Mr. Muir MacKenzie’s Favorite

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MR. MUIR MACKENZIE'S FAVORITE. AKA - "Muir MacKenzie's Favourite." Scottish, Slow Strathspey. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. Composed by Charles Sharpe (1750-1813), for more on whom see note for “Mr. Sharpe's Delight.” Muir Mackenzie was a Baronetcy of Delvine, in County Perth, near Niel Gow’s home in Dunkeld. The tune was probably composed in honor of Alexander Muir-Mackenzie (1764-1835), for whom the baronetcy was created in November, 1805. Born Alexander Muir of the Muirs of Cassencarie, he assumed the additional surname Mackenzie when he succeeded to the estates of his great-uncle, John Mackenzie of Delvine. Alexander married in September, 1787, Jane, the eldest daughter of Sir Robert Murry, 6th Bart. of Clermont, co. Fife. The couple had one son and five daughters. Muir Mackenzie, as a landed Perthshire gentleman, took part in local political affairs. One incident involving him was recorded in James Maidment’s The Court Session Garland (1839). A petition had been prepared for the review of the Lords of Treasury, and the committee that Muir Mackenzie sat on debated over its length:

“Now,” says the learned gentleman,” if it takes so much time in reading, the Lords of the Treasury will toss it aside, and pay no attention to it.” Upon this, the late Sir Alexander Muir Mackenzie remarked, that he would himself read it to the gentlemen assembled, explicitly and distinctly, in five minutes. The worthy baronet, be it observed, had a protrusion of his lower lip, which made it more than twice the ordinary size; and it had something of the appearance of a pair of underlips. Hagart angrily replied, “I am ready to join issue with the leaned gentleman, [Sir Alexander was an advocate,] as to the fact, and I wish, therefore, that any one present would take the trouble of reading the petition aloud, excepting always the learned gentleman himself, as, from his having double lips, he is able, no doubt, to read it twice as quickly as any one else.” This piece of impertinence, which is given as characteristic of the man, may perhaps be attributable to party spleen, as Hagart was a radical whig, or liberal, and Sir Alexander, a keen tory or conservative.

The family seat was Delvine House. A Roman Station, the most northerly of all Roman camps, was once located quite near the manor and was excavated in 1901. See also other tunes for the Muir Mackenzie family (“Miss Muir MacKenzie,” “Lady Muir MacKenzie's Favorite,” “Mrs. Muir MacKenzie”).

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Carlin (The Gow Collection), 1986; No. 165. Gow (Third Collection of Niel Gow’s Reels), 1792; p. 3 (3rd ed.). Manson (Hamilton’s Universal Tune Book, vol. 2), 1846; p. 35.

Recorded sources: Ideal Music, Jimmy Shand -- "The Bluebell Polka" (2011. Appears as "Mrs. Muir MacKenzie's Favourite").




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