jacobite family, having turned out in 1715, and, although at the next rising the scion of the family, “Old Culdares” (d. 1775), was too old to fight, he sent Bonnie Prince Charlie (the ‘Young Pretender’) a fine white horse in 1745. It was also this gentleman who brought the first larch trees to Scotland from the Austrian Tyrol in 1737 and presented them to the Duke of Atholl. Two of the original saplings, now grown to great size, are located at Dunkeld Cathederal. Old Culdares proved an agriculturalist in other areas as well, for he introduced blackfaced sheep to his holdings with the aim of teaching native tenants how to manage club-stocks of southern sheep for themselves. Gow composed other tunes for the family: see also “Mrs. Menzies of Culdares” and “Miss Menzies of Culdares (1).”

A branch of the tune is played in Ireland as O'Neill's "Paddy Murphy’s Wife (1)," AKA "Pat Carney's Reel" and "Joe Tanzy's Reel."

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Carlin (The Gow Collection), 1986; No. 297. Gow (The First Collection of Niel Gow’s Reels), 1784 (revised 1801); p. 15. Jones [Ed.] (Complete Tutor Violin), c. 1815; p. 11. MacDonald (The Skye Collection), 1887; p. 50. Stewart-Robertson (The Athole Collection), 1884; p. 102. Surenne (Dance Music of Scotland), 1852; p. 148.

Recorded sources: Rounder 7037, Father Angus Morris – “Traditional Fiddle Music of Cape Breton, vol. 1” (2002). WS 031703, Wendy MacIsaac – “Timeline” (2003).

See also listings at:
Alan Snyder’s Cape Breton Fiddle Recording Index [1]
Jane Keefer’s Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [2]




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